Every year Deakin Master of Dietetics students venture out into the community setting to experience what working in community nutrition or public health nutrition would be like. HSN745 Community Nutrition is the unit of study that the students undertake in their final year of their 18-month course. Dr Sharleen O’Reilly, Senior Clinical Lecturer at the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, talks about the experience.
The students venture out far and wide for their placement – urban locations like Melbourne or rural locations like Ararat, even remote communities in Far North Queensland – to complete a group placement over a seven week period. Students focus about 75% of their time on planning, implementing and evaluating a project and the remainder on getting exposure to the role of a community dietitian within the placement organisation.
The projects vary widely in terms of size, scope, target groups, nutrition focus –basically everything! However, the common ground is that they all aim to help improve either the level of service or health of the communities their placement organisation serves.
One exciting outcome from this year’s projects was the introduction of online project presentations to help share the great work being done by community-based organisations. Each student group had five minutes to present the key information that came out of their project, using a variety of online presentation platforms to suit their preferred mode of delivery and technical ability. The online component meant that time and place were no longer a limiting factor in sharing the project findings and so far, the response from organisations and students has been very positive.
Exploring the students’ work is easy and can be done via this curated collection from here