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Exceptional contributions recognised in Outstanding Intern Award

3 November, 2021

Going above and beyond to support vulnerable people in the WA community was a common thread for the most recent recipients of UWA’s McCusker Centre for Citizenship Outstanding Intern Award.

Presented by The Honourable Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC CitWA, Director and Chairman of The McCusker Charitable Foundation and former WA Governor, and fellow Director, His Honour Judge Denis Reynolds, the Outstanding Intern Award presentation saw nine students nominated by their internship supervisors for making exceptional contributions.

The recipient of the Outstanding Intern Award - Government category was Elly Bijlsma, who interned at the WA Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC), nominated by supervisor Danielle Asarpota. Elly researched recovery initiatives and policy directions relating to youth, Aboriginal people, women, and people living in the regions being delivered by other Australian jurisdictions.

The Outstanding Intern Award – Community category was presented to two recipients who made outstanding contributions to the community sector, Leanne Lill and Rory Cherry.

Leanne undertook data research at not-for-profit St Bart’s and was nominated by supervisor Warren Nel. Leanne's internship project sought to strengthen their volunteering program to better support people facing homelessness across Perth.

Rory was nominated by supervisor Margo Zorbas for his intern role of Youth Ambassador for Midland Information Debt and Legal Advocacy Service Inc (Midlas) where he went above and beyond his marketing role to assist and support people in the community living in poverty.

All three recipients acknowledged the positive learning experiences offered to them through the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship program.

DPC intern Elly said “this internship has opened my eyes to the possibilities and opportunities there are out there to make a contribution to the community that you live in.”

On his time at Midlas, Rory said “I learned a great deal about assisting the community whilst also learning more about my marketing major. My capacity to contribute to society has certainly grown throughout the internship.”

The McCusker Centre for Citizenship established the Outstanding Intern of the Year Award in 2019. It is a bi-annual award open to all student interns who are nominated by their organisation for making an exceptional contribution during their internship.

Over the past six years, more than 1,600 students have undertaken their internship with the McCusker Centre for Citizenship, contributing more than 177,000 hours in service to the community across its programs.