Practical engagement in regional communities

July 11 / 64

Masters students from the Graduate School of Business and Economics are volunteering their time to work on a range of projects in regional Victoria during the University’s winter recess.

The students are part of the University’s Volunteer Business Practicum, which gives them the chance to volunteer  with not-for-profit organisations around Victoria.

A team of students is working with the Benalla Shire Council to assess the economic value of the Winton Raceway to the town. In Wodonga, a team will assist the North East Local Learning and Employment Network (NELLEN) Inc. to scope the tools and processes required to track the education and employment pathways of their exiting VCE students.

In Shepparton, students are working with Goulburn Valley Health to discover the social and economic impact of increased train services to their operations, while in Bairnsdale, a team is working with the East Gippsland Shire to develop a business plan for the Bairnsdale shopping centre.

Another team is working with the East Gippsland Food Cluster on the feasibility of innovative vegetable processing, while another will assist Agribusiness Inc. to explore the relationship between a tertiary qualification and economic wealth in farming.

In the state’s west, students will help the Committee For Ballarat by undertaking a benefit-cost analysis for the use of bioenergy in an established public health and education precinct in Ballarat.

Program Manager Sue Elston, from the Faculty of Business and Economics Career Centre, said partner organisations benefitted from the passion and knowledge of these high-performing students. 

“There are multiple benefits for the students and the groups with whom they’re working, as students combine theory and practice with knowledge in a community project, while also enjoying the social and professional networking opportunities the partnerships engender,” Ms Elston said.

In addition to the country placements, two teams of students are also working with not-for-profit organisations in Melbourne to help build sustainable business models.

One group will help Wesley Mission produce a business plan for their Lifeline training division, while the other will advise In Good Faith and Associates on the establishment of sustainable business practices for their foundation, which is committed to offering holistic support for victims of sexual abuse by the clergy.


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