Partner Testimonials

Ralph ForbesRoyal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney

Ralph Forbes

Supervisor to Alex La Spina (HLTH300 Student)

"Royal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney's Disability Services Directorate has a long tradition of providing opportunities for Macquarie University students from a variety of courses to apply their academic knowledge to the professional workplace, which are valued. Macquarie University awarded Royal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney's Disability Services Directorate a plaque in acknowledgement of their participation in the Social Science Research Internship Program. Macquarie University students provide us with positive feedback about the experiential learning that the industry placements provide.

It was an amazing learning experience that I could recommend to any student. The placement, especially working with the Recreational and Leisure Tea, was very satisfying, so much so that I will be going back to volunteer next year" (Student on Health Placement).

As part of a cycle of continuous learning, the placements are project focused and contribute to the different needs of our diverse programs, related professions and the student's individual preferences are taken into account. The most recent student interviewed representative clients with a disability using a World Health Organisation's assessment tool. The student's feedback informed a clinical committee as to the tool's usefulness in measuring the activity limitations and participation restrictions. Another recent successful student placement evaluated consumer engagement across the entire organisation, which provided evidence for accreditation by The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards and resulted in the publication of a paper authored by the student and her supervisors."


Robin Banks Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)

Robin Banks, PIAC CEO

"Having the students at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) gives us an opportunity to get fresh perspectives on a range of public interest issues. Their passion and enthusiasm for social justice adds to our energy and capacity. It is really gratifying when we later meet them again as lawyers practicing in the public interest."

Carolyn Grenville, Training Co-ordinator

Supervisor to Sandra Hanna (LAW438 student)

Carolyn Grenville"The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) partners with the Public Interest Law Clearing House and Macquarie University (amongst other universities) for the     Practising in the Public Interest (PIPI) program. This is a week-long intensive summer or winter school, consisting of three   training days and two placement days.  The training days are convened by PIAC and the placements are completed at a  range of law firms and public interest agencies.

 The aim of the PIPI program is to introduce students to systems advocacy and public interest law and to expose them to      organisations that are directly involved in public interest and pro bono strategies. The PIPI program challenges students to  think creatively about ways in which the law and related skills can be used strategically to achieve the changes that  promote a just society. Students are often surprised that public interest lawyering involves much more than running legal  cases in the courts. It's also about engaging with governments around policy and legislative change, using the media and  partnering with diverse stakeholders.
One of PIAC's aims in presenting the PIPI program is to encourage students to consider a career in public interest law.  Students complete placements at agencies such as the Australian Human Rights Commission, Legal Aid NSW, Homeless Persons Legal Service and community legal centres. Students are sometimes surprised that there are also opportunities to undertake public interest work at private law firms who have pro bono practices.

We love having Macquarie University students as part of the PIPI program - their energy, enthusiasm and idealism is infectious, and working with the students over the week assures us that the future of the legal profession is in good hands. On the final day of the PIPI program all students receive what we call, tongue in cheek, our 'bleeding heart' award (a heart shaped chocolate in red foil), along with their certificate of attendance. We are delighted when some students come to PIAC to complete longer term placements and when we come across students, years on, who have taken up jobs in the sector."


Peter KrabmanCoral Tree Family Service

Peter Krabman, MBBS (Hons) PhD FRANZCP, Medical Director

Supervisor to Becky Bates (HLTH300 student)

"Collaboration with the university in provision of placements has allowed Coral Tree Family Service to benefit from the enthusiastic and thoughtful contributions of undergraduate students, and to progress our research and quality improvement agenda. Feedback from the students suggests that they have found the experience interesting and professionally and personally rewarding."

The Salvation Army's Study Shed

Danni StephensDanni Stephens, Study Shed Manager

Armen Garkavian

Supervisor to Sharara Attai (SOC300 student)

"Sharara Attai was more than an intern - she became a friend to the kids, and they would ask about her when she wasn't there. Her presence at Study Shed somewhat demystified the academic world - a small but important step in creating a bridge between the Housing Estate and the University next door. Her findings will help us improve the academic outcomes of Study Shed and give disadvantaged kids a better start to life beyond school."

North Ryde Community Aid & Information Centre Inc

Helen Crouch, Executive Officer

"Our partnership with PACE was instinctive:  the diversity of need and scope of opportunity within our shared neighbourhood is as vast as that of both the university and our organisation. North Ryde Community Aid is also a snapshot of any professional organisation: volatile financial base, emerging consumer trends and extreme governance mandates juggling the additional not-for-profit sector challenges of insufficient resources and customer service excellence bound with human emotion. The potential to enliven an undergraduate's learning or development of their skills and competency is not an obligation - it is a privilege.

NRCA hosted six Psychological Science students last semester and involved them in research, social isolation programs delivery and client contact tasks. Their exposure to the nuances involved in the duties assigned, the cause and effect complexity within seemingly simple tasks and consequences of every action taken with any and every client or enquiry received was invaluable to the students and their future careers. The benefits to NRCA were numerous too - enthusiastic, committed volunteers who embraced their duties with consideration and care and helped us achieve several projects on our 'to do' list that wouldn't have been possible without the students.

We await the next semester's students with eager anticipation and a growing 'to do' list!"

The Benevolent Society

Sarah Peterson, Fostering Friends Volunteer CoordinatorSarah Peterson, Fostering Friends Volunteer Coordinator, The Benevolent Society

"Fostering Friends is a volunteer support program run by The Benevolent Society's foster care service Fostering Young Lives.  Fostering Friends, provide invaluable additional support to children and young people in foster care (and their carers) by participating in a range of activities, including homework support, child minding and school holiday activities.

Psychology students from Macquarie University were interviewed and assessed and completed a one day training course to become a Fostering Friend. They increased their knowledge about the experiences of children in foster care and how to engage with children who may have experienced trauma, grief, loss and have attachment issues.

This year, the Macquarie University Fostering Friends have supported children and young people in care in many ways. They helped a family of 5 children that live with their grandparents, where the children were unable to attend play therapy as their Grandmother cannot drive. With the help of the Fostering Friends the children's sessions have recommenced. It is so important that these children are able to get the support they need, so that they can thrive despite the trauma they have experienced in their early years. Other Fostering Friends assisted with child minding so that foster carers could attend a support group and get a chance to chat and have some time out. The Fostering Friends will also be helping run the games at the annual Christmas party where children in care have a chance to just be kids and interact with others that may be going through the same things they are.

The Macquarie University Fostering Friends were also of great assistance in supporting the creation of our 'Chatterbooks' literacy program that the Speech Pathologist has developed for children in care. The volunteers worked hard to establish a library of books that foster carers can use to support the development of children's speech and language skills as children in care are often delayed in these areas.

We have thoroughly valued and enjoyed having Macquarie University students join our team of Fostering Friends and look forward to continuing our partnership with Macquarie University!"

City of Sydney Council

Andrew Rees

Supervisor to Emma Finnegan

"Over the last six months, Emma has embarked on stimulating learning curve working in the City's development assessment unit. A key aspect of the job is helping to achieve the City's aspirations outlined under Sydney 2030 which is about changing the way we live, work and play in the city; now and into the future. The challenge is about satisfying all the striving interests involved with every development application; for example, profitable new small businesses versus liveable neighbourhoods for existing residents and quality built form versus reasonable return for the developer. Emma has been efficient in dealing with development applications and enquiries in a timely manner and been able to handle all her challenges with surprising professionalism and maturity. Emma is a great team player and despite the occasional pressures of the job, maintains a good sense of humour and injects a good deal of youthful energy into the workplace. We are looking forward to Emma growing further in confidence and knowledge and starting to really help make a difference to this city's development and planning issues and make Sydney 'Green, Global and Connected'."