WIL Hall of Fame

The Work Integrated Learning Hall of Fame recognises and honours our partner organisations that have made significant contribution to the development and application of WIL and to the work-readiness of our graduates.

Work Integrated Learning Hall of Fame 2020

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To provide WIL activities for our students, the University of Newcastle collaborates with business, industry, government and community, from small businesses to large enterprises, not-for-profit and for-profit organisations.

To commemorate the importance of our industry partnerships and acknowledge the support of our partners – large and small – the University confers a Hall of Fame award on WIL hosts that have significantly contributed to, and benefited from, participation in WIL activity.

The Hall of Fame commenced in 2013 to recognise each inductee's contribution to the University, the professional preparation of our students past and present, and growing and strengthening our regions.

A selection committee consisting of University senior executive and industry representatives evaluates the suitability of nominations from the University and community for induction. Each inductee has a strong track record of contributing to the advancement of WIL with our University.

Ideally, the recipient is a regional or regionally focused business, industry or community organisation that, for at least five years, has hosted students undertaking WIL as part of their studies.

Varley Group

Nominator: Kristen Elloy, Varley Group, and supported by Dr Paul Stolk, University of Newcastle

Varley has been actively involved in providing WIL for engineering students at our University for over 20 years, extending their range of opportunities to students in the Newcastle Business School since the program’s inception.

Over the years, student placements for WIL have included projects and departments in a wide variety of areas including human resources, marketing, finance, and law. In addition to WIL, Varley offers a summer intern program opportunity for students at the entry level and further along their studies, in addition to the ‘Lucy and Empower Mentoring’ program.

Varley have had 47 internship student placements across two Hunter region sites, with six undergraduate engineering students being employed directly through their participation in this program over the last five years.

Janet Dobbie of Varley Group

Department of Communities and Justice

Nominator: Dr Sally Hunt, University of Newcastle

The Department of Communities and Justice (formerly known as FACS or DOCS) has supported WIL at the University of Newcastle for over 20 years.

Since the commencement of the Master of Professional Psychology Program in 2019, the local Department of Communities and Justice Service - under the leadership of Jane Davenport - have been a strong supporter, offering external supervised placements for our provisionally registered psychologists and in 2019 almost half of our cohort were placed at the department.

They have also offered clinical placements to Psychology students from other programs, including the Master of Clinical Psychology program.

North Construction and Building Pty Ltd

Nominator: Nicole Redmond, North Construction and Building

North Construction and Building has been involved with the University of Newcastle students for WIL for a decade, engaging 57 students and employing 31 during that period.

With over 100 employees across offices in Newcastle, Tuggerah and Dubbo, North has a rich history of investing in building cadets, trade apprenticeships and work placements, with current employees participating in one of our workplace learning programs making up 25 per cent of all North employees.

By doing this, the company is able to maintain a strong, positive culture founded on well-understood and practiced values as it continues to organically grow. Simultaneously, this intentional support and training investment in people commencing their career strengthens the overall construction industry.

Testament to the company’s efforts in this space is the fact that more than 50 per cent of all North’s employees have only ever worked for the company, in addition to North being lauded as one of the Best Places to Work in 2020 by Great Place to Work Australia.


Nominator: Dr Alexandre Mendes, University of Newcastle

Since 2005, incubatorTANK has actively engaged with the School of Electrical Engineering and Computing in a variety of ways including workshops, guest lectures, advisory boards, accreditation panels, and participating in selection committees.

Having hosted some 40 students, incubatorTANK presents WIL projects that are either 100 per cent in-house initiatives, or with third-party clients such as Woolworths and Newcrest. Over 20 students were hired at the end of the WIL project by incubatorTANK or by client companies.

The company puts each student through an intensive program to learn software development best practice, and student feedback is very positive.

Two men in front of plans on brown paper


Nominator: Katie Mead, University of Newcastle

PerformHR provides their growing client base with purpose-fit, leading-edge solutions. They believe in ‘growing their talent from within’ and have a strong focus on employing graduates and fast-tracking their development through relevant, engaging industry experience.

Since CEO Lyndell Fogarty founded PerformHR in 2009, 26 students have engaged in WIL opportunities, half of whom have gone on to gain employment with the company. One of their first interns in 2010, Kirbie McWhirter, is now PerformHR’s general manager and a shareholder.

For a small business, PerformHR have gone above and beyond to engage our University’s students, allowing them integral and meaningful WIL and career opportunities.

Proactive Physiotherapy and Sports Workshop

Nominators: Dr Catherine Johnston and Luke Wakely, University of Newcastle

Proactive Physiotherapy and Sports Workshop is a private practice based in Tamworth that has been closely involved and supportive of the University, in particular, the University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health (UONDRH).

Proactive have been involved with WIL placements since the inception of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the University in 2002, with approximately 200 students since. Recently the practice increased their numbers and are now offering approximately 16 student placements per year.

Proactive staff contribute to teaching at the UONDRH and new graduates that the practice employs talk to final-year students about preparing for the workforce. Principal Warren Ansell and his senior physiotherapists provide tutorials for locally-based students and contribute to CPD for local clinicians.

The practice regularly employs talent from the University – one third of the current staff are University of Newcastle graduates.

Person walking with assistance of rails

Ramsland Laidler Solicitors

Nominators: Sarah Breusch and Ingrid Barnes, University of Newcastle

Ramsland Laidler have been hosted some 35 students for legal placement and employed three for over the last decade.

They provide students with excellent exposure to criminal law practice while instilling the importance of maintaining good, respectful relationships with all those involved in the criminal justice system, both inside and outside court.

The practitioners at the firm consistently demonstrate and discuss with students the importance of practicing self-care and debriefing with colleagues, especially when dealing with matters which may have quite disturbing aspects to them. The value of these lessons coming from those practicing at the coalface is invaluable.

Take 3 for the Sea

Nominators: Linda Cooper and Dr Jo Brown, University of Newcastle

Take 3 for the Sea is a registered environmental charity based on the Central Coast which has inspired a global movement of people with the simple message to “Take 3” pieces of rubbish with you.

The University and Take 3 work closely on a broad range of initiatives to support both the Take 3 vision and employability outcomes of students. This relationship has included over 250 University of Newcastle students across a range of discipline areas participating in WIL activities.

Take 3 has also directly employed nine students and alumni, and provided volunteering opportunities for many students in areas such as teaching, marine science, communications, accounting, law and marketing.

Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD)
Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD)
Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD)

University of Newcastle 50th year special enterprise award

Nominator: Professor Judith Scott, Faculty of Health and Medicine

Representatives: Matt Hanrahan, CE, CCLHD; Michael Di Rienzo, CE, HNELHD; Stewart Dowrick, CE, MNCLHD

These NSW government agencies provided approximately 32,000 clinical placements from 2012 to 2015, which is equivalent to 2.5 million hours of clinical placements (62% of the 4.2 million hours since 2012) within 13 accredited programs across three faculties.

In addition, approximately 1,000 graduates have been employed by the three local health districts over that same period.

The University could not support our 13 health-related programs without their support of WIL placements. The health-related programs include: Nutrition & Dietetics, JMP Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Oral Health, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Psychology, Medical Radiation Science, Social Work, and Speech Pathology.

Matt Hanrahan, Stewart Dowrick, Michael Di Reinzo and John Aitken receiving awards

Hansen Yuncken Pty Ltd

Nominator: Associate Professor Willy Sher, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment

Representatives: Peter Hansen, Pat McAllister and Matt Brandy

Hansen Yuncken (HY) is one of Australia's leading, privately owned construction companies and have been stalwart supporters of the University's Bachelor of Construction Management (Building) degree.

HY have offered our students opportunities to gain real-world experience on a wide range of construction sites, including aged-care facilities, airports and clinics. These placements have been offered on a regular and continuing basis and HY have become a trusted supporter.

In addition to these placements, Hansen Yuncken have also supported the University in a host of WIL-related activities and employ dozens of our graduates.

Perter Hansen, Patrick McAllister, Matthew Brandy, John Smolders and Caroline McMillen

Hunter Imaging Group

Nominator: John Tessier, Lecturer and Course Coordinator, Faculty of Health and Medicine

Representative: Mr Peter Shultz, CEO, Hunter Imaging Group

Hunter Imaging Group is Newcastle and the Hunter's largest provider of diagnostic medical imaging services. The Group provides a comprehensive array of imaging services such as MRI, nuclear medicine, computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, interventional procedures and general x-ray.

Radiation science is constantly changing and having a local company with the latest technology available allows our undergraduate program to better prepare students for their professional careers.

The Group has been very generous with the provision of clinical experience. In 2014 alone, 45 students completed professional placements, each five weeks in duration. The staff at Hunter Imaging Group is an asset to our program with their expertise in all imaging modalities, their knowledge of the University’s programs, and their ability and willingness to contribute and support WIL.

Mr Peter Shultz, Hunter Imaging Group CEO, receiving the WIL Hall of Fame Award from Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Caroline McMillen

Hunter Water

Nominator: Professor Andrew Parfitt, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), The University of Newcastle

Representative: Jonathan Morris, Group Manager People and Safety, Hunter Water

Hunter Water provides opportunities to undergraduates from a number of disciplines across the University of Newcastle through their support of WIL and industry scholarships.

Since 2002, Hunter Water has sponsored students from disciplines such as engineering, environmental management and computer science through the University of Newcastle Industry Scholarship program. In addition to this significant financial investment, Hunter Water has also employed the majority of scholars after the completion of their studies.

Students are able to utilise their industry experience at Hunter Water as evidence within either the WIL courses in their program or in fulfilling graduation requirements. Industry placements available through curriculum-aligned WIL opportunities and scholarships provide students with skills relevant to industry and an understanding of the culture and ethics integral to the workplace.

Jonathan Morris, Group Manager People & Safety, Hunter Water, receiving the WIL Hall of Fame Award from Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Caroline McMillen

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.