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Case study: Placements

Placements can have their ups and downs - here's a story about what can go wrong and what you can do about it

Anton’s course had a compulsory placement component which he was excited about - he'd been doing well in his units and was more than ready for hands-on experience.

Unfortunately, he was very disappointed after his first day. His understanding of what the placement was did not match what was described. Since he wasn't given a start time, he decided to arrive at 10am to avoid traffic. When he got there, the placement supervisor was in a meeting.  Anton waited until his supervisor finally emerged at 12.30pm. The placement supervisor was outraged that Anton had not gotten there at 9am, asking him if he thought that "this is how employment works". This confused Anton since he wasn't even being paid. However, he now knew that the hours were 9am to 5pm and was reminded to be on time in the future.

The next few days went relatively well and Anton was able to participate in the provision of the services offered by the placement provider. On day 4, Anton felt ill. He called in sick and his superisor was seemingly annoyed by his absence. The next day, he attended placement even though he was still feeling unwell and was forced to take the day after that off. Anton did not notify the University of his sick days.

The final day of placement was a disaster. He was asked to undertake a task which he knew was out of his area of expertise but agreed to under pressure. He was unsuccessful in performing this task and was reported for unprofessional behaviour. Anton felt that he had not been supported or properly informed on the placement process.

After Anton contacted the MGA advocacy service, an advocate helped him navigate the professional standard process in his faculty. This advice helped Anton prepare for the formal hearing and explain the circumstances leading to this incident. Anton was advised that he needed to conduct a three way communication in the future, particularly relating to leave requests from placements. He was informed that he was required to notify Monash University about his absences as well as the placement provider. His faculty was very cooperative and updated their placement inductions process so that students had more information about the placement providers’ expectations.

After all was said and done, Anton completed his placement successfully, thanks to some guidance from the MGA advocates.

If you find yourself facing a similar dilemma to Anton, get in touch with our advocacy service at

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