Who is Engagement Australia?

Engagement Australia is the peak alliance of Australian and New Zealand universities focused on developing the engagement agenda in higher education. As an alliance, we are focused on providing services to our members that support professional learning and peer exchange, provide avenues for publication and collaboration, and importantly, recognise and showcase good practice.

Formed in 2003 with a vision to cultivate understanding and awareness of engagement as a strategic methodology for individual and institutional achievement in unison with societal improvement and impact. Engagement Australia is the Australian focal point for the Talloires global engagement network and has partnerships that span national networks in every continent.

We pride ourselves on our strong national and international relationships, linkages and partnerships.

Our Members Are:

  • Universities that recognise their core public purpose as centres of knowledge creation and translation for societal improvement
  • Faculty leaders who harness engagement with professional communities to create more robust employability outcomes for students
  • Organisations and community groups wanting to optimise their collaboration with tertiary providers
  • Academics wanting to upskill and network amongst the most driven and passionate in their field
  • Researchers who want to share and refine innovative methodologies, insights and industry application
  • Executives who have responsibility for charting their organisation’s integrated engagement strategy
  • Students wanting transformative opportunities to make a difference and increase the authenticity of their university experience

Our Objectives

As a member-based alliance, Engagement Australia delivers services to its members that focus on achieving our four strategic objectives:

  • Connect and advance the leadership of the engagement agenda across the higher education sector
  • Inform and enable engaged research, learning and service within higher education
  • Advocate and promote the benefits of effective engagement by higher education institutions
  • Showcase and award leading practice engagement by higher education institutions

For information on our various programs and services, click here.

“Community Engagement describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity” (Carnegie 2006)

Our Challenge

The ways in which higher education institutions engage with communities is increasingly considered to be at the core of national innovation and productivity agendas. Despite numerous reports and calls from governments over many decades, there is still a significant disconnect between universities and communities in Australia.

The need for knowledge translation and exchange has never been greater. Engagement, collaboration and the resultant partnerships critical to enabling knowledge exchange more broadly need to be at the centre of our collective attention as a sector. This should not be seen as an ‘add-on’, ‘nice-to-have’ or ‘focus-for-now’ but rather a robust framework for realising strategic intention and creating impact, as a university and a nation.

Focusing in this way will move us away from a piecemeal approach towards a place where we can collectively better start to realise the role for universities as knowledge hubs and catalysts for future prosperity, wellbeing and sustainable development. There are several universities, agencies and individuals doing extraordinary work in this space. As a sector and a nation, there is much more that needs to be done if we want to be globally competitive.

This challenge is at the heart of why Engagement Australia exists. As an organisation, we were formed to enable and expand the engagement agenda of higher education institutions with business, industry and community groups.

Our Programs and Services

Engagement Australia delivers a number of annual programs that respond to our members needs and are refined through your feedback:

  • Engaged Leaders Forums – building connectivity and community among executives with responsibilities for their institutions engagement agenda
  • Transform: Journal of Engaged Scholarship – providing a vehicle and voice for thought leadership and exchange
  • Stories of Engagement – sharing stories that highlight the value and impact of engagement
  • Excellence in Community Engagement Award – recognising leading practice in the Australian higher education sector
  • Masterclass Forums, workshops and other events – promoting peer dialogue, learning and exchange.

We also curate case studies, publications and guides that support engagement scholarship and practice. These are all available via our website and distributed through our regular eNewsletters, LinkedIn group and twitter channel.

Each year we also invest in strategic initiatives that respond to the needs of our members to advance the engagement agenda at the sector level in Australia and beyond.

To see who we work with and how we can help you, please head to our ‘what we do’ page to find out more.