MBS students contribute to closing the gap
By Monique Burtina
Melbourne Business School students recently immersed themselves in indigenous culture through a work experience program undertaken in collaboration with the Kaiela Institute.
Supporting collaboration between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal leaders, the Kaiela Institute aims to envision, design and implement an inclusive future for all people in the Goulburn–Murray region. MBS graduate students Hilary Binks, Yang Li, Chaoying Yu and Wei Liu spent two weeks working at their offices in Shepparton as part of the Melbourne Business Practicum.
The MBS student groups task involved building on the 2009 Closing the Gap Report which identifies key indicators of community well-being. The group developed a report card that focused on four age cohorts: early years (0-5), young people (5-25), adults (25-50) and those aged 50 or older. The card used nine key research areas to categorise the data into the age brackets with the aim of updating the Closing the Gap: Shepparton Report. Data maps were also created to identify areas of future research and to clearly identify any significant gaps in data sources.
Describing their approach as ‘creating an environment that will promote collaborative visioning and aspiration for a positive future for their community’ the Kaiela Institute was established to take a more strategic approach to community building by providing a place and a process for leaders and institutions to collaborate together.
Hilary, Yang, Chaoying and Wei described the two weeks they spent there as “a fantastic and memorable experience” and said the staff members there were “professional and inspiring people dedicated to their jobs, who were always the first in the office in the morning and last to leave in the afternoon”.
MBS students Yang (Effie) Li, Chaoying (Carys) Yu, Wei (Sarah) Liu and Hilary Binks at the Kaiela Institute offices in Shepparton.
At the conclusion of the project, the students presented their final report to the Shepparton community at The Dungala Kaiela Oration on August 28 at the Rumbalara Football and Netball Club.
The University of Melbourne and Kaiela Institute collaboration has seen MBS students undertaking work experience in Shepparton since 2009.