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Centre for Social Impact intern making an impact from home

1 May, 2020

Alina Evans was just a couple of days in to her internship at the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) when the whole office packed up and transitioned to working-from-home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of WA Law and Society student has not only risen to the unexpected challenge, she has exceeded the expectations of Centre Manager and National Operations Manager Kathryn Conway.

“Alina has been an excellent intern and her enthusiasm and commitment has been outstanding during a period of significant change and uncertainty,” Ms Conway said.

“She has responded incredibly well and has remained positive, communicative and enthusiastic about her work and making her internship with CSI a success.”

In March, the McCusker Centre for Citizenship, together with its partner organisations, worked collaboratively to ensure all current Semester 1 interns could complete their internships safely from home.

More than 70 UWA students are expected to complete their 100-hour internships remotely next month, contributing over 7000 hours in service to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.    

During her internship at the Crawley-based CSI, Leederville resident Ms Evans will be working on projects aimed at evaluating and improving community welfare within Australia in both local and regional communities.

She is currently developing a report that evaluates community development roles in local government, and concurrently researching the impact of arts networks around the world in order to measure the impact the arts have on remote and rural populations.

“Luckily, the nature of the work I am undertaking is such that I am able to continue it from home easily,” she shared.

“While adaptation took a while, it really helped to maintain contact with my supervisors and colleagues at the CSI to ensure that I remained knowledgeable about the projects and also that I was still productive, and also so I could share my progress.

“I am most enjoying the opportunity to work on various different projects throughout the whole internship. These diverse experiences have allowed me to gain experience in multiple areas of work and gain varied skills, and provide benefit in numerous ways.”

Intern supervisor Ms Conway said the CSI’s transition to working-from-home was a fairly straightforward process.

“Our team is relatively small and given the nature of our work – catalysing positive social change and enabling others to achieve social impact – our team members are great at being agile, working collaboratively and finding innovative solutions,” she said.

“Many of our clients are from the not-for-profit sector and these organisations are facing significant challenges as a result of COVID-19. 

“It was important to us that we could continue to support them and show that we had adapted to the new way of doing things.”