Open learning and distance education have been embraced as ways to cater for the education and training needs of Australia's changing society. Growing concerns about equity and recognition of skills of all kinds have prompted some universities to reform their policies relevant to funding, delivery and credentialling of cooperative programs. In this paper I will reflect on 5 months as an adjunct member of the Professional Development Centres for Work and Training and Community and Resouce Development within the Faculty of Education, Work and Training at the University of New England Northern Rivers, in Lismore, NSW. My interests focused on the purpose and practice of cooperative education and the meaning that I attached to the events which occurred during that time. I will define some concepts important to the development of professional education in Australia and then discuss three themes which emerged from my work there reflecting on cooperative education as a current tertiary enterprise.