Travelling to India for the “opportunity of their lives” through the McCusker Centre for Citizenship was a reunion of sorts for University of WA students Meisha Bull and Natalie Fretton.
“It’s kind of a funny story, but we actually lived together at St Catherine’s College for our first year,” Albany resident Ms Fretton said prior to their departure.
“This wasn’t planned – we didn’t even know the other had applied until we were both accepted.
“I found out through a mutual friend and thought, ‘What are the chances? There can’t be that many other people at UWA called Meisha…’”
The pair flew to Bangalore, India to participate in Pollinate Energy’s Student Fellowship Program on June 29.
During the one-month internship, they worked on projects that positively impact the lives of local families and communities through sustainable business models and environmental solutions to real-world problems.
Margaret River local Ms Bull said she almost cried when the McCusker Centre for Citizenship called to tell her she had been chosen to attend the global internship.
“I applied because I want to use the business skills and knowledge I have learned studying accounting at university, and apply it to how it works in real life to make a positive impact on social issues,” the 20-year-old said.
“I’m especially passionate about empowering women and the things that women can do in the community if given the resources and education, and how they can spread that knowledge and have a greater impact.
“That’s exactly what Pollinate is focused on right now, which is why I’m so excited to be part of it. I can’t wait to see how I can bring my experiences and what I learn in India back to Australia.”
Law and Society Major Ms Fretton said Pollinate was an incredible business organisation that aligned directly with what she wanted to do in the future.
“I love their mission and vision statements that focus on empowerment and self-sufficiency,” she said.
“I think that’s incredibly valuable and the direction that not-for-profit organisations are going in the future, so I am really excited to see how that works in practice and how it works on the ground.
“This is such an amazing opportunity, I’m really lucky to be able to do something like this. I am so grateful to the McCusker Centre for Citizenship.”