Category: Innovative and practical approach to the provision of educational services to the local and/or regional and or professional community

Project Name: Enhancing community well-being through teaching and learning

Represented by: Bruce Muirhead, Director


The UQ Community Service and Research Centre, based at the Ipswich Campus, is an initiative of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences in partnership with the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Development) and is an integral part of the University?s Community Engagement Strategy. The Centre strives to develop genuinely democratic, mutually beneficial partnerships between the University and the community with the aim of building a sustainable, inclusive and socially just community.

One project of the Centre which demonstrates a significant community partnership is the Goodna Service Integration Project. The vision for the project is ?working better together for sustainable community well-being in Goodna?.

To achieve this, the Faculty has developed a Graduate Certificate in Social Science (Interprofessional Leadership) where participants in the program engage in understanding, developing and sustaining collaborative work. The participants in this program are drawn from government and non-government agencies working in the Goodna region. As part of the program, they implement a Collaborative Engagement Project which addresses real issues in the local community and involves collaboration with relevant agencies and community groups.

In addition, a number of non-accredited short courses have been developed for members of the Goodna community and agency staff so that services in whose delivery they are involved can be more effectively designed to meet the needs and aspirations of disadvantaged communities.

These formal programs are supported by ?learning events? which aim to maintain the momentum for ongoing learning achieved during the Graduate Certificate as well as to sustain links between participants.

The program has received outstanding support from those who have completed the Graduate Certificate and from senior government officers and has expanded its availability to a wider group of community members.

The following comment by Rachel Nolan, MP, Member for Ipswich, on the value of the program is typical of many. ?The course has turned on its head the convention of departments working in isolation and brought tangible benefits to the local community both in Goodna ? and across the community through the relationships which have been established.?

This project has been recognised nationally by the Australian Committee for University Teaching, and was selected as a finalist in this category in the 2002 Australian University Teaching Awards.

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