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Helene helps strengthen voice for children in foster care

11 April, 2022

UWA student Helene Moe has contributed 100 hours towards a project that seeks to empower young people in foster care to voice their feedback and concerns through an internship with the McCusker Centre for Citizenship.

Helene, who is studying Law and Society and Political Science and International Relations, undertook the internship to further explore her passion for social justice.

“Since I was a child, I have always wanted a career where I am able to help people. I am now studying law, hoping to work in human rights, with a particular passion for women’s and children’s rights,” said Helene.

Helene’s internship saw her undertake a role with the Department of Communities, supporting a project to improve accessibility for children in foster care across WA to raise formal complaints when required.

“Through my previous volunteer work, I have been aware of the immense trauma many of these children have experienced throughout their childhoods and become very passionate about their safety, happiness and wellbeing,” said Helene. 

As a part of the project, Helene met with a wide range of staff from across Residential Group Homes to ensure her recommendations were meaningful and representative.

“Knowing that my project is being informed by the thoughts and opinions of children and young people in care and that the policy and process changes and outcomes will be child focused makes me very proud,” said Helene.

Internship supervisor and Department of Communities Director of Standards and Integrity, Rebecca Francis, said “Helene accepted the challenge of the assigned project with enthusiasm and a positive drive which allowed the project to gain a momentum to achieve outcomes ahead of schedule. We appreciated Helene’s input, team spirit, and professionalism and feel the internship was a valuable experience for us as well as Helene.”

Helene credits the “incredible” support of her supervisors at Department of Communities in giving her the confidence to tackle the large project, as well as learning the importance of asking for help and assistance when I need.

“I have been made aware of the social impact, decisions, and actions of individuals in any organisation can have on the lives of those belonging to marginalised groups,” she said.

Helene recommends the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship to other students.

“There are very few opportunities as an undergraduate student to obtain professional experience with an organisation where you feel as if you are making tangible social change,” she said.