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Ella travels to South Hedland for internship supporting local youth

26 February, 2024

Ella Molinari, a UWA Bachelor of Biomedical Science student majoring in Neuroscience, travelled to South Hedland over the summer university break to support the Youth Involvement Council through a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship.

Contributing 100 hours through her internship role, she helped deliver the organisation’s programs for local young people, and said the internship taught her things she could not learn in the classroom and was an experience she would “carry with her forever”.

“The work that I assisted Youth Involvement Council with helps young people stay safe. The community benefit by knowing that their children always have somewhere to go and people to talk to when they need it.

“Whether it’s needing somewhere to go, or needing to be picked up or dropped off safely, Youth Involvement Council provide a range of services to encourage young people to be safe and have positive interactions with others. Being part of this was honestly the best experience of my life - it was truly rewarding,” Ella said.

Tania Murray, Operations Manager with the Youth Involvement Council, said that Ella had brought new energy and insights to her internship role, showing how students could transform theoretical knowledge into innovative and empathetic approaches with community organisations.

“Ella fully immersed herself in the relational work within our community,” Ms Murray said.

“Through her internship with us, she gained invaluable real-world experience, deeply understanding the challenges faced by vulnerable youth in regional communities. Ella’s time with us and the connections she forged with the youth have made a lasting impact, enriching both her personal development and the collective well-being of our community.”

Ella said that undertaking an internship in regional WA had presented unique challenges as well as valuable learning and experience.

“Because my internship was regional, I had to be away from home and adjusting to that was probably my biggest challenge. Also being in a completely different community required me to gain a lot of knowledge and prepare for that different context.

“My internship changed the way I see things. It helped me to understand the meaning of privilege and how grateful I am to live where I am and have what I have. It’s also made me more understanding and empathetic as a person,” she said.

“I would definitely recommend a McCusker Centre internship to other students! I can’t think of a better way to gain new knowledge and new skills; real life experience really is the best way to learn, and not only do you learn about what you are doing, but you learn a lot about yourself.

“The McCusker Centre staff are so supportive and willing to help you with anything you are struggling with or confused about, they make the experience so much less daunting, and you really do feel supported.”