“It’s a fantastic way to be a part of something bigger.”

UWA Master of Public Health student Stefanie Faraone applied for a McCusker Centre for Citizenship Internship because she wanted to develop a greater understanding of how a not-for-profit organisation operates, as well as learn about the social issues the organisation was addressing in the community.

Stef was placed as a Health Intern at Silver Chain Group, a community health and social care provider, supporting people of all ages to remain in the accommodation of their choice.

"I was excited to embark on something with purpose but I was unsure that my skills and capabilities were adequate for the organisation,” Stef explains.

"Fortunately, I was reminded by the McCusker Centre for Citizenship that the aim of the internship is to encourage active participation of UWA students with the local community, and that’s what I wanted to do”.

Stef was a member of the Quality Team at Silver Chain Group which focuses on assuring the delivery of high-quality health and social care services to the community. She was given the task of developing an organisation-wide Quality Policy to ensure compliance in meeting the National Safety and Quality Health Services Standards.

"The project was initially challenging, as it was my first experience developing a policy," Stef says.

"My lack of experience did not, however, impact on the faith and continuous encouragement by my mentor and team, who facilitated and supported me throughout the project.”

Stef developed two policies during the course of her internship and says the experience showed her how to effectively apply skills learned during her university studies in a real-world setting.

“The project was fulfilling and empowering, and I could see my contribution would be directly impacting on the quality of care received by the community."

Stef also learned how important listening to the community is when it comes to making a real difference through policy.

"To sustainably deliver effective care to the individuals an organisation is responsible for, it must respond to the voice of its community,” Stef explains.

She says her experience as a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship has confirmed she is on the right career path.

"The internship has definitely reaffirmed my career aspirations. I want to actively participate with my local community and environment, as this will enhance my understanding of what it means to be an active citizen.”

Here are the five reasons Stef would recommend a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship:

  1. The actions and contribution you make during your internship are benefiting others in your community, whether you get to see this directly or indirectly. It’s a fantastic way to be a part of something bigger.
  2. The McCusker Centre for Citizenship considers where your passions lie and places you with an appropriate organisation to facilitate your interests. It’s an excellent opportunity to discover what your future career objectives are and gain a new perspective.
  3. You get to meet incredible people and collaborate with like-minded people who are contributing to a good cause. This improves your people skills and ability to effectively work in a team.
  4. The internship allows you to learn and further develop the skills and knowledge you have established during your tertiary education and apply these in a practical setting.
  5. It’s a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and improve your problem-solving skills in a new environment.

Do you want to expand your knowledge of how to benefit people in the community via an important organisation like Stef did? Apply for a McCusker Centre for Citizenship Internship here http://www.mccuskercentre.uwa.edu.au/program/internships-students

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