University of Western Australia student Martha Dodge contributed 100 hours towards strengthening community engagement at the Shire of Mundaring.
The internship, completed through the McCusker Centre for Citizenship, saw Ms Dodge, a Bachelor of Arts, Law and Society student, consult with a wide range of community members across the district, as well as internal teams within the Shire, to find new ways to involve and empower all community members in decision-making processes.
Ms Dodge supported the development of guidelines with a focus on the participation of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people, older adults and young people in the community to ensure the voices of all community members are heard.
Ms Dodge said the internship experience was “far more valuable” than she thought it could be. “[The internship] has opened my mind to opportunities that are outside of my own wants and needs. I have really come to terms with the fact that contributing to a community is a win-win for myself and those I contribute towards,” she said.
Shire of Mundaring Coordinator of Community Engagement and intern supervisor, Karen White, said “Martha far exceeded expectations during her internship” and was dedicated to gaining the best possible outcome.
Ms Dodge says the internship has encouraged her to be a more active citizen.
“It has helped me to become a lot less self-centred in terms of considering my future and career, and a lot more open-minded towards how my skills can fit into the bigger picture of making society a better place.
“The skills I have learnt in my two and a half years at university have strongly equipped me to be a valuable member of society, especially when I am passionate about something,” she said.