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Intern makes “direct and lasting impact”

13 November, 2019

Taking on the challenge of a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship was like “stepping into unchartered waters” for University of WA Biomedical Sciences student Raisa Anwar.

The Wattle Grove resident recently completed her 100-hour internship at the Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute (WAALI).

Ms Anwar’s main project was to extract, collate and analyse data from the Yorga Djenna Bidi Aboriginal Women's Leadership Program participant reflection surveys and create an evaluation report, which was then provided to the WAALI Board of Directors.

“I’ve had prior experience in analysing quantitative data, but analysing qualitative, subjective data was like stepping into uncharted waters,” she said.

Ms Anwar, 19, said classifying and analysing “emotion-driven, individualised data sets” proved to be a challenging task.

“Luckily, my supervisor and other staff members supported me and provided background information,” she said.

WAALI chief executive and intern supervisor Anjie Brook said the evaluation reports would not have been completed without Ms Anwar’s “accurate and professional” hard work.

“Raisa was able to focus on one critical element of our business and enable us to have data and reports that demonstrated the outcomes we are achieving through our Yorga Djenna Bidi Aboriginal Women's Leadership Program,” Ms Brook said.

“The opportunity to have an intern to undertake this work was really important for our organisation and Raisa was outstanding in the project.”

Ms Brook said the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship program was supporting their small not-for-profit organisation to grow.

“The interns often do not realise the positive impact their work has on the organisations particularly at the start of their project, but by the end of the project they can see the direct and lasting impact their work will have,” she said.

“The McCusker Centre provides highly skilled, intelligent and thoughtful interns who share the desire to assist organisations to make a positive impact in the community.”

Ms Anwar said the most rewarding aspect of her internship was attending a yarning session with Ms Brook, during which she met alumni of the Yorga Djenna Bidi Aboriginal Women's Leadership Program.

“It was a very wholesome experience listening to the many projects they’ve undertaken after the program, and the positive changes they’ve made in their respective communities, workplaces and personal lives,” she said.

“After listening to them, I felt inspired and content knowing that I’ve had a small hand in improving this initiative for future participants.”