Making a difference in Fitzroy Crossing

When Perth university student Allister Gomes travelled to the Kimberley recently with Fair Game to help promote better health and fitness through sport to young people, it was - by his own description - an incredible experience.

The 21-year-old old Sports Science student, from Applecross, made the trip with Wesfarmers’ support as part of his internship through the McCusker Centre for Citizenship at the University of Western Australia.

Over a busy week, Allister and his Fair Game teammates worked from a base in Fitzroy Crossing to visit remote communities at Muludja and Bayulu where they ran games and activities designed to create better awareness of oral, feet, ear and hand hygiene as well as nutrition.

As part of its innovative approach, Fair Game also collects and redistributes recycled sports equipment such as balls, shoes and bags to young people.

“I found it profoundly rewarding to watch as gear, which would otherwise go untouched, found a new home where it shall be cherished and be made useful again,” said Allister, who was visiting the state’s north for the first time. Allister is one of more than 130 UWA students to participate in an internship with the McCusker Centre for Citizenship over the past year across Australia.

The McCusker Centre for Citizenship at UWA has been established with a generous donation from the McCusker Charitable Foundation. The internship program is an Australian-first because of its focus on students engaging in active citizenship and contributing to the community.

Students from across all faculties can earn credits toward their degrees by undertaking an internship with organisations, like Fair Game, which work predominantly in the not-for-profit and community sectors to make a difference in our community. Fair Game is one of 200 organisations partnering with the McCusker Centre for Citizenship to provide internships, locally, regionally, nationally and globally.

For Allister, his experiences in the Kimberley have left a lasting impression. “What a journey. It’s quite remarkable to think that only a week spent in the service of others, while surrounded by like-minded people, can produce such a surge of positivity.”