Leaders in Communities Award (LiCA)

The Leaders in Communities Award (LiCA) recognises and rewards your volunteering, university participation, and professional development activities, both on and off campus.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can still volunteer!

Volunteering activities conducted via digital, online, virtual or phone can count towards LiCA.

The State Government of Victoria (2021) advises, “While measures to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) have changed the way we live, it does not mean that volunteering needs to be put on hold.”

Please remain aware of COVID-safe practices during the pandemic. Volunteering is considered authorised work by the Victorian government. You can continue to volunteer, but only if the organisation you are volunteering for is still operating or you volunteer for an authorised provider. To find out if your volunteer organisation is an authorised provider or to obtain a work permit, visit the Authorised Provider and Worker Permit page.

If you volunteer for the University in any capacity, please contact leaders-award@unimelb.edu.au for assistance in obtaining an authorised work permit.  If you volunteer for an authorised provider, please ensure you have obtained an authorised work permit from them to continue your volunteering throughout the lockdown.

LiCA provides a framework for you to record and reflect on your experiences and skills in a range of settings, enables you to become active and engaged in your local and global communities, and develop employability skills needed for 21st century workplaces.

By doing LiCA, you are participating in an incredible opportunity to develop skills, build networks and gain work experience through volunteering, co- and extra-curricular activities while studying at the University of Melbourne.

Once you’ve completed the Award, it will be listed on your University transcript and Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement.

About the Award

The Leaders in Communities Award is designed to help you:

  • Volunteer in organisations and communities locally or globally
  • Participate actively in the University community
  • Develop your personal and professional skills

You can start LiCA at any time during your degree. You can also include activities that you’ve undertaken in the 24 months prior to formally starting the Award (provided it is post secondary school). Volunteering, participation and professional development can be in person or on line.

Volunteer Ventures

Time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain. Volunteering Australia

Volunteer your time with one or more organisations for at least 40 hours over the course of your degree. Examples of volunteering include:

  • Being a digital visitor or telephone counsellor
  • Being a virtual volunteer grant writer
  • Officiating at sporting, arts or cultural events
  • Tutoring in an after-school program
  • Providing support at a charity event or activity
  • Participating in conservation group for the environment
  • Supporting an animal welfare group

Volunteer activities involving or inciting violence that harm society and actions that do not align with the values attributed to volunteering are not recognised for the Award.

Once you have completed your activities, log your hours online and write a 200-word reflective report to demonstrate your experiences, attributes and skills.

Uni Action

Participating in the Law Students’ Society helped me improve my communication skills, problem-solving ability, emotional intelligence and critical thinking. Natalie Gombos, Juris Doctor

Participate within the University community for at least 20 hours over the course of your degree. Examples of Uni Action include:

  • Being on the executive committee of a student club or organisation
  • Actively participating as a member of a student club or organisation
  • Being an Open Day Host, Orientation Host or Melbourne Peer Mentor
  • Participating in a student health initiative
  • Being an Academic Skills Student Partner

Once you have completed your activities, log your hours online and write a 200-word reflective report to demonstrate your experiences, attributes and skills.

Professional Development

Completing the award has allowed me to gain new insights into areas that interest me, learning more about opportunities I may pursue professionally and the skills I can take with me in the process. Chris Girardi, Bachelor of Arts

Attend four sessions over the course of your degree run by the University, your faculty or school, which help develop your personal, professional and leadership skills.

Examples of activities are:

  • Virtual or in-person workshops offered by Careers and Employability or Academic Skills
  • Online training and development designed to build your personal and professional skills
  • Leadership forums or workshops run by your faculty, school or department
  • Training sessions associated with your volunteer opportunity

Please note that training, development and workshops for your course or that build technical skills are not recognised.

Once you have completed your activities, log your hours online and write a 200-word reflective report to demonstrate your experiences, attributes and skills.

Get your LiCA

Step 1: Register

Firstly, enrol in the LiCA Canvas Community

Once enrolled in the community, navigate to the Register for LiCA page and fill out the Leaders in Communities registration form via Careers Online(If you are a new user, you'll have to complete your Careers Online account before registering).

Register now

Step 2: Record

Once you have completed each activity, you will need to log your hours. You will be asked to provide the contact details/references or verification documents so that we can verify your experience.

We prefer that you submit all your hours for the same organisation in one record form at the end of your volunteering.

Step 3: Reflect

Once you’ve completed each section, you will be asked a range of questions to help you reflect on your experiences and describe what you gained from them.

This is an important part of your learning and demonstrates that you can articulate the skills and knowledge you've developed. This can also form the basis of a portfolio of activities you can use in your resume, LinkedIn profile, or job applications.

Step 4: Gain your award

Once you’ve completed all the sections by the last day of exams in your final semester (for registered EPH students, you will need to complete this by the first day of your exam period), your finished Leaders in Communities Award will be recognised on your academic transcript and Australian Higher Education Graduation Statement (AHEGS) and you will receive a Certificate of Completion.

The Leaders in Communities Award program gave me the motivation I needed to get involved at uni.Pearl Chen

Workshops and support

There is a range of resources in the LiCA Canvas Community and sessions/workshops within Student Services to support you with completing your LiCA award.

See resources on finding opportunities to count towards:

For more about the Award or to ask further questions not covered in the FAQs, please contact leaders-award@unimelb.edu.au

Frequently asked questions

  • How long do I have to complete the Award?

    You can complete the Award anytime during your enrolment as a University of Melbourne student. This also means that if you transfer to another degree or start graduate study, you can still complete the Award.

  • When will the Award be recognised?

    In order to get the Award recognised on your transcript, you will need to complete all hours and reflective reports for all three components by the last day of the exam period of your final semester. Check the University’s examination dates. (for registered EPH students, you will need to complete this by the 1st day of your exam period)

  • What if I run out of time to complete the Award?

    If you run out of time the Award will not appear on your transcript. However, you will still gain valuable experience and skills from what you have completed.

  • What is the reflective report?

    After each component, you will complete a 200 word reflective report. The report is an opportunity to reflect on what you have gained from your experiences, the contribution you have made and the skills you have developed; this is good preparation for talking about your skills and experience in a job interview. The Developing my skills section of the Careers website can assist you with considering your skills, or attend a Student Connect appointment for support with completing your reflective report.

  • Can I use online or virtual activities?

    You can use eligible online activities to complete the requirements of any of the components. For example, being a Peer Mentor for students studying remotely, a virtual volunteer doing Skype chats with the elderly, or attending a Careers & Employment or Academic Skills Webinar.

  • How can I show evidence of my virtual volunteering activities if there isn't a contact person?

    For opportunities that do not have contact co-ordinators to verify your volunteering participation, be sure to log your hours and take a screenshot of your progress log, timestamps, or ‘Work Report’. Email us at leaders-award@unimelb.edu.au if you need to track and verify your contribution in another way.

  • What is the difference between Uni Action and Volunteer Ventures?

    Volunteer Ventures is about contributing to the wider (non-University) community. Uni Action is about getting involved with your University community; this might be through extra-curricular activities or by volunteering on campus.

  • I've already been volunteering does this count?

    You can submit activities you’ve undertaken in the 24 months prior to registering for the award, for any of the three components, providing they are post-secondary school.

  • Do I have to complete the three components of the Award in order?

    There is no order in which you are required to complete the Award. You can complete the three components of the Award simultaneously or one after another.

  • How do I find opportunities?

    You can find opportunities through the Careers Online website, notices in my.unimelb, your faculty newsletter or through one of the many student clubs and societies on campus. The LiCA Canvas Community and Volunteering page of the Careers website has some helpful information about how to find opportunities.

  • Where do I log my LiCA activities?

    Log your LiCA in Careers Online. You can find ‘Leaders in Communities Award’ in the Careers Online dashboard or bookmark  this link. If you’re a new user, you'll have to complete your Careers Online account before registering.

  • How do I contact the LiCA team to find out more?

    You can contact us at Leaders-Award@unimelb.edu.au.

More information