The health benefits of student-led community engagement has been recognised with the College of Health and Medicine’s Healthstop program receiving a national award for Work Integrated Learning (WIL).
The Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN) WIL Innovation and Excellence Award went to the student-driven engagement program, for its impact at Tasmania’s leading agricultural festival Agfest.
Healthstop provides students from various health disciplines the chance to develop skills for communication and health promotion through interaction with the public.
The program was recognised for its impact over the three days of Agfest, where students provide preventative health screening and motivational counselling to adults and run children’s activities focussed on healthy behaviours.
Launceston Clinical School senior lecturer Dr Kathryn Ogden said the award was a fantastic opportunity to share the Healthstop initiative on a national platform.
“The award is the icing on the cake,” Dr Ogden said.
“We have spent many years now developing HealthStop in collaboration with the The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
“Our students value it as an opportunity to develop important skills and we’ve become part of the furniture at Agfest.
“It really is a program that could be translated into other settings, and hopefully the exposure that the award has provided will lead to opportunities for this.”
Healthstop also won the 2019 Agfest award for ‘Most Accessible Site,’ for its street appeal, visual appeal, effective use of space, relevance to the industry it was promoting and customer service.
This ACEN WIL Innovation and Excellence Award is a new national award recognising quality and innovative WIL practices across a diverse range of disciplines, models and methods.
The ACEN is the professional association for practitioners and researchers from the tertiary education sector, industry, community and government representatives, involved in WIL in Australia.