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Work placement program

The HEPPP-funded paid work placement program arranges placements for students who might not otherwise be able to access such opportunities. These students may lack awareness or may find it difficult to access the opportunities for financial or other reasons such as lack of support.

The program gives students access to career and CV building experiences, through the four-week, project focused placements.

The videos below show the benefits of the placements to both the student participants, and the host organisations. For more information about this great initiative, contact the Jobshop team at

'I rely heavily on the income that I get from my part time job, so the opportunity to come and do something like this and get paid, which basically enabled me to continue living, was very good. I don't think I would have been able to do it without that.'
– Placement participant

Students and employers talk about why they got involved

View the video transcript

[intro music]

>> CLARE: I think the positive for here is that
you're a lot more, well,

compared to all my placements I have had,
it's often that you're shadowing someone,

so you do get a sense of responsibility,

but not a lot because you still
get treated as a student,

so... 'You're not allowed to do that - you're a student'

or... 'I have to be there with you because you're a student'

whereas here it's,
'Oh we need you to do this, off you go'

and I find that really good because
then you come back and go

'Well this is what I have done,
is that ok?'

>> THOMAS: This is the first internship
I have ever completed.

Basically, I have seen a few come up,
been sent emails through Deakin and other areas,

but due to my finances and a few other reasons
I haven't been able to do it.

This one was occurring at the perfect time
as it was right after my exams.

>> JACQUI: So I decided to apply for the program
and I got the email from Belinda,

with all these interesting prospects
and got all excited.

I was up in Sydney looking after my mum
at the time and I thought,

'Wow, this will be something
really cool to go home to'.

Being an anthropology major,
just the thought of

being able to get in there and
actually make a difference and help people,

that really appealed to me.

>> CHRIS: We like to involve students
because students come with a

contemporary approach to doing things.

That keeps us up to what's happening in the sector,
that we may not have the opportunity to do ourselves.

That's a large part of why
we're part of this program.

>> FIONA: It was a needs-based thing.

I am a Communications and Media Manager of
a team of one - being me,

in a small, not for profit environment.

My colleague passed on the email to me.

As soon as I saw it I thought, 'This is something
that we could really benefit from'.

Particularly, on a selfish note,
something that I could really benefit from,

having someone to help plan
specifically for next year.

>> NASRULLAH: Well I applied for the program,
firstly, because it's good experience.

Working for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre,
it was a great experience to get to know

the people who work here, the volunteers,

and it's a great organisation,
a great work environment.

And also, to be able to help
the asylum seekers.

I come from that background so
to be able to give back to

the communities in some way, is great.

>> CLAIR: Well I think what initially grabbed my attention
was that it was quite a different program,

because it is paid for through Deakin.

Yes, there is the supervisory rate
which we're paid,

but it's quite different rather
than directly employing the student.

I hadn't come across that before.

Certainly we saw it as an opportunity
to help our business,

while being able to provide
that work experience to a student.

>> FIONA: When I saw that there was an
opportunity to get a Deakin placement in,

it was something that I wanted to jump on,
particularly as I went to Deakin as well...

so... you get good placement
students from Deakin!

Yeah it was definitely something that
we wanted to take advantage of.


The benefits of the work placement program

View the video transcript

[intro music]

>> FIONA: The fact that the placement program
is targeted at low socio-economic students

is something that mattered to us

and that's something we were interested in providing,

opportunities for those students
that they might not otherwise get.

Something that was really important to us

was the fact that the placement program
is paid

and for a lot of placement experiences,

I think people give of themselves
and give their time,

but aren't necessarily made to feel
of value within that.

I think it's really important to
be able to give someone

that value, that validation,

saying, 'What you are doing is important'
and compensating them for that.

>> THOMAS: Basically, I rely heavily
on the income I get from my part time job,

so the opportunity to come and do
something like this,

and get paid, basically enabled me
to continue living

and was very good
and it definitely helped.

I don't think I would have
been able to do it without that.

>> IMOGEN: If this placement was unpaid,
I don't know that I would be able to participate,

especially full time,
because I am travelling from Geelong,

and at the moment I am not working
at my job in Geelong.

So I wouldn't have been getting
pretty much any money,

so I wouldn't have been able to
pay rent and bills,

so no, I wouldn't have been able to.

>> JACQUI: If I was discussing
the work placements with a friend,

I think I would start off by saying
it's awesome

because when you don't have
the opportunity to go out and get

part time work or casual work,

with me it's due to age,
I have had a lot of problems,

but if you don't have that opportunity,

or because you are studying so hard
and you don't have that spare time,

it's in summer, it's after uni is finished,
it's in the break

and it's four weeks of your time,

so whether you would get paid for it or not,
it's a good experience.


>> CLARE: I prefer the intensive placements.

I have done one intensive placement
for eight weeks before

and I just feel like you get to
build up a relationship with everyone a bit better

and you start to find similar things happen
on similar days as well,

like there'll always be this meeting
on this day or something

so when you're only coming every Tuesday
you see the same kind of things.

So I much prefer the intensive.
I think you get a lot more out of them.

>> ANGELA: I think what's attractive
about this program

is that it's
a very professional program,

I think it is of value
to have a four week block,

because it enables you to develop relationship

and relationship is of course pivotal
to us here at Yooralla.

>> NASRULLAH: I would choose this type
of internship over a traditional one

because firstly, because you're working
on a project

and you have an aim,
you have a goal to achieve,

so at the end of the four weeks,
if you have achieved that goal

you get that sense of achievement
and I think that's great.

And the project I am working on now,
I am almost finished

and I can see the end product now almost
so it's really fantastic.

>> GABRIELLA: It's Monday to Friday
so it feels more like a real job.

And you can get disconnected
if you only go a couple of days.

I think you learn more
when you're always there

so you can do the same task,
you've got questions following the next day.

I'd definitely choose this over it.

>> PETRINA: Certainly over the last few weeks

they've really embraced the projects
that they're working on

and have got the confidence to say,
'well I am doing this, this, this'.

And I think for me,
and probably the same for Carolyn,

I have been able to trust Daniel implicitly

to get on with the job,
do what he's got to do

and you know, timing, coming in
on time, he manages his time.

There haven't been any... there've been
no issues at all, it's been fantastic.


The highlights, challenges and impacts of the program

View the video transcript

[intro music]

>> STEPHANIE: I think some of the main highlights

have been going out and visiting clients,

which I have had the opportunity to do.

I didn't think I'd even be able to do that

but the ladies here have been really accommodating

and just happy to take me along if I am interested in it.

>> JAMES: Personally for me, the highlight of working

here at Kevin Heinze, and with people with disabilities,

is gaining that insight into the area of disability,

how it operates, even basic things,

learning communication skills that a lot of people would

just take for granted, or just learn naturally,

which a lot of people here just don't have.

It's quite interesting to see how you teach somebody

to make a friend and hold a conversation.
They're quite interesting things to uncover, unpack I guess.

>> BRITTANY: I have found most challenging, the hours, because I am

used to working 8 till 1'o'clock in the morning,

so changing from 9 till 5 was a big difference.

But I have got used to it, and now I am working weekends,

doing the 8 till 2, so that's interesting.

>> IMOGEN: I think the most challenging has been getting up early

when we should be on uni holidays.

>> DANIEL: I have really enjoyed the project I am doing and

I get up in the morning excited to come here and see what I can do.

There's YouTube videos, and the other projects I am working on,

have made me excited for work and to go out and find a job.

>> THOMAS: I think the placement that I am doing at the moment

has definitely helped with my future, where I am looking to go.

Initially I was doing a psychology marketing degree.

I think I am definitely looking towards marketing now

as opposed to psychology, which has been really good.

It's good to have an insight into the marketing areas

and see what it's all about in a career setting.


>> BEN: I think the experience is invaluable to my career,

especially in psychology, there's not a lot of work experience

leading up while you're doing your degree so anything that you can do

to increase your practical experience and knowledge of the field is amazing.

>> BRITTANY: Especially for psychology, it's so hard to get placements,

though it's a great opportunity to get out there and get it on your résumé,

because people are more likely to employ you once you've got

a bit of experience anyway, and it helps get into Masters and all that,

so it just helps us incredibly.

>> GABRIELLA: I wouldn't change anything, I have been really lucky with my job,

especially, because I have had such a great time.

I have come in right at the time, when I have been needed

so it's not like I have come to work and I have got nothing to do.

I come here and I have always got a new task, a new deadline.

Yeah, I have been really lucky, in each job.

>> IMOGEN: This placement has had an impact on my career direction

because I hadn't had any placements till now because

social work only has placements in third or fourth year

and I have only just completed second year.

I didn't really know much about the field of disability.

So, yeah, it's a field I might be interested in.

>> CHRIS: This has been brilliant. I'd have to say this has been

a very positive, I'd have to say the most positive placement we've had.

Difficult to say, we've still got a little bit of time to go.

We would have had several hundred tertiary students on placement

over the last five or six years and I think this is the one

where the students have been best prepared.

The approach has been the most professional, in that they are selected,

and they're interviewed, and they go into that particular placement

with an understanding of what they're about.

So so far i think it's probably the best. Certainly we would like

to be involved again next year.

>> FIONA: Would we get involved with this project in 2013?

I'd say yes, yes we would. It's fantastic.

This is my first experience on the other side of the Deakin Placement program

and it's something I would definitely recommend to other people.

If you're willing, you need to be willing to put in the time

and you'll get really tangible benefits out of it

and it's fantastic, so I'd definitely recommend other people do it

and it's something we'd be looking to pursue in 2013, it'd be great.


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