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PACE for Partners

Why Partner with PACE?

PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) is Macquarie University's way of connecting students with partner organisations like yours to provide a mutually beneficial experience.

We want to produce graduates who are well-rounded, have a global perspective and are equipped to actively promote more just, inclusive and sustainable societies. We believe our students need to achieve both depth in a particular discipline, and also the breadth of understanding required of today's graduates. Getting involved in PACE is just one of the key ways which they do just that.

While the PACE initiative has some similarities with conventional "service learning" or "work integrated" educational approaches, these more traditional approaches are generally offered by other universities as add-ons to the curriculum in select vocational fields. By fully integrating practical experience within the curriculum for all undergraduate students Macquarie University has gone further and created a model for institutions across the country and, indeed, around the world.

As a PACE partner you can be part of the action too! By joining the initiative you can engage with our band of enthusiastic and skilled students and benefit from their independent and fresh thinking to support and develop your organisation. In return, our students have the opportunity to develop valuable career and leadership skills, improve their job prospects and make a difference to your business and the community you work with.

PACE Units

We offer five PACE Units:

  • FOBE200 - Professional and Community Engagement
  • FOBE201 - Working with and Employing People with Disabilities 
  • FOBE300 - Student Leadership in Community Engagement
  • FOBE310 - Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Corporate Engagement
  • FOBE320 - Global Business Corporate Engagement

These units allow students to receive academic credit for their work placement or internship experience and count it towards their degree.

Students on paid internships have the option to enrol in one of these units. Students on unpaid work placements or internships must enrol in one of these units. Depending on the PACE Unit a student must complete either 30 hours or 60 hours of their work placement or internship within the semester dates to meet the PACE Unit requirements.

If a student is enrolled in one of these PACE units you will be asked to complete a Professional and Community Engagement Partnership Agreement. Macquarie University has additional duty of care towards the student if they are completing their work placement or internship as part of their degree and therefore we will require your written agreement regarding the responsibilities of all parties involved.

The PACE Units include assessment tasks on the work completed during the work placement or internship. Students will be reminded to respect confidentiality arrangements when completing these assessments.

"It was a pleasure to have such engaged and enthusiastic students come through. In fact we were able to offer 2 of the students a part-time job in the marketing department,"

Krista Borg supervised two PACE students at Access MQ - Alexandra Stephanou and Laura Ward

Ms Krista Borg
Head of Marketing Access Macquarie Limited.

What type of PACE Activities are possible?

The range of opportunities is endless… it's as broad as your imagination. Let us work with you to determine a program that matches your needs.

  • Do you need help with a behaviour change campaign?
    Cancer Council NSW utilised the skills of our students to develop and review skin cancer prevention and tobacco control groups.
  • Would marketing research help your bottom line?
    Nielsen took on our students as Consumer Research Assistants to assist in the management of key milestones of a research project.
  • Do you need help with a corporate sponsorship strategy?
    V8 Supercars engaged one of our business students to work with their corporate sponsors in running the Grand Finale Event of the 2011 motor racing season.
  • Do you need some fresh ideas on that upcoming event?
    The Sydney Fish Market collaborated with our marketing students to manage one of their major community events.
  • Do you need help with a strategic business project plan?
    Marketing students worked with The Whiddon Group to help develop a social media strategy to effectively communicate with residents and their families.

Important PACE Program Information for Partners

For all work placements and internships we require:

  • At least 30 hours of work experience for students enrolled in FOBE200 (Professional and Community Engagement) and 60 hours of work experience for students enrolled in FOBE300 (Student Leadership in Community Engagement).
  • The majority of work to be related to students' discipline of study (non-discipline specific tasks such as filing, data entry or reception duties can only account for a small portion of students' time).
  • A nominated supervisor or manager who will provide training and support to the student.
  • Confirmation that the work placement or internship will be promoted through Macquarie University only and, unless no suitable candidate can be found, filled by a Macquarie University student.

Unpaid internships must meet the additional requirements of our PACE Units:

  • Timing of unpaid internships must meet students' requirements to do 30 or 60 hours of work experience (depending on the unit) within semester dates.
  • Maximum weekly commitment for a full-time student during semester dates should be 1 day per week.
  • Maximum length of unpaid internships is 100 hours, unless the organisation is a not for profit organisation and the student wishes to continue the internship as a volunteer.

For more details on unpaid work placements or internships see the Unpaid Work Placements and Internships section below.

After reviewing the information, organisations interested in offering a work placement or internship through the Macquarie University Faculty of Business and Economics should complete and submit the online form.

The Faculty PACE Manager will then consult with you to confirm the details of the work placement or internship.

Once the internship or work placement details are confirmed, we will:

  • Advertise the work placement or internship on the Faculty website, student portals and Faculty Facebook page, to ensure you have the best pool of students.
  • Identify appropriate students in your particular speciality and promote the opportunity directly to them.
  • Conduct initial screening and selection of students.

At the end of this process you will receive a shortlist of approximately 2 – 3 students per internship position for you to interview.

This advertising and selection process takes a minimum of 3 weeks. During student vacation periods response rates may be low and organisations may need to be flexible regarding their dates.

We will then confirm the final arrangements with you including insurance coverage if required.

All students placed through our Work Placement and Internship Program will be monitored. Where the student has elected to complete a PACE Unit there will be additional University supervision and the student's supervisor will be required to complete a performance report on the student.

Fair Work Act

The Fair Work Act 2009 places restrictions on unpaid work placements. The Fair Work Ombudsman has clarified the interpretation of the Act and the following are some principles that employers should consider when offering unpaid work placements to university students.

  1. It is only lawful for a student to undertake an unpaid work placement that is part of a vocational placement or where the student is undertaking work for a volunteer organisation.
    • Undertaken with an employer for which a person is not entitled to be paid any remuneration; and
    • Undertaken as a requirement of an education or training course; and
    • Authorised under a law or an administrative arrangement of the Commonwealth, a State or Territory.
  2. Section 12 of the Fair Work Act 2009 defines vocational placement as a placement that is:
  3. Unpaid work experience will be a "requirement of an education or training course" where it is necessary for the completion of the student's qualification or enable them to receive credit towards the completion of their qualification.
  4. The legality of unpaid "work observation" should be considered on a case by case basis depending on what it is actually likely to entail.
  5. It is not lawful for an employer to accept work and not pay remuneration in other circumstances.
  6. It is possible for parties to enter into less formal work experience arrangements other than vocational placements by only if no employment relationship (formal or informal) is entered into. Parties who are considering this should seek legal advice first.

We cannot advise you on how your organisation meets the Fair Work Act. The Fair Work Infoline is 13 13 94.

If you wish to offer an unpaid work placement or internship to students then the student must enrol in one of our PACE Units.


If the student is enrolled in one of the PACE Units then the student will be automatically covered by the University's Public Liability and Personal Accident Insurance. This University insurance is only valid if the Fair Work Act has been met.

Timing Restrictions

The timing of unpaid work placements or internships must meet the requirements of the University semester dates and enrolment periods. Unpaid work placements or internships can only be advertised immediately prior to a semester for two reasons:

  • At least 30 or 60 hours (depending on the PACE Unit) of work placement or internship must be completed within the semester dates, and
  • University insurance coverage is only valid if the student is enrolled in the PACE Unit

For 2015 the University Semester Dates are:

  • Semester 1 2015: 23 February - 26 June
  • Semester 2 2015: 2 August - 27 November

How do I apply to become a PACE Partner?

If you are interested in offering a work placement or internship through our Faculty, please contact the Faculty PACE Manager:

Diana Caruso
Phone: +61 2 9850 4759