UWA student Johnny Pham has helped to shape policies that foster safe and inclusive work environments for the WA community through a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship.
Johnny, who is studying a Master’s degree in Human Resources and Employment Relations, completed his internship at Communicare, a Cannington-based organisation that provides a wide range of services across WA that seek to empower all people – especially vulnerable citizens – to feel safe and valued in their communities.
Johnny supported the Communicare team by using his HR expertise to draft policies that enable safe and inclusive work environments, including a smoke-free work policy and a work-from-home policy – something that was especially meaningful for Johnny, who had to work from home for part of his intern role.
“There were times during the [lockdown] week where I had felt a bit isolated, but my supervisor made sure to check up on me, which I was very grateful for,” said Johnny.
Johnny liaised with a wide range of community members when drafting the workplace policies, showing him the importance of reflecting the voices of all community members within the policies that impact them.
“I've developed my ability to listen and converse with stakeholders who might not see eye to eye with everyone else. This allowed me to keep an open mind and consider certain opinions when drafting a policy, to help not just the majority but everyone that would be affected by it,” said Johnny.
The internship experience allowed Johnny to gain a wide range of professional skills and he is grateful for the hardworking staff he met at Communicare.
“The most rewarding part of the internship was developing a professional relationship with the HR department, directors, and the CEO,” said Johnny.
The Communicare team were impressed by Johnny’s contributions.
“Johnny soon became one of the team and it was evident that his skill set certainly suited the internship that he was completing for us. He was happy to discuss areas that he was unsure about, but he would always put his perspective on ideas which enabled discussion. His communication, humour, knowledge and punctuality was a most welcome contribution for the time he was with Communicare,” said Communicare Volunteer and Student Placement Advisor, Lesley Lord.
Interning at Communicare has open Johnny’s eyes to the value and impact of communities on peoples’ lives, including his own.
“I'm lucky that I have been given the opportunity and privilege for many things that I can take for granted. Aside from my upbringing, it was also the community that allowed me to be the person I am today. My parents were provided with services to help raise me. Schools assisted with developing my knowledge. Sports clubs gave me friends that shared the same interests as me,” said Johnny.
“I'm very thankful for that and I hope to continue to give back and actively contribute to the wider community,” he said.
Johnny would “definitely recommend” the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship program.
“It's a great opportunity to get the real experience of a professional workplace. You can develop the confidence and knowledge for yourself and you're also contributing to the community in such a meaningful way,” said Johnny.