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Michael strengthens safety for community workers

1 December, 2021

UWA student Michael Liu has contributed 100 hours towards a project that seeks to strengthen the health and safety of workers who support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Having moved to Perth from China to study his Master of Human Resources and Employment Relations, Michael decided to apply for a McCusker Centre of Citizenship internship during his final semester of study to give back to the Perth community.

“I realised this was an excellent opportunity to contribute to local communities and improve my abilities,” said Michael.

Michael secured an internship role at Rise Network, a Perth-based community service organisation that provides a range of services for individuals and communities across Perth, including aged care, disability, mental health, youth support, housing and support for people experiencing family and domestic violence.

During the internship, Michael created a suite of over 60 digital and printed resources for Rise Network staff and volunteers to educate and raise awareness on a wide range of health and safety topics, including mental health resources such as R U OK Day.

Michael’s supervisor and Rise Network Work, Health and Safety Officer, Julie Exeter, said “Michael went above and beyond in carrying out this task. Not only did he create new ways of delivering the information, he also designed the documents around our style guide.”

The internship led Michael to gain an appreciation of the work that goes on behind the scenes at community services such as Rise Network and the vital role this work plays in supporting the community.

“Even if I did not go to the front line to provide services to these disadvantaged groups, I used my abilities and skills to raise awareness so that these groups can live better lives,” said Michael.

“Additionally, I have experienced a whole new working atmosphere, practised my communication ability, deployed my creative thinking skills and improved my English, which is significantly beneficial for my future professional life,” he said.

Michael recommends the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship to other UWA students seeking real-world experiences.

“[The internship] is a valuable opportunity to see how society works and combine practice with theory. There is an old saying in China, 'what is learned from books is superficial after all. It is crucial to have it personally tested somehow',” said Michael.

“Most importantly, students can make contributions to local communities. Although Australia is a privileged land, there are still issues existing in local communities. As residents here, we should do more to make our communities better,” he said.