UWA Psychology student, Leanne Lill, has spent over 100 hours strengthening the volunteering program at East Perth-based not for profit organisation St Bart’s, to assist and support people who are homeless, through a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship.
Ms Lill says the internship experience was “eye opening”, allowing her to gain meaningful insight into the complex issues behind homelessness in Western Australia.
She was drawn to her Psychology studies by a desire to give back to the community, and her McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship has allowed her to gain real world experience to do just that.
“I was inspired by the people working in the not-for-profit sector. My previous work life has been in publicly listed companies and I always felt like I should be doing more for the community,” she said.
Ms Lill’s internship involved her completing in-depth research and analysis to strengthen and improve St Barts’ volunteer program.
Ms Lill’s internship supervisor and St Bart’s Coordinator of Volunteers and Donations, Warren Nel, says Ms Lill “made a significant contribution to St Bart’s during her internship over and above what was expected in this intern role.”
Not only did Leanne volunteer her personal time above her required internship hours, but Mr Nel was most impressed by Ms Lill’s “compassionate empathy”, building “a number of excellent relationships within the fabric of the St Bart’s environment, with staff, with volunteers and with our clients.”
“Leanne’s work will enhance St Bart’s interaction with volunteers and clients, ultimately resulting in a more effective service delivery to those in need across our community,” he said.
Ms Lill says the internship experience has encouraged her to continue to actively support the community and she has started an ongoing volunteer role as a youth mentor.