Tuesday, 14 November 2017 11:24

Swinburne, DXC join forces on first ‘neurodiversity’ hub for students

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Victoria’s Swinburne University of Technology has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with global IT services company DXC Technology to establish the first “neurodiversity” hub for students in Australia – and to increase the number of roles available to Swinburne students in the IT professions.

The Neurodiversity Hub is being set up to focus on improving employability and creating opportunities for “neurodiverse students” by assisting them in obtaining work experience and internships with DXC and its partner organisations.

And, the hub is also designed to help build a pipeline of students for neurodiverse-friendly employers and leverage DXC's expertise in this area to drive research and derive further insights.

“Swinburne welcomes this collaboration as an opportunity to increase the number of roles available to Swinburne students in the IT professions, including cybersecurity, testing and data science,” said the university’s vice-president of students, Dr Andrew Smith.

“We value initiatives that foster equity and diversity and create an inclusive workplace.”

DXC describes neurodiversity as covering a “range of differences in individual brain functions and behavioural traits, regarded as part of the normal variation in the human population, including autism spectrum disorders, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder”. 

DXC Technology Australia & New Zealand managing director Seelan Nayagam, says, “The hub will enable us to build a pipeline of candidates for our organisation, for existing clients and partners”.

“The knowledge and experience we have gained from the Dandelion Autism@Work programme will support DXC in understanding other types of neurodiversity — such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression — and students who might come from other challenged environments.

“Our ultimate objective is to establish at least one neurodiversity hub in each major state in Australia and New Zealand.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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