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Ella enhances digital efficiency and security with City of Swan

20 December, 2023

Ella Zhang, a Master of Information Technology student at UWA, recently contributed 100 hours in support of improved digital tools and processes for the City of Swan, through a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship.

“In my role as PRIS (Privacy and Responsible Information Sharing) Project Intern, I researched enhancements for the City’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system,” Ella said.

“I completed ECM training for new staff at the City, reviewed technical documentation, interviewed ECM specialist staff and users, and my overall objective was to propose solutions that ensured compliance with the incoming Western Australia Privacy Act.”

Ella said that the work she contributed to during the internship would directly benefit the community.

“Enhanced efficiency and compliance means members of the local community will gain improved access to essential services and important information provided by the City of Swan.

“As the project involved aligning with privacy regulations, it will safeguard information online, contributing to a secure and responsible information-sharing environment,” she said.

Terry Larkan, Risk and Assurance Coordinator at the City of Swan, said Ella had analysed the use and capability of the City’s ECM from an independent perspective in the context of privacy legislation in Australian and other jurisdictions.

Mr Larkan said Ella had produced an insightful report on how privacy legislation impacts the way the City use its ECM, and recommendations from her report would be integrated into the City’s overall PRIS readiness project plan.

“I think that both Ella and the City have benefited from the internship program,” Mr Larkan said.

“Ella was exposed to a variety of people and processes within our diverse operations while we received a meaningful analysis to a key element of our PRIS framework.”

Ella’s internship gave her insights into the work of local government, as well as exposure to issues that intersect with digital technologies in practice.

“Interning with the City has opened my eyes to the complexity of local government; I have a deeper understanding of the role government plays in addressing societal issues, and it has given me a newfound appreciation for the nuanced decision-making processes involved in creating positive change at the local level.

“One challenging aspect of my internship was tackling a project that involved new and unfamiliar knowledge, particularly regarding the Privacy Act, an area in which I had limited prior understanding, given my non-legal background.

“I received invaluable support from staff at the City, enabling me to propose effective solutions to their current challenges. Overall, the collaborative environment and the opportunity to make a meaningful impact made my internship a truly rewarding and fulfilling experience.”