Social impact and community engagement

We constantly strive to create a positive social impact for our community, being our students, our partners and their clients. Through each of our initiatives, we seek to create positive, meaningful and sustainable outcomes that make a difference, on both macro and micro levels for the community.

We will be hosting a series of strategic events throughout the year designed to maximise academic and community engagement.

More Future events coming in 2021

Past Events

Professor Stephen Billett

Professor Stephen Billett Webinar Series

Augmenting students’ Learning for Employability through Post-Practicum Educational Processes

The Service Learning Unit and Professor Stephen Billett are hosting a series of webinars focussing on the purposes of post-practicum interventions and approaches to enacting them. The Office of Learning and Teaching grant investigated and trialled a range of post-practicum interventions that aimed to enhance higher education students’ employability. That is, once students have had practicum experiences interventions of different kinds were enacted to optimise and integrate those workplace learning experiences to achieve specific educational outcomes associated with graduate employability. Across two phases of projects, the first 14 in healthcare and the second 28 in other disciplines, ways in which post-practicum interventions could be used to achieve these outcomes associated with employability were identified. From these, a range of considerations for planning and enacting such interventions were identified through these projects. These are the context for and focus of this webinar series.

Professor Billett will address three key areas:

  1. Purposes and approaches to post-practicum interventions
  2. Models and processes of post-practicum interventions and
  3. Engaging ‘time-jealous’ students.

Participants have an opportunity to engage with the findings from these projects and to consider and appraise what it means for their area of teaching and their own curriculum and teaching activities. Join us for one or all three webinars, to build an understanding of augment students’ learning for employability through post practicum educational processes.

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Global Muslin Women Conference

Global Muslim Women's Conference

Griffith Service Learning Unit is proud to be a sponsor of the virtual Global Muslim Women's Conference. We know that sometimes all it takes to change the world is a little support. The virtual conference provides a space to connect and focus on significant topics affecting Muslim women. The topics of discussion are around Compassion, Leadership and Growth. The aim is to create meaningful dialogue by sharing unique skills, knowledge, by unlocking strengths and talents to create collective progress. Join the series of virtual events focused on showcasing and celebrating Muslim women from all walks of life.

Join us for a virtual conference as nine incredible Muslim women from around the world have discussions around Compassion, Leadership and Growth.

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Social Impact Project Showcase Event

Service Learning Social Impact Project Showcase

University Social Impact Projects address five significant social justice issues faced by vulnerable communities. Initially designed to address Mental Health and Wellbeing, we soon realised this was a much larger issue intersecting across a number of social justice issues including homelessness, digital inclusion, the environment, and people of all abilities.  Bringing Community Partners, self-advocates, student Interns and the University together to work collaboratively in innovative solution design sprints, we set out to contribute in some small way to improving these social issues. We would like to invite you to a special showcase of the project outcomes, and hear from our community partners.

Join us on Thursday 1 October 2020 at 10.30 am to 12.30 pm for the Social Impact Project teams showcase the outcomes achieved through these Online Innovation Solutions Sprints.

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Queensland Health - Michael Meurer

Michael Meurer - Queensland Health

Service Learning would like to invite students and colleagues to attend a workshop with Michael Meurer from Queensland Health to learn what we can do to create healthy sustainable work and study spaces. This workshop will explore a range of topics relating to sustainability and designing environmentally, economically and socially sustainable workplaces and the impact these spaces can have on your mental health and wellbeing.

Join us on Tuesday 18 August 2020 at 10.30 am to 12.00 pm with Queensland Health’s Michael Meurer, to build awareness and understanding of these key complex social problems in the hope to create a meaningful impact on mental health and wellbeing together.

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Impact Project Digital Inclusion for Education and Employment

Impact Project Launch Event

Digital Inclusion for Education and Employment

Digital inclusion has been identified as one of the key social justice challenges facing policy makers and communities worldwide. Digital inclusion is not just about computers, the internet or even technology, it is about social inclusion. Digital disadvantage occurs simultaneously with other forms of social and economic disadvantage which means that our marginalised community members are at greater risk of not being able to improve their digital literacy, practice IT skills, connect to services and knowledge that drive education and future employment opportunities.

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Service Learning Impact Project Homelessness

Impact Project Launch Event


The Service Learning Community Internship aim is to address homelessness and the affordable housing supply crisis by bringing together students, advocates and industry experts to engage in discussion to develop awareness of this complex issue and generate innovative and effective solutions.

Our focus will be on building awareness and understanding of key complex social problems. Within this focus we will strive to understand whether and where progressive change is occurring; what is working and why, and how we might have a meaningful impact on this issue together.

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Service Learning Impact Project Empowering People of all Abilities

Impact Project Launch Event

Empowering People of all Abilities

The social model of disability recognises that disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which they live (WHO,2001). For a person with a disability to participate and contribute in our society all community members have a responsibility to be aware and informed about; the facts and community perceptions of disability, discrimination and anti-discrimination law, the rights of persons with a disability and how people with varying abilities are portrayed in the media.

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Service Learning Impact Project Mental Health and Wellbeing

Impact Project Launch Event

Mental Health and Wellbeing

With mental health occurring at a concerning level in university student populations in Western societies, the Service Learning Community Internship aim is to bring together students, advocates, industry experts and staff to develop innovative and effective solutions to address mental health and wellbeing.

Our focus will be on building awareness and understanding of key complex social problems. Within this focus we will strive to understand whether and where progressive change is occurring; what is working and why, and how we might have a meaningful impact on this issue together.

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Service Learning Impact Project Environment and Sustainability

Impact Project Launch Event

Environment and Sustainability

Australia is one of the most unique and biodiverse nations in the world, its First Peoples belong to this country and are the oldest living civilisation on Earth. Practices of attending to and understanding the interconnectedness of land, water and all living beings is critical to understanding how we sustainably manage, interact with and look after the environment. Currently Australia is facing one of the highest rates of species extinction in the world, and increased pressures on biodiversity and natural resources continue due to land clearing, development, climate change, land-use pressures and pollution. To address the diversity of complex environmental issues Australia needs to set bold new priorities for change, and develop solutions that meet environmental, economic, social and cultural goals.

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Service Learning and ACEN Event

Employability and Risk Management in an Online Environment

There is much uncertainty about the legal framework around virtual WIL and employability in the online environment. The online symposium on Thursday 2 July 2020 will explore these topics, with a keynote address from Andrew Stewart, John Bray Professor of Law at the University of Adelaide and a consultant to the law firm Piper Aldermann. Professor Stewart will present on what is legal and what is not in relation to WIL and cover some findings on the management and regulation of work experience programs.

A panel discussion on how to enhance student employability and demonstrate skills in the online environment will follow featuring Dr Dino Willox, Director of Student Employability, The University of Queensland and Beau Leese, co-founder & co-CEO of Practera.

Join us on Thursday 2 July 2020 at 11 am to 1 pm for this important discussion.

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Professor Richard Kiely

Interactive workshop with Professor Richard Kiely

Service Learning would like to invite colleagues to attend a hands-on interactive workshop with Professor Richard Kiely from Cornell University.

This workshop will explore a range of topics relating to Service Learning, including:transformative approaches to community-engaged pedagogy and research,institutionalisation and community partnerships/capacity building, scaling up while maintaining quality, field-building, faculty development, evaluation, assessment and research, senior leadership, course design, critical reflection, assessment of student learning, and partnerships and fair trade learning.

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Service-learning Summit Australia

An opportunity to enhance Service-learning and community engagement in higher education.

The Summit will explore a range of topics within Service-learning and have a refreshing and innovative format that will ensure you gain maximum benefit from attending whether you are new to the concept of Service-learning or are looking for more of a masterclass experience.

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Melanesian Media Freedom Forum

The Melanesian Media Freedom Forum will provide a safe space for news media leaders who work in Melanesian countries and territories to collaboratively formulate strategies to counter increasing incidences of curtailment of media freedom and create pathways to enable mutual support in the face of existential threats to freedom of expression and communication.

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Practice prevention and risk management

Practice Prevention and Risk Management Workshop

Heightened trends in university mobility departments and governments deploying students on short-term overseas programs highlights the necessity for organisations to inherently practice prevention and risk management.

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Service Learning and HR Matters Workshop

This workshop will be an interactive exploration of the evolving area of Human Resource management and why critical for all those tasked with leading or managing people to achieve organisational goals and create an inclusive high-performance culture.


MMFF Pre-Conference Keynote Address

The Melanesian Media Freedom Forum was developed in response to the increasing media repression in Melanesia and to future-proof press freedom, though trans-national regional co-operation and knowledge-sharing among Melanesian media practitioners and scholars.

The Melanesian Media Freedom Forum in partnership with Pacific Journalism Review and Pacific Media Watch, will be presenting a pre - conference keynote address hosted by Professor David Robie.

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United Nations Global Goals Workshop

You are invited to be part of a personalised workshop at our Logan campus with Service Learning and Dr Rob Hales.

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Service Learning and Money Management Workshop

In this workshop, Rodney the Rhino, a certified Financial Planner with 20 years experience, will share his industry tips on how to manage cash flow, simply and easily. Rodney will work with you to prioritise expenses and manage a cash flow plan, at an organisational or individual level. Throughout the workshop, you will work out what finances are needed for survival, the essential items, and how to allocate costs throughout the year. Rodney will also share tips on how to save time with managing strategic accounts and scheduling payments. You will walk away feeling empowered with the financial know how to free up time for the real work you do and make a difference.


Research & Scholarship in Work-Integrated Learning

Work-integrated learning (WIL) is a powerful pedagogy that transcends the traditional boundaries of academic work and deeply embeds the university into the community. Despite this, it is still not clear how best to put WIL to work in a research environment. Ideally, university teaching and learning should be informed by scholarship and research, but these represent significantly under-utilised and under-explored areas in WIL.

This symposium seeks to present a range of perspectives on how research and scholarship, on the one hand, and work integrated education/learning on the other can be intertwined and enacted together.

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Service Learning and the Sciences

You are invited to be part of a special event examining what Service Learning and the Sciences looks like in Australia.

Featuring a Keynote presentation by Professor Deborah Boege-Tobin of the University of Alaska, and joined by video link by colleagues from Cornell University in the US, this session involves a transdisciplinary panel of science experts. Researchers from Cornell University, Griffith University and the University of Queensland will delve into discussions on the rapidly expanding area of Service Learning and the Sciences within Australia.

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Award Winning Course

2019 - The Griffith Internationalisation Awards - Most outstanding contribution to the development of a short term global mobility program

The Griffith Internationalisation Awards

2019 - The PIEoneer Awards - Finalists

The PIEoneer Awards

2018 - The Study Queensland Excellence Awards

The Study Queensland Excellence Awards

2017 Australian Awards for University Teaching AAUT - Award for Programs that Enhance Learning

Australian Awards for University Teaching