By Meg Sydes | @megesydes
RMIT students will gain valuable access to one of Australia’s top sporting teams after RMIT and the Essendon Football Club announced an education-based partnership. Through the collaboration, announced on 7 March, Essendon will host several internships for RMIT students while the football club’s staff and players will have access to RMIT Activator online courses and micro-credentials.
The program would open up new elite athletic development opportunities for RMIT students, Vice Chancellor and President of RMIT, Martin Bean, told reporters.
Emma Fraser is studying physical education at RMIT and began playing on Essendon’s VFL team after competing with RMIT at the UniGames.
“It’s awesome they are creating that pathway,” she said.
“This creates opportunities for students to do internships in high-performance areas at Essendon which is pretty impressive.”
This is the first external partnership for the RMIT Activator initiative.
Renzo Scacco, Director of RMIT Activator, said the initiative focuses on entrepreneurship.
“We are going to teach people how to pitch an idea, how to work in an agile team, how to put your business plan on paper,” Scacco said.
Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell emphasised long-term plans between the organisations, including a joint Activator and Incubator Hub at their Tullamarine base where “Essendon and RMIT can work with businesses and individuals in the north-west corridor to workshop ideas and bring them to life”.
Essendon’s Next Generation Academy and RMIT’s Ngarara Willim Centre will also work together in developing the next generation of Indigenous leaders.
“What makes this partnership so special, is that it means so much more than just football. It is a heartfelt promise to develop and educate indigenous Australians,” Bean told reporters.
Bean said the partnership came about through a meeting between the two leaders on the running of their respective organisations. Both realised they shared a vision on how “we could further enrich our communities through sport and education and so a partnership was born.”