The University of Sydney Business School’s Remote and Rural Enterprise (RARE) program assists Indigenous ventures in an effort to create employment “on country”.
The School’s Entrepreneurship Programs Manager, Jared Harrison, spoke of RARE’s future direction after being presented with the prestigious Engagement Australia Excellence in Community Engagement Award by the highly respected Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM).
The judging panel is understood to have given “high praise” for the quality of the RARE submission and the impact of the RARE Program on the communities it served.
“This year, in addition to projects in the refugee and youth areas, we have focussed on Indigenous eco-cultural tourism ventures in remote parts of Australia,” said Mr Harrison who manages the RARE program.
“Our aim is to build viable businesses that create employment as Indigenous people share their environment, culture and language with other people,” he said.
Undergraduate and postgraduate participants in the RARE program provide strategic, practical and culturally aware solutions to remote and rural enterprises who are dealing with the challenges of their local environment and the legacy of history.
“Working alongside communities enables students to share their skills and expertise and to learn to manage uncertainty as well as juggle multiple stakeholder demands,” said Professor Leanne Cutcher who heads the School’s Discipline of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Mr Harrison described ATEM’s highly contested Excellence in Community Engagement Award, as “recognition and validation of the inspirational work started by the late Dr Richard Seymour”.
“He believed, and we believe, that real learning, particularly that related to entrepreneurship, should be about taking a journey, learning through doing, forming relationships and, where possible, having a positive impact as part of the education process.”
ATEM is Australasia’s pre-eminent professional body representing tertiary education administrators and managers. Established in 1976 as the Australian Institute of Tertiary Education Administrators, the Association now has about 1,700 individuals and 76 corporate members.
Welcoming the decision to present this year’s Excellence in Community Engagement Award to Mr Harrison and RARE, the Dean, Professor Greg Whitwell, said it indicated that “the Business school is at the cutting edge of work integrated learning in its coursework and true innovation in its community engagement activities”.
This year, the University of Sydney took out three of the 10 ATEM awards on offer. The UniBank Award for Excellence in Marketing Communication and Public Relations was won by the Director of Marketing and Communications, Johanna Lowe, and her team.
The Blackboard Award for Excellence in Innovation went to Education Services Officer Robert Chasse in the University’s Centre of English Teaching.