When Mauricio Rodriguez started his McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship, little did he know it would lead to sharing a stage with WA Minister for Culture and the Arts David Templeman MLA less than a year later.
During his internship at the Community Arts Network (CAN), the University of WA student was tasked with developing the Multicultural Arts Portal (MAP) – an online portal connecting culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) artists and communities with arts and cultural organisations in WA.
When his 100-hour internship ended in late 2018, CAN General Manager Monica Kane offered him a coordinator job to “take the project to the next critical stage”.
On 10 September 2019, Mr Rodriguez joined Mr Templeman at the Heath Ledger Theatre to officially launch the completed MAP.
The 27-year-old former international student from Mexico, who now lives in East Perth, said the opportunity to coordinate the MAP was “one of the greatest privileges” of his professional career.
The achievement was closely followed by graduating from UWA with a Masters of Business Information and Logistics Management.
“As a diversity advocate myself, knowing that my work will create positive social change by bringing CaLD communities one step closer, represents an enormous sense of satisfaction and enhances my commitment to build inclusion in our local, regional, and global communities,” he said.
“Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is something very positive, and it makes us stronger.”
Mr Rodriguez said the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship changed his perspective of work.
“Prior to undertaking the McCusker internship, my main consideration when choosing a job or professional pathway used to be my personal recompenses,” he said.
“However, after undertaking the internship, my vision has widened.
“I have felt the great sense of fulfilment that positively contributing to the wellbeing of my community generates. Now, the main driver of my professional development and key point when undertaking any type of work is the impact that it will generate on my community and people’s lives.”
Mr Rodriguez said he would recommend the internship program to all UWA students who wish to engage with the community and ensure its wellbeing.
“The greatest lesson I learned from my McCusker internship was to fully comprehend that it is my responsibility to help build a better more inclusive and equitable society,” he said.