We collaborate with agencies and work closely with employers in delivering innovative social work and community services education and research.
Our partnerships and collaboration with employers and agencies result in joint participation and exchanges of services that include student placements, staff exchanges, research, consultancy and classroom teaching.
Program Advisory Committee membership
A committee comprising representation from the Australian Association of Social Work and other key peak bodies oversees the management and development of social work programs at RMIT.
Students identify the value of the placement experience as integral in their overall satisfaction with our programs. The field education program is dependent upon the contribution of students, field educators, agencies and RMIT. The field education program seeks to develop practitioners who are:
- Self-responsible and resourceful;
- Effective negotiators and advocates;
- Personally and professionally powerful in such a way that they empower people in their lives, social organisations and communities; and
- Ethical in their use of power, knowledge and skills.
The diversity of placement opportunities across the sector attests to RMIT’s relationships with human service organisations and the individuals within them. Students are involved in a range of projects such as working with local governments to undertake consultations with communities related to local needs; developing communication strategies for the provision of information to people from refugee backgrounds; a qualitative analysis of the ‘social meals in rooming house program’; and the development of a volunteer handbook. Students on placement allow field educators to undertake projects which may not be otherwise possible.
Social Work Alliance Project (SWAP)
RMIT social work values its alliance with student groups. Social Work Alliance Project (SWAP) is a student group that aims to increase the sense of community within the discipline of social work at RMIT. The group hosts casual meets ups, social events, fundraising and other industry related activity. They are currently organising student volunteers to run a food van in Melbourne’s CBD for the homeless and hungry.
Our innovative approach to training has won us rewarding partnerships with a range of community and government organisations. These partnerships have generated research into areas such as online delivery in community services; the viability of traineeships and internationalization in the sector. Key partnerships include the following.
Community Empowerment Program
The Community Empowerment Program (CEP) provided teaching to a group of Yarra residents who were considered disadvantaged. Innovative use of training package competencies and delivering the teaching were the residents lived rather than conventional campus based learning led to the participants using the knowledge developed to work within their own communities and adding to their sense of self worth and personal development.
This is an exciting statewide project delivering leadership training to a group of 25 people with a disability. Three national competencies at Advanced Diploma level have been selected - advocacy, communication skills and organisational skills - to reflect the skills and attributes needed for good leadership. Training is in the form of workshops, with the participants embedding their learning in community-based projects.
The Certificate I in Work Education program delivers training to students from a number of special schools in Melbourne - Ashwood, Croxton, Heatherwood, Montague Continuing Education and Port Phillip. The Certificate I in Work Education program works with these schools so that students can attend RMIT city campus one day a week and participate in classes in retail environment, office administration, and creative option as part of their school VCAL program.