Genevieve Burke completed her 100-hour internship with St Patrick’s Community Support Centre in Fremantle while studying a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Western Australia, and was today recognised with an award for her efforts.
Ms Burke was presented with their Outstanding Intern of the Year Awards at a presentation event on 25 March by The Honourable Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC CitWA, Director and Chairman of The McCusker Charitable Foundation and former WA Governor and fellow Director, His Honour Judge Denis Reynolds.
Fremantle not-for-profit St Patrick’s cares for and supports disadvantaged and vulnerable people in the community including those who are homeless. Ms Burke produced a newsletter for clients, assisted with Doorstep Dinners delivering meals to people in need, and set up the ticketing for the organisation’s signature event, The Fremantle Long Table Dinner.
“Through Doorstep Dinners I got to see some of the poverty and poor living conditions that people in the community are experiencing,” said Ms Burke, who continued to volunteer with St Patrick’s after her internship. “That was tough and made me realise just how lucky I am.”
Her supervisor, St Patrick’s Fundraising and Volunteer Coordinator Melanie Watkins, nominated her for the award.
“Genevieve took calls from volunteers out of hours and did work in her own time when we had some unexpected issues occurred, such as assisting volunteers over the phone during their shift, and taking on shifts when a volunteer pulled out due to illness,” said Ms Watkins.
“This was above and beyond and certainly not expected. Genevieve helped because she is a true professional and saw an immediate problem which she knew she could solve. Genevieve truly deserves to be recognised as an outstanding intern.”
Ms Burke highly recommended the Centre’s internship program.
“Human connection is the best medicine and I was really lucky to have the experience I did when people were coming back together after time in isolation due to the pandemic,” said Ms Burke. “(My internship) helped me realise just how complex the reality of homelessness is.”
The McCusker Centre for Citizenship established the Outstanding Intern of the Year Award in 2019. It is a bi-annual award open to all student interns who are nominated by their organisation for making an exceptional contribution during their internship.
Over the past five years more than 1,300 students have undertaken their internship with the McCusker Centre for Citizenship contributing more than 145,000 hours in service to the community.
Ms Burke and fellow student Hannah Klein, who undertook an internship with the Shire of Gingin, were joint recipients selected from nine nominated students shortlisted for the Award.