February 8th 2017 at 5:01 am
As an aspiring lawyer, 21-year-old Duncraig student Lawrence Page knows he can expect more than his share of challenges. But Lawrence’s resourcefulness was pushed to the limit recently when he undertook an internship with the Consumer Credit Legal Service of WA (CCLSWA) that took him out of his comfort zone of case law and precedents into entirely new territory.
The CCLSWA is a not-for-profit, charitable organisation which provides free and confidential legal advice and representation to WA consumers regarding credit, banking and finance.
Undertaking an internship as a Communications officer, it was Lawrence’s job to create accessible, informative digital content for WA consumers that the CCLSWA could use on its existing media platforms plus its new, multi-faceted social media presence. Without a shred of technical knowledge, Lawrence had to teach himself to produce animated videos and other digital material that would be useful for consumers on topics such as ‘Things to Know about Payday Loans’, ‘Buying a Car’ and ‘Online Shopping.’
“Learning new skills, techniques and the technical side, creating different videos and other content using different software was an exciting way to approach law that I hadn’t previously been exposed to at university,’ says Lawrence.
“It really involved taking complex ideas and processes and communicating them as simply as possible through video, social media posts and infographics prepared by past volunteers which were incredibly useful as well.”
Lawrence’s internship was undertaken through the McCusker Centre for Citizenship at the University of WA which promotes active citizenship in the community and offers students structured internships for course credit with not-for-profit and community sector organisations.
Gemma Mitchell, principal solicitor with CCLSWA, says without Lawrence the service wouldn’t have had a social media campaign, which was launched last month.
‘Lawrence was able to do a presentation, demonstrating our social media accounts, how they’re all interlinked with each other and linked back to the website. He also showcased one of the videos he produced as well,” says Gemma.
Lawrence says there’s been a positive reaction to the new videos and other digital content which has been shared widely. He hopes it will be particularly useful for people in disadvantaged or culturally and linguistically-diverse communities who might otherwise struggle with the complexity of some financial issues.
Lawrence can see that his contribution has made a real difference and has remained on at CCLSWA as a volunteer.
“I just can’t get enough of it. I do really love coming here. It’s a fantastic environment, it’s an incredible experience … being surrounded by people who are making a real world difference based on their knowledge and their passion,” he said.
Do you want to gain credit AND help the community at the same time? McCusker Centre for Citizenship is accepting applications for Summer Internships now. Click here for more information.