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Internship reaffirms career direction for aspiring human rights lawyer

11 June, 2021

The University of Western Australia Bachelor of Arts student, who is majoring in English Literature and French with a direct pathway to commence the Juris Doctor in 2022, completed her 100-hour internship working closely with Anglicare WA's philanthropy team to research grant opportunities and create applications for available grants.

 Ms van der Meer said, “The McCusker Centre’s focus on community service deeply resonated with me, more specifically the value I placed on becoming actively engaged in issues which faced my own community” and she found working with Anglicare WA to be an “eye-opening” and “incredibly rewarding” experience.

"[My internship] has changed my outlook on the responsibility attributed to all citizens within the community… [It] has solidified my wish to go on and pursue a career as a human rights lawyer,” said Ms van der Meer.

“I was also offered a paid part-time role at Anglicare WA which was extremely exciting!”

Tori Anderson, Director Philanthropy and Enterprise at Anglicare WA, said “Anglicare WA has been incredibly fortunate to have been connected with Catriona during her internship”.

“Catriona submitted multiple grants to funders to invite support for our various programs. She was a quick learner and is an exceptional writer. However, she didn’t only work on grants. Catriona rolled up her sleeves and helped wherever there was a need.

"Each grant that Catriona has applied for could potentially make a positive impact on the community through the funds raised,” said Ms Anderson.

She added that “due to Catriona’s hard work and team focus, we have been able to provide her with a permanent part-time role within the team. She is an invaluable part of our team and we are thrilled to be able to work with her going forward.”

More than 1,400 students have now undertaken their internship with the McCusker Centre for Citizenship contributing more than 155,000 hours in service to the community.

Director Michelle Scott said the “overwhelming” number of applications from students to participate in the internship program was a sign that young people were increasingly seeking opportunities to engage with and give back to their communities.

“It is clear UWA students have a great appetite for internships with a social purpose,” Ms Scott said.