Australian Awards for University Teaching - Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning
School of Community Health Overseas Workplace-learning Program
Associate Professor Michael Curtin, Ms Kristy Robson and Ms Kay Skinner
Category: Global citizenship and internationalism
The Charles Sturt University School of Community Health's Vietnam program enables occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech pathology and podiatry students to complete one of their fourth year placements working in an orphanage for children with disabilities. The intention of this program is to establish a collaborative and sustainable relationship with the orphanage in which our students provide services and training as identified by the host organisation. This program has been operating since 2001 but has undergone significant development from 2008 when the program began collaborating with Yooralla, an Australian disability organisation. In addition to achieving their required discipline specific competencies, students undertaking this program develop skills in cultural competence and trans-disciplinary teamwork. Students overwhelmingly provide positive comments on the transformative nature of this intensive learning experience, about being pushed out of their comfort zone, and on how the program provides them with opportunities to expand their skills in ways that would not have been possible on an Australian placement.