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Become a Swinburne Emerging Leader

The Swinburne Emerging Leaders program recognise the valuable skills you develop through activities you undertake alongside your studies. Examples include your part-time job, volunteer work, club or society participation, overseas study tours and careers workshops.

The categories of the program recognise many of the activities you are already involved in and encourage you to expand your experiences into new areas.

To enhance your employability, the program gives you the opportunity to reflect on what you have done and create linkages between these activities and the qualities employers are looking for. For each category you will need to complete certain activities and show how you have developed one or more of the key skills using the STAR format.

You can register for any of the seven categories listed below. To be eligible to be recognised as a Swinburne Emerging Leader you need to complete Career Development plus three of the other categories. In addition, you need to demonstrate you have enhanced your skills in 6 of the 8 skill categories.

Leadership categories

Campus Award

Are you a student mentor or ambassador? Have you served as a course representative or orientation volunteer? If so, have your skills and contributions recognised. Students must complete at least 40 hours working within the campus or for the University to meet the criteria for this category.

Examples of relevant activities

  • Student Mentor
  • O-host orientation volunteer
  • Student course representative
  • Student Ambassador
  • Student Peer Assistant (SPA)
  • Study Group Leader
  • Active club or society member
  • Swinburne Accelerate Program (SAP) student

* Swinburne Online students can find out more about online campus activities and begin the application process directly through the Swinburne Online website.

Career Development

The Center for Career Development runs a wide range of courses, workshops, events and services for student to enhance their employability and career development. Students need to complete at least five activities to meet the criteria for this category.

Relevant activities

  • Attendance at Centre for Career Development events
  • Centre for Career Development Online resume/cover letter/LinkedIn check (must complete all 3 to be counted as one activity)
  • Centre for Career Development extended service – career development planning
  • Professional development workshops/events
  • Conferences and panel events
  • Development of a Career Action Plan
  • Attendance at industry networking events
  • Trade shows (e.g. PAVE)
  • Extra training for your profession/career
  • Professional Placement training modules
  • Registration with a relevant Professional Association or student club
  • Careers in the Curriculum unit

If you have completed one of the following units, you will automatically be recognised for Career Development for the skill “communication” and will not be required to submit an application:

  • Future Work Skills Unit

Community Engagement

Are you involved in charity work or fundraising? Are you an active member of a club, society or the SSAA volunteer program? Have you participated in local government, indigenous or other community projects? Students must complete at least 40 hours volunteer service in a community environment to meet the criteria for this category.

Relevant activities

  • Social enterprise projects
  • Participant in the SSAA Volunteer Program, through community work
  • Cert IV in Mental Health
  • Charity fundraising
  • Non-profit fundraising
  • Club/Society member - sporting, charity or other
  • Club/Society leader (president, secretary, captain)
  • Volunteering for your local council


Diversity activities are those that celebrate and respect the strength that difference creates. A society that embraces diversity seeks to be inclusive of all its people regardless of age, gender, religion, sexuality (LGBTIQ), socio-economic or cultural background, or disability. Have you participated in, led or developed an activity/program that cultivates and celebrates diversity? Students must complete at least 40 hours in a diversity environment to meet the criteria for this category. This activity can be within the Swinburne community or the wider community.

Relevant activities

  • Volunteer at a diversity event e.g. World Kitchen events, Pride @Swinburne, Youth Humanitarian Festival
  • Actively participate in Swinburne groups e.g. Women in IT, Multicultural Student Fellowship, Swinburne Islamic Society, Swinburne Punjabi Club
  • Raise funds for groups from a diversity background e.g. beyondblue, refugees, Big Issue
  • Participate in a migrant focused project/program within your community or at Swinburne e.g. Bridging with Books, Student Learning Adviser, or fund raising event
  • Act as student mentor aiding accessibility or aged health care
  • Lead or organise a community group to help strengthen and foster diversity within your community (religious, cultural, indigenous or other diversity group)
  • Industry Study Tour to another country

Global Citizenship

International experiences bring a wealth of lifelong skills. Students can choose to engage in study abroad, study tours, or exchanges. There are overseas programs with an educational, sustainability, or humanitarian focus, or an interactive project with an international partner on offer. Students must complete at least 50 hours in an international activity.

Relevant activities

  • Study Abroad and Exchange
  • Study tours
  • Overseas program with educational, sustainability, or humanitarian focus
  • Interactive project with an international partner
  • International student studying in Australia

Industry Experience

Part-time or casual work, professional placements, and internships have great employment outcomes to complement your academic qualification. Students must complete at least 50 hours in a workplace setting to meet the criteria for this Award.

Relevant activities

  • Part-time/casual/holiday paid employment
  • Part-time/casual/holiday unpaid work experience
  • An internship placement
  • Workplace Integrated Learning (WIL)
  • Professional Placement
  • Swinburne Accelerate Program (SAP) student


Students must complete a period of time working with a research group or on a designated project.

Relevant activities

  • Capstone/final year project
  • Research cadetship
  • Research assistant


Sustainable activities are those that help maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can continue to have the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment. Students must complete at least 50 hours on a sustainable activity from a range of options such as courses, projects, and specialised programs.

Relevant activities

  • Specialised programs with a sustainability focus
  • Volunteer activities in conservation
  • Projects that support and promote sustainability
  • Sustainability Ambassadors
  • Local/regional council volunteer
  • Sustainability training/short course/unit