“I wish I’d known about the McCusker Centre for Citizenship earlier so that I could squeeze in another internship.”

There’s no age limit on McCusker Centre for Citizenship internships. While many students are in their first years of study, others find us after years of real-world experience.

Take Clare Christie, who just turned 50. Clare ran her own successful counselling business for 15 years before returning to the world of formal study – she’s in her final year of a double degree in anthropology and Indigenous studies at UWA and just completed a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship with the Armadale Family Support Network.

Run by Parkerville Children and Youth Care, the Armadale Family Support Network is a big organisation with a very large reach and scope – and that was a significant part of the appeal for Clare.

“I wanted to be challenged,” Clare explains. “After working for myself in a small business for so long, I wanted an insight into what it might be like working for a big organisation, with all their policies and procedures and protocols.”

Clare was appointed to the network’s ‘common entry point team’, which is responsible for screening and assessing people who are referred to the organisation because of housing insecurity, parenting issues and other challenges.

“The experience totally met my expectations,” she says. “People were really supportive; it’s such a solid team so I got a lot of training and acquired new skills in child safety, how to use the client database – all sorts of helpful things.”

Clare says she can’t recommend the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship experience highly enough.

“I absolutely recommend it over and above solely academic work,” she says. “You need to see how your studies fit into real-world experiences.

“I wish I’d known about the McCusker Centre for Citizenship earlier so that I could squeeze in another internship. There should be more units like these in uni degree to give you that real-world experience – talking to real people and developing those relationships.”

Do you want to learn how you could contribute to your community and gain credit towards your degree at the same time? Check out the internships available for the Summer semester here: http://bit.ly/MCC-Internships

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