Despite remote learning, VU students have the opportunity to meet with industry leaders

Like many universities across Australia, most of Victoria University’s classes have shifted to online. But while remote learning means less face-to-face contact, it doesn’t mean less engagement.

For First Year Model Law Lecturer Kathleen Raponi, keeping her students interested during these challenging times is crucial. For the last two years, VU Law and Justice Students have been participating in the Parliament Program, which involves attending the Parliament of Victoria’s Chambers for the unit 'Australian Legal System in Context'. However, students are having to participate a little differently this semester, due to COVID-19 and the introduction of social distancing rules and lock-down restrictions. Kathleen says:

“After collaboration with the Parliament of Victoria, we decided to deliver a similar program that can be completed online. This online experience is consistent with our VU First Year Model teaching, which aims to actively engage students in content, and it is just one way we can overcome some of the challenges of teaching during the pandemic.”

Today, as part of that enhanced learning experience, a group of First Year Law students studying Australian Legal System in Context will have the unique opportunity to hear (via Zoom) from five industry professionals:

  • Mr Steve McGhie MP (Member for Melton in the Legislative Assembly and Chair of Integrity and Oversight Committee)
  • Mr Brad Rowswell MP (Member for Sandringham in the Legislative Assembly and Deputy Chair of Integrity and Oversight Committee)
  • Mr Sean Coley (Committee Manager of Integrity and Oversight Committee)
  • Ms Tracey Chung (Research Officer of Integrity and Oversight Committee) 
  • Ms Katherine Murtagh (Research Assistant of Integrity and Oversight Committee).

“Learning about the realities of how Parliament and our committees operate is vital for any student of the law. I welcome this opportunity to engage online with Law and Justice students, to help them better understand our parliamentary processes and the work of our oversight committee.
"At a time when it is more difficult for us to connect directly with people, this online program set up jointly by Victoria University and our Parliament ensures ongoing connection and learning between students and Victoria’s elected representatives.”
– Steve McGhie MP

With VU’s first virtual Open Day taking place on Saturday 29 August, this innovative learning approach, access to key industry leaders, and the continued implementation of the Block Model is a reminder to all future students that VU remains committed to providing an outstanding student experience.

Students will learn about the role of Parliament and Parliamentary Committees directly from two MPs and the Committee Members themselves. They will have the opportunity to ask questions and actively engage in discussion groups during the online session.

“Students will be able to make connections between the content they read in their textbooks and the real-life operations of Parliament. It’s an ideal way to bring the subject alive.”
– First Year Model Law Lecturer Kathleen Raponi