A new centre at The University of Western Australia will recruit student interns to work with community groups and not-for profit organisations with the aim of fostering a life-long commitment to the community.
The McCusker Centre for Citizenship is the first of its kind in Australia and part of UWA’s commitment to significantly expand community engagement. More than 80 organisations have already agreed to take interns from the Centre in 2016.
This year, student interns will be working on projects including
• Improving early childhood development opportunities for children and their families in Fitzroy Crossing;
• Increasing the number of volunteer mentors working with people with disabilities and mental health challenges;
• Helping refugees find jobs; and
• Working with homeless young people to increase their knowledge of local services and programs.
Sixteen students have been selected for the Centre’s first intake and more than 50 internships will be available in second semester this year. They will have the opportunity to work with not-for-profits throughout the State including in regional and remote communities and international organisations. Those who successfully complete a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship may also earn academic credit.
One of the student interns is 21-year-old Rosie Collyer, a third year UWA Science student from Lesmurdie. Rosie is currently undertaking an internship with Reconciliation WA, working on a project with schools to promote reconciliation.
“I believe that my generation can help make a positive contribution – because where there's a will, there's a way,” Rosie said.
Through the McCusker Centre for Citizenship, UWA students will be exposed to critical community challenges. Students will actively help support those in need, and become involved in finding solutions to social challenges.
Travel bursaries will be available for internships in regional and international communities and students will have access to mentors and leadership programs that promote active citizenship.
The establishment of the McCusker Centre for Citizenship was made possible by a generous $5 million donation by the McCusker Charitable Foundation.
McCusker Foundation Trustee Tonya McCusker said it was important that students completed their tertiary studies with more than just an academic transcript.
”The McCusker Centre for Citizenship will provide practical experience in how they can make a difference in our community,” Mrs McCusker said.
“We’re hoping that the students will not only make a positive contribution through their internship but this experience will instil in them a desire to make an ongoing contribution to the community throughout their lives.”
David Stacey (UWA Media and PR manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716