60 Stories Tertiary Students Header

Whilst this was always cultural practice, the SYC board has more recently affirmed this as an organisational requirement.

“We want to provide superior services to create the best outcomes for clients,” said Chairperson of the Board, David Hallett

“By employing tertiary qualified workers as case managers, we know they have received extensive theoretical and practical education, which is a solid foundation to begin their career with SYC.

“SYC will continue to support graduates in all areas of the business as a means to refine their skills and work to reach their goals.”

Throughout SYC’s 60 years, it has consistently provided student placement opportunities, in both client facing work, as well as management services.

Some examples from annual reports over our history points to the importance placed on these student placements:

  • During the 1975 to 1976 financial year, six social work students were on placement from both the South Australian Institute of Technology (now UniSA) and Flinders University, building their casework and stakeholder engagement skills.
  • In 1990, 11 students supported SYC services like Streetwork, Trace-A-Place and Job Connections.
  • By 1998, providing student placements for universities was a formal, reported on program, as well as providing further opportunities to allow young people to build their skills through work experience and volunteering opportunities.
  • In 2016 a UniSA Marketing placement student was instrumental in supporting HYPA break a Guinness World Record for the largest image of a human foot.

Nicole Beer was studying a Bachelor of Social Work in 1998 and undertook her first of two placements with SYC. Nicole was the first caretaker of HYPA Housing, and supported young tenants in this program to develop their independent living skills. At the conclusion of Nicole’s second university placement with SYC, she became a full time Project Officer, working on programs including Get-A-Place and Rent Club.

Nicole enjoyed her almost four-year connection with SYC and said it was instrumental in setting-up her career.

“I really enjoyed working with SYC and the experience I got was very important in setting up my career.

“I knew I had things to contribute at SYC, but I also wanted to be helpful earlier in a young person’s life. SYC gave me a grounding in working with young people.”

Nicole had an opportunity to move overseas and work in child protection in the United Kingdom, an area that she continued when she ultimately returned to Australia.

SYC continues to build strong relationships with the university sector, across Australia, to support best practice when working with young people. Student placements continue to be a strong way to help grow the next generation of employees in the sectors that we work.