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Intern engages with CALD migrants and refugees at Mirrabooka Welcome Hub

17 April, 2020

Being on the “front line” and directly engaging with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) migrants and refugees was the highlight of Jasmine Laing’s recent internship at the Mirrabooka Welcome Hub.

During her 100-hour McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship with the City of Stirling, the University of WA Bachelor of Science student assessed employment and community engagement opportunities for CALD community members.

She also wrote a series of reports that documented the City’s current community engagement services, outlined best-practice models to improve refugee employment opportunities, and entered client data into its client database platform.

“Jasmine set a high precedent with her professional but flexible attitude, hard work and very high skill in performing many various tasks,” Welcome Hubs Project Lead Samira Husic said.

Ms Laing, 21, said she greatly valued the opportunity to meet face-to-face with refugee and migrant clients.

“I learnt so much about this diverse community and the barriers that they face,” she said.

“I really enjoyed working with CALD community members and felt there is a lot of work that still needs to be done to help grant them equality in Australia.

“I also find this is an area of research in which I am very passionate about.”

Ms Laing said she made strong connections with the Welcome Hub staff and fellow volunteers.   

“I found them to all be very inspiring, welcoming and hardworking which is something I aspire to achieve in my future career,” she said.

“The most rewarding aspect of my internship for me was to be doing actual services which meaningfully contributed directly to society, and seeing the effect of those services in action straight away.

“I believe I will be able to go back and volunteer or work with them in the future if I wish.”

Ms Laing said her internship experience had made a “huge difference” to her understanding of the workplace.

“I feel like I have learnt workplace soft skills which would have been difficult to pick up through reading a textbook or listening to a lecture such as workplace etiquette, dress attire, communications, and professionalism,” she said.

Internship supervisor Ms Husic said Ms Laing had a “great skill” for engaging with people.

“Jasmine was very proactive and had helped with the monthly Community Kitchen events, weekly food donations, collection and packing for clients, and many other daily tasks,” she said.

“Jasmine was a perfect intern for the place-based community service such as Welcome Hub where we all have to do a variety of tasks on a daily basis, engage with clients but also run the office, events, write reports, enter data, and more.”