UWA student Nicole has contributed 100 hours towards preserving our WA coastline and the Swan River through an internship at the Department of Transport, where she helped raised awareness of the dangers of oil spills from recreational boats.
The internship, facilitated through the McCusker Centre for Citizenship at UWA, saw Nicole support the Department’s Maritime Environmental Emergency Response Team by developing a marketing campaign to educate the public on how to best prevent these kinds of oil spills.
The Bachelor of Arts student, who majors in both Political Science and Marketing, applied for the internship with a desire to gain professional experience, connect with new people and make a positive difference in the community.
The “eye-opening” internship taught Nicole about the dangers of oil spills from recreational boats, even witnessing a Maritime Environmental Emergency Response Team rescue mission in action – an experience that hit close to home, being someone who often goes boating in the area with family.
“It made me realise how often oil spills can occur and that the key lies in prevention,” said Nicole.
The internship saw Nicole share the campaign not only with the public, but with important stakeholders across the public sector, as well as young children in the community through the Department’s Junior Crew Primary School Educational Program.
The Maritime Environmental Emergency Response team were grateful for Nicole’s contributions.
“Nicole’s internship allowed us to access knowledge and skills not normally available within the team. As a result, she made a fantastic contribution to our hopes to increase community awareness of the risk of maritime oil pollution,” said Maritime Environmental Emergency Response Incident Controller, Glen McDermott.
“We are extremely grateful for Nicole’s contribution throughout her internship and in particular her clever awareness campaign slogan of ‘Don’t SpOIL it!’”
Nicole says the internship had “many rewarding elements” - in addition to reinforcing her passion for political science and marketing, Nicole was able to see that there are clear career pathways that allow for making a positive change in society.
“I was using my creativity and forward-thinking skills to raise awareness about how to prevent marine oil pollution. I knew I was making a difference not only to the environment, but to every member of the community,” said Nicole.
Nicole plans to continue her volunteer work, setting her sights on supporting regional and rural communities across WA to connect with people from “all walks of life”.
“I am always open to new experiences as I know they not only benefit the community but allow you to grow as a person and have a broader perspective on the world,” says Nicole.
Nicole would “strongly encourage” other students to take up opportunities such as the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship program.
“It will always help to navigate your future career journey. Furthermore, you get the opportunity to meet new people and establish a professional network,” said Nicole.