Student Placements at the ASRC
2013 Student Placement Guidelines
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) places great value on the importance and significant contribution of students as the ASRC was itself initiated by a class of community development students. Today, from a class project in 2001, the ASRC has grown to become the largest asylum seeker aid, health and advocacy organisation in Australia.
Brief background of the ASRC
The ASRC currently assists over 1250 asylum seekers through a broad range of programs. Currently the ASRC runs 25 programs and the number of services and programs is constantly evolving. Our programs range from legal, medical and employment assistance to food bank, casework, counselling and social & recreation programs (see our website at http://www.asrc.org.au/programs/ for a full list of programs). All of our services are free to asylum seekers. The organisation currently consists of 35 paid staff and over 800 volunteers. The ASRC is an independent, registered non-government agency and we do not receive any funding from the Australian Government. Our vision is that all those seeking asylum in Australia have their human rights upheld and that hose seeking asylum in our community receive the support and opportunities they need to live independently.
In the past, the ASRC has taken students from a variety of courses and institutions including Universities and TAFEs. We continue to offer student placements to a range of students and institutions dependent on current needs, projects and program requirements. We have a large number of applications from potential students for a limited number of placements and we employ a rigorous selection process.
Who we look for
The ASRC is a dynamic, predominantly volunteer-run organisation, which offers a variety of services to meet the diverse needs of asylum seekers. It is important that prospective students are well aware of the incredible diversity and challenges that can often arise when on placement in a community based organisation of this size, and working with vulnerable people. Students who generally achieve the most out of their placement at the ASRC are those who:
• Show initiative
• Are self-motivated and can work without constant supervision
• Can work well in a stressful and chaotic environment
• Have had some experience in working with diverse groups of people
• Hold a positive, mature outlook
In addition, we generally take students who:
• Are in their final year of study
• Are studying a tertiary qualification, or at least Certificate IV level who have complementary paid experience
• Are able to undertake a placement of a minimum of 200 hours at least two days per week (sometimes placements are available for a condensed block of time).
Ensuring that students are well-supported while on placement is very important to the ASRC. The ASRC will provide support in terms of proper induction into the organisation, orientation tours, project/ program direction & guidelines, task supervision, opportunities for incident debrief and attempt to encourage (where appropriate) peer supervision amongst students on placement together.
However as a primarily volunteer run organisation students may be required on occasions to work without direct supervision. In addition, due to resource constraints we are unable to provide formalised supervision sessions as is a requirement with many institutions.
Some institutions are able to provide external supervision which the ASRC would encourage as it is vital that students’ learning goals be properly set and frequently referred to.
Types of placements offered
The types of placements we have available depend on the needs and capacity of the organisation. Many of our placements are “direct practice” placements for social work students, but we may offer alternatives such as research or project work. Common fields of study include social work, community development, and international studies.
Opportunities depend on the varying needs of the organisation and can differ from year to year. Examples of placements offered in 2012:
Community Development – Working within the Mentor and Orientation programs to promote the services to asylum seekers, assist with evaluation of the projects, and developing a program manual.
Casework Program – provide a comprehensive casework service for asylum seekers at the centre.
Legal – completion of Practical Legal Training (component of attaining a practicing certificate)
NB: We do not offer placements for students in our Counselling Program.
If you are interested in undertaking a student placement at the ASRC, please follow these steps to submit an application for 2nd semester, 2013.
Step 1 Read the “Guidelines for student placements at the ASRC” (above) about undertaking placement and check with your educational institution to see if a placement at the ASRC will fulfil your learning requirements (in terms of suitability to your course, supervision requirements, type of placement required etc)
Step 2 Complete a Student Placement Application Form – click here to download
Step 3 Attach a current copy of your CV
Step 4 Submit your completed Application Form and CV by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to Rebecca Wringe, 12 Batman St, West Melbourne 3003 by 9am on Monday 22 April 2013.
Late applications will be considered only if places are still available. Only completed Application Forms with an attached CV will be considered. You will be notified after this date if you have been successful in progressing to an interview.
Step 5 If you are short-listed you will be invited to attend an interview with the relevant program coordinator.
Step 6 Within two weeks of your interview with the Program Coordinator, the ASRC will notify you if you have been accepted for student placement or not. If you are accepted, the ASRC will advise you of the details of the program/project work to be undertaken during placement.
Step 8 If both you and the ASRC are satisfied with the placement arrangements, you will be asked to complete a police check and attend the ASRC Induction Program.