The partnership between RMIT, JAM TV and the AFL, which began in 2020, gives students the opportunity to learn all about football operations and media production services at the AFL Review Centre, based out of Marvel Stadium.
Students get hands-on experience with a variety of activities, including learning to set up and operate the Hawk-Eye Replay System used to confirm scores, check the accuracy of umpiring decisions and record any other incidents throughout a game that may require further examination.
RMIT’s College of Vocational Education Deputy Vice-Chancellor Mish Eastman said the partnership between RMIT and the AFL gives students practice-based learning and workplace experience, where they can develop their talent, upskill and solve complex problems.
“This partnered program is a great example of how we work with industry to provide specialist work integrated learning experiences for our students, to ensure that they are ready for work as soon as they graduate,” she said.
Despite the interrupted 2021 Premiership season, two graduates of the Certificate IV Screen and Media program are now employed as Umpiring Performance Analysis – Data and Match Operators.
Ron Frim, a VE Screen and Media teacher, said the vocational placements have seen students learn industry-ready skills operating equipment used in other sporting codes, as well as in the ARC.
“There have been clear non-tangible benefits to the students through interacting with industry professionals and being in a live broadcast environment,” he said.
Thirteen students have undertaken placements to date, with four students participating on an individual match. By the end of the 2022 season, up to 20 students will have completed their placements.
VE Screen and Media student Bhavin Solanki said the opportunity to gain hands-on training at the AFL Review Centre has been invaluable and boosted his skills and confidence.
“My experience at the ARC has been a fantastic insight into the behind-the-scenes of a major broadcast sport in Australia,” he said.
“Each shift they provided training in the same things their operators do and then I was set up with my own mock workstation so I could follow along with the operator,” he said
Solanki said other benefits of the work integrated experience included gaining a greater awareness of the variety of job opportunities within broadcast and making network connections with film and television industry professionals.
“I feel confident about my ability to work in a broadcast environment now and because the placement is so varied across each department, I am discovering new job prospects with every shift,” he said.
“It has also provided the opportunity to start building contacts which is a vital component of success in the industry,” he said .