Engaging the community to create innovative learning opportunities

Professional Development

G17, Ground Floor, Elisabeth Murdoch Building, Parkville


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Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education


T: 03 8344 4605


University partnerships with local communities can create innovative teaching and learning opportunities for students. This seminar will outline a Community of Practice that brought together local councils, local businesses, a philanthropic community fund, and the University of Melbourne to create the scaffolding for a series of student placements that lay outside of traditional agency-based approaches to Work Integrated Learning. This approach created a unique environment for students where they could act as active citizens, conduct community-driven research and lead initiatives of high public value. This seminar will highlight key lessons from this placement model that can be transferred into other disciplines.


Dr Kath Sellick is an Associate Lecturer with the Department of Social Work. She teaches across subjects related to social work theory, mental health, group work, community development, field education, and disability. She is experienced in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research across a number of areas including trauma-informed care, mental health, disability, and diversity and inclusion. Kath has previously worked in community mental health and suicide prevention in the community sector and has highly developed leadership skills with experience in management, program coordination, program evaluation, staff supervision, and performance management.