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McCusker Centre for Citizenship presents Outstanding Intern of the Year Award to joint recipients

28 October, 2020

The Honourable Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC, Director and Chairman of The McCusker Charitable Foundation and former WA Governor, and fellow Director His Honour Judge Denis Reynolds, presented the Outstanding Intern of the Year Award at a presentation event on October 14, 2020.


This year the award is shared by two award outstanding recipients: Madelene Booth who completed her 100-hour internship at Regional Early Education and Development Inc, and Joseph Ross, who completed his internship at Anglicare WA.


During Madelene Booth’s internship at Regional Early Education and Development (REED), reducing obstacles to ensure Wheatbelt families could access high quality childcare services, quickly became a personal mission for Madelene Booth. The University of Western Australia Biomedical Science student completed her internship at REED in January 2020.


Ms Booth, a resident of Belmont, whose farmer father grew up in the small Wheatbelt town of Cadoux, said she felt a great affinity with REED. REED works closely with local shires and community organisations to ensure the best quality early childhood education and care services are provided for rural children, families and communities.


One of the projects undertaken by Ms Booth was to research the Australian Government’s Child Care Subsidy and prepare a document outlining the barriers that Indigenous and rural families faced in applying for the subsidy through Centrelink. During her internship, Ms Booth also explored the idea of commissioning Indigenous artists to paint murals and lead art classes community centres throughout the Wheatbelt region.


“The benefits of childcare centres in regional towns can be underestimated and disregarded. I identified an opportunity for family engagement by introducing farm machinery toys and replicas into the centres, enabling families to see how their child spending time in childcare would still enable the crucial interaction with agriculture that encourages children to pursue farming as they grow,” she explained.


Joseph Ross, the joint award recipient, helped create new partnerships with businesses across WA and Anglicare’s Op Shop Program, during his internship at Anglicare WA.  Mr Ross, is a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Western Australia.


During his internship Joseph created and implemented a new in-store marketing experience for Anglicare WA’s Op Shops, researched and implemented the use of iPads at the point of sale in stores to improve the Op Shops Google reviews and volunteer sign-ups and pitched a business plan to the Marketing team and was awarded a $2,000 marketing budget for store improvements.


“These projects help the wider community because by improving the Op Shops it enables Anglicare WA to better deliver low cost clothing, furniture and other items to families in need. The funds from the Op Shops then go straight back into supporting other Anglicare WA services which help the community, such as youth homelessness services and domestic violence counselling,” Joseph says.


There were a total of 7 shortlisted nominations by host-organisations this year:

·         Tamenna Kakar who completed her internship with Befriend;

·         Pooja Ramesh who completed her internship with the Gender Diversity Service at the Perth Children’s Hospital;

·         Jess Donaldson who completed her internship with Asthma WA;

·         India Stone who completed her internship with Teach Learn Grow;

·         Alice Colvin who completed her internship with ConnectGroups;

·         and of course Madelene Booth (REED) and Joseph Ross (Anglicare WA) as joint recipients of the award


The McCusker Centre for Citizenship established the Outstanding Intern of the Year Award in 2019. It is a bi-annual award open to all student interns who are nominated by their organisation for making an exceptional contribution during their internship.


More than 1,200 students have now undertaken their internship with the McCusker Centre for Citizenship contributing more than 120,000 hours in service to the community.