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Greenpeace intern reflects on small actions that create worldwide change

9 October, 2019

The most challenging aspect of Corinna Gosby’s “dream internship” at Greenpeace Australia Pacific also happened to be the most rewarding.

The University of WA Environmental Science and Zoology double major recently travelled to Sydney to complete the 100-hour community service internship through the McCusker Centre for Citizenship.

Ms Gosby, who grew up in Pinjarra and now lives in Como, said the most difficult part of working within Greenpeace’s Gifts in Wills fundraising department was calling supporters to invite them to attend an upcoming event.

“Greenpeace is unique to many organisations because they don’t accept any donations from government or businesses, so all the fundraising comes from people,” she said.

“They do this to prevent corruption or bias within their campaigns.

“I found making the phone calls challenging because there is a certain mindset that people immediately adopt when they hear they are getting a call from Greenpeace. Although my calls were not asking for donations, it was hard to break through that stereotype and build rapport.”

That said, the 20-year-old admitted those phone calls ended up being the highlight of her experience.

“I made a call to a man named Richard who was incredibly passionate about Greenpeace and very excited about coming to the event,” she said.

“He found it very refreshing that the organisation took the time to reach out and call him with an invitation, because it made him feel further connected to Greenpeace’s mission.

“It was amazing to build rapport over the phone and connect with him over our values for the environment. At the event I was able to meet the supporters in person, including Richard, and make some lasting relationships with like-minded people.”

Greenpeace Australia Relationships Manager Alexis Escavy said Ms Gosby “incredible impact at Greenpeace in many ways”.

“Firstly her positive attitude at all times really help lift the team up every day,” Ms Escavy said.

“Her energy and smile was contagious and she never let stress or pressure show.

“She also had outstanding conversation and communication skills which enabled her to build strong relationships with key supporters.”

Ms Gosby said her internship “opened her eyes to the capacity a few people have to create international change”.

“When I inevitably leave university and enter the workforce, I don’t intend on settling on a job for the money,” she said.

“I want to work for a company or organisation that creates positive change and aligns with my own values.

“Reflecting on my time, I’ve become aware on how a small action can create worldwide change.

“For instance, when Greenpeace first started, one of their most influential movements was putting themselves in the line of fire between harpoons and whales. Through bearing witness and exposing the brutality of the industry, they were able to change the social normalcy around the whaling enterprise. This is the type of change I want to make.”