RMIT’s School of Media and Communication students showcased their projects at an event hosted in partnership with RMIT and Australian Black and White Stories.
Reflecting on their experiences during the year and future aspirations, students showcased their work-integrated learning (WIL) project development and outcomes with a core focus on reconciliation.
Special guests included the Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC [Retd], Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, Acting Chancellor, Janet Latchford and Australian Black and White Stories co-founder, Philippa O'Donnell.
Students presented in small groups on a range of WIL projects, with some students completing projects for event co-host and industry partner, Australian Black and White Stories.
Australian Black and White Stories joins organisations that have partnered with RMIT School of Media and Communication to deliver approximately 80 WIL partnered projects to students in 2021.
The organisation is recording, preserving and passing on stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australians working together, to create positive outcomes for all our communities.
Philippa O’Donnell and Mutthi Mutthi Elder Vicki Clark OAM started Australian Black and White Stories because they want to tell Australians everywhere about the positive reconciliation projects going on in neighbourhoods all around the country.
“We know good, positive exchanges happen every day, all around the country, but people just don't get to hear about them, so we set out to bring those positive reconciliation stories to the national conversation,” said Philippa.
Philippa's 30 years' experience as a storyteller with the ABC now helps future generations have a more balanced view of Australia’s development and our road to becoming a reconciled nation. She applauds the interest, understanding and diverse range of skills students bought to their WIL projects.
In her opening speech RMIT Acting Chancellor, Janet Latchford, acknowledged the event as honouring two of the most fundamental commitments RMIT holds as a unique institution – practical learning and reconciliation.
“Our relationship with industry, exemplified by our work-integrated learning projects and placements, is the RMIT difference,” she said.
“When people think of RMIT, they think of hands-on learning and graduates who hit the ground running in the industries of their choice.”
“Reconciliation is not about words, it’s about sharing stories, listening, immersing and connecting and that’s why RMIT’s new partnership with Australian Black and White Stories is so important.”
The Governor General addressed the cohort at the end of the event and congratulated the students on all that they have achieved in developing these projects. The key theme was how resilient and adaptive the students were, and the quality of the work they produced.
The gruelling reality that students have been exposed to this year has not gone unnoticed and guests credited how positive students were about what they learnt and achieved, despite lockdowns.
Lisa French said themes of resilience, problem-solving and confidence in their own work were prevalent.
“Not only did they produce great work through the partnership, but they have completed their industry linked studio, or internship within COVID constraints,” she said.
“The ability of all of our students across our WIL program to produce high quality, considered work is outstanding and I credit both the students and the high-calibre staff within our school for designing the experience, enabling students to succeed.
The partnership between the School of Media and Communication and Australian Black and White Stories is set to continue into 2022, as the school continues to further embed reconciliation in their learning and teaching practice.