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Intern assists young people In South Hedland 

11 February, 2021

During her 100-hour McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship with South Hedland’s Youth Involvement Council (YIC), Annelies Doecke supported ‘at risk’ and vulnerable young people to participate in a range of positive programs in the community.


The YIC provides youth services to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people aged 5 – 25, including homelessness accommodation and outreach programs, and activities such as mindfulness, games, and safe home drop-off services.


Ms Doecke, who is a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology double major) at UWA, was a valuable team member who during her internship was able to assist more young people to participate in the positive programs YIC has to offer. 


“The most challenging aspect of the internship for me was being engaged with people from a largely traumatised background. A compassionate disposition was absolutely needed to understand why people act the way they do,” Ms Doecke said. 


“It was also deeply rewarding being able to make a connection with young people using the YIC services and programs, and see how simple services of care can sometimes make a life-changing impact in someone’s life, and can help to change their trajectory and life outcomes within the greater community.”


Youth Involvement Council Youth Services Coordinator Karen Cooper said Ms Doecke was a motivated and hard-working young woman and brought a fresh perspective to the community. 


“Annelies assisted to deliver programs during a very challenging time for the YIC team. She came in with a great attitude and supported the team to work with disadvantaged young people. She created mindfulness boxes, transported clients, ran activities, completed case notes, worked in the homelessness facility and much more. With very tight budgets an extra set of hands – especially a set as capable as Annelies’s – makes a massive difference for our service delivery capacity,” Ms Cooper said. 


Ms Doecke said, “This experience has really just reinforced to me the importance of mental health, and has solidified my resolve and motivation to continue to work towards a career in the area. It has changed my opinion of the importance of the mental health of young people – I totally underestimated what a profound impact trauma-informed, empowering interventions can have in young people’s lives, and I found a lot of hope in looking at these young people overcoming so much with some meaningful support in their lives.”


More than 1,300 students have now undertaken their internship with the McCusker Centre for Citizenship contributing more than 146,000 hours in service to the community.