During her McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship at Awards WA, Zoe Limpanyalers developed a report which aims to extend The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award to reach more young people.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a structured youth development program, facilitated by Awards WA, that empowers all young Australians aged 14-24 to explore their full potential and find their purpose, passion and place in the world, regardless of their location or circumstance.
Ms Limpanyalers worked with the Awards WA team on this important project to collect and analyse data, which had the aim of demonstrating how the participating organisations were performing and to identify where further support may be required to increase the participation and completion of young people.
The University of Western Australia Neuroscience undergraduate said the 100-hour McCusker Centre internship was “a brilliant first exposure to the innerworkings of a non-for-profit organisation”.
“Working to help make opportunities available for communities and individuals was both incredibly rewarding and humbling,” said Ms Limpanyalers. “Additionally, the internship consolidated the idea that I love working with a team of people. The most rewarding element of my internship was the team culture I experienced with my colleagues.”
CEO of Awards WA Katie Brown said the work Ms Limpanyalers did “resulted in a report that exceeded all previous reports or expectations of Awards WA”.
“Zoe completely immersed herself in the project and took on an ownership role which was beyond her years,” said Ms Brown. “She was able to see potential problems which had not been considered … and made recommendations which would improve the information – these recommendations were implemented.”
For Ms Limpanyalers, the experience had multiple benefits, especially working for the first time in a team office environment.
“To also get immediate feedback on how I worked, on what I was doing well and what needed improving on was very helpful,” she said.
“I would absolutely recommend the internship to all students! To be able to get yourself out into the world, to not only learn and develop the professional skills needed for your future career but more importantly about how you work within a team is an invaluable experience,” she said.
“To understand your limitations and where you excel is crucial to being a successful active citizen in the world.”
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.