UWA student Emereen Leila Moratalla has dedicated 100 hours over her summer break advocating for the rights of children and young people through a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship at the Valuing Children Initiative.
“I wanted to do something fulfilling during my summer break that would make a difference to others, especially those who are vulnerable in our local communities,” said Emereen, who resides in Huntingdale and is studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science.
“My main responsibility was managing the Valuing Children Initiative’s social media platforms and creating content that raises awareness for social issues that concern children and young people in Australia,” she said.
“In addition, I was able to work on a campaign that highlights the contributions children make to our society today, that children are much more than just future leaders,” said Emereen.
“The highlight of my internship was a book reading event with Perth Heat Baseball Club at Westfield Park Primary School,” she said, where she was able to help promote the Valuating Children Initiatives’ Four Pillar book series, which been designed to help parents and teachers discuss important issues with children such as safety.
“My supervisors from my internship were amazing,” said Emereen.
Supervisor and Valuing Children Initiative Development Executive, Maddie McLeod, said “Emereen approached her internship with a can-do attitude and her daily enthusiasm was a great addition to our team. She showed a lot of passion for the Valuing Children’s core values and this was reflected in the work she produced.
“Beyond her internship, we know Emereen will continue to advocate for an attitudinal shift in Australia to where all children and valued and given equal opportunity to flourish,” she said.
The experience has inspired Emereen to continue her biomedical studies with a renewed focus on social justice, hoping to one day volunteer in her home country of the Philippines to help tackle inequitable access to healthcare.
“My internship experience has made me more aware of social issues and the extent to which people in our local communities are affected,” said Emereen.
“It has reinforced my passion for helping children and inspired me to pursue more volunteering opportunities in the present and in the future beyond my studies at UWA,” she says.