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‘Superstar’ student intern makes her mark on Zonta House

26 September, 2019

Women’s refuge Zonta House will continue to benefit from McCusker Centre for Citizenship student intern Taylah Jones’ outstanding work “for many months to come”.

“Taylah just ‘got it’ from day one,” Zonta House Service Delivery Manager and intern supervisor Angie Perkins said.

“She went above and beyond with her work, assisted many staff and worked outside of the original scope of her internship. She was an absolute superstar.”

During her internship, the University WA Media and Communications student was tasked with updating a bank of social media templates, reviewing education booklets, and researching for and redesigning the 2018/2019 annual report.

“The Annual Report in particular is a very time-consuming exercise and to have someone complete the research and planning gave hours of work back to our staff, who could then focus on service delivery,” Ms Perkins said.

“The calibre of the interns that Zonta House have received from the McCusker Centre for Citizenship has been outstanding.

“They leave their mark on the organisation in education of staff and production of work, and for a not-for-profit organisation with limited resources this is invaluable.” 

Not all Ms Jones’ work was behind a desk, however.

The 23-year-old Lathlain resident also visited the refuges to help fix up the rooms and make the beds, and even encouraged her friends to donate their clothes and linen to the association.

“I didn’t know a lot about Zonta House before I started my internship,” she admitted.

“I assumed that they would have a couple of refuges and they helped bring women to safety – but I had absolutely no idea about their other services and the extent to which they supported them when they left the house.

“I was really impressed by the Positive Pathways program, which helps teach women how to deal with trauma, communication, relationships and financial skills.”

Ms Jones, who has continued to volunteer at Zonta House, was particularly moved by hearing from the founder of Zonta House Di Annear during an event called An Evening with Zonta House.

“In hindsight I shouldn’t have been, but at the time I was really surprised to hear that something like Zonta House didn’t exist at all before she set it up,” she said.

“There were refuges for women and children – but nothing like what they have today.

“I’m really impressed by how far it has progressed since the 1980s.”

The 100-hour community service internship has inspired Ms Jones to consider studying a postgraduate in her second major Anthropology and Sociology.

“This experience has opened my eyes to a number of things,” she said.

“Not just how confronting the generational cycle is – but just the fact that, in my degree, I could pursue research in that area.”