The Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Advisory Committee is happy to announce Hidden Harvest as the winner of the ACEN 2020 Local Hero Award. Finalists were announced at the 2020 ACEN Virtual Summit on Wednesday 28 October.

Sofie Kokalevski, CRLP200’s (Career Ready Learning Practice) business development lead, nominated Berbel Franse (founder of Hidden Harvest) because their contribution to the WIL experience of UOW students consistently exceeds expectations for students and the CRLP200 team.

The Local Hero Award is awarded to a partner organisation that is a small-medium enterprise (SME:0-199 employees) whose engagement with a university in WIL and whose contribution to the WIL experience of students, is above and beyond the expectation of the size of their organisation.

Hidden Harvest Wollongong

Hidden Harvest is a volunteer-fuelled, not for profit organisation based in the Illawarra region.

Together with an amazing team of passionate volunteers, Hidden Harvest combats climate change by upskilling communities with the tools and forks to tackle food waste and serve up a more sustainable future.

Changing food waste behaviours for the better requires an ongoing conversation in the community about our wasteful relationship with food. Hidden Harvest sparks these conversations at our exciting events and workshops. Catered with rescued food from local growers and sellers, Hidden Harvest provides the community with an opportunity to see, feel and taste how delicious a sustainable food future can be.

You can find out more about Hidden Harvest on their website.

Why was Hidden Harvest nominated for this award?

Hidden Harvest has partnered with Sofie Kokalevski, the business development lead for the work-integrated learning subject Career-Ready Learning and Practice (CRLP200) to provide numerous UOW students with a variety of meaningful internship opportunities.

For example: Nadia Conti completed a 12 week internship at Hidden Harvest as a Content Creation & Social Media Officer during CRLP200.

Here’s what Nadia had to say:

“Hidden Harvest has given me the opportunity to practice the skills I have learnt at uni and prepare myself for future job opportunities. I have been given the opportunity to work on and design the #useitall campaign that educates the community on food waste and gives them the tools to minimise wastage at home, exploring what works and what doesn’t through research and testing. I have also been involved in the community group, highlighting the efforts of the community in how they minimise food waste in their homes through the Hidden Harvest Instagram stories. A new design each week meant a lot of creative thinking, something I wasn’t used to doing so often.

I have also been able to do a lot of blogging, a skill that I have developed over the past 4 years at University, but blogging for Uni and blogging for an organisation is very different. Learning the style and language took some getting used to but I was able to expand my writing style through lots of practice, writing blogs such as ‘When Life Gives You Lemons…’ and ‘5 Freezer Friendly Meals’. Every new task I was given allowed me to learn more about the issue of food waste and how to minimise it, something I enjoyed. 

But my time at Hidden Harvest taught me a lot more than how to effectively interpret analytics and design content. Creativity isn’t something that comes easy to me and when I do come up with creative ideas I generally lack confidence and second guess myself. Hidden Harvest is such a welcoming environment that confidence has been something I was able to develop because of the creative freedom and support I was given.”

CRLP200: Career Ready Learning and Practice

CRLP200: Career Ready Learning & Practice is a Careers Central elective WIL subject that empowers students to not only think about their future career but actually experience what it’s like through a professional placement or team-based professional consultancy experience.

Gaining work experience is critical in increasing graduate employability in the competitive job landscape. This makes it more important than ever to provide students with the opportunity to develop confidence and get them career ready. CRLP200 is ideal for students who:

  • Are keen to develop employability skills that apply across all industries
  • Would like an internship experience to complement their studies
  • Develop and use career management tools to navigate employment transitions and make informed decisions about their career
  • Learn to reflect on work experience in order to understand individual career knowledge and skills
  • Want to learn to communicate professionally and effectively
  • Learn how to articulate skills, knowledge and experience to align with an organisation’s culture, values and recruitment requirements