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Olivia uses marketing skills to support Fremantle homelessness services

14 October, 2022

UWA postgraduate marketing student Olivia Triglavcanin has supported an innovative campaign in Fremantle that proposes to use coffee cups to raise awareness of local homelessness support organisation, St Patrick’s.

Olivia completed the project through an internship with UWA’s McCusker Centre for Citizenship, drawing on her former studies in psychology and putting her marketing expertise into practice for the benefit of the community.

“I planned and wrote a proposal for illustrated takeaway coffee cups to be created and distributed throughout Fremantle, in which the illustration would educate the local community of who St Pat’s is and the multitude of services they provide to people experiencing homelessness in the community,” said Olivia.

As part of the project, Olivia surveyed Fremantle residents to assess the community’s knowledge of St Pat’s services and ensure the campaign addressed the main gaps in information.

“The most rewarding element of this internship was producing something new and original for the organisation that will directly impact the understanding and knowledge of who they are and what they do, and encourage the local community to volunteer, donate or attend a St Pat’s event,” said Olivia.

Olivia says the internship experience showed her prevalence and severity of homelessness in Fremantle and Perth.

“I wasn’t aware of how many people were experiencing homelessness in our local communities. Having the opportunity to be exposed to and to then make a difference to this community is an experience I will never forget and am very fortunate to have had,” said Olivia.

“Additionally, having the opportunity to visit St Pat’s Community Centre and see the meal services, health services and accommodation that St Pat’s provides was eye-opening. Being able to see some of the facilities and services that are available because of generous volunteers and donations was rewarding, as was knowing that I was helping people experiencing homelessness in the community,” she said.

The St Pat’s team said they were appreciative of Olivia’s “enthusiasm and fresh perspective”.

“When you’re working day-to-day in an organisation, it can be easy to forget to look outside at new ideas and perspectives, so having someone who was actively engaged in current trends but also excited and willing to be innovative and collaborative was of real benefit,” said internship supervisor and St Pat’s Fundraising & Volunteer Coordinator, Melanie Watkins.

“The most important feature of any intern is a willingness to learn and try new things and Olivia was always keen to take on anything we threw at her. We’re grateful for her time with us and the contribution she made to St Pat’s,” said Melanie.

Olivia says she “absolutely” recommends the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship program and has gained confidence in her marketing skills.

“Having had the support and encouragement from my supervisor and the St Pat’s team, I now have the confidence in myself to create and develop my own marketing ideas and take them into the world. I know that my ideas and skills are valuable to any organisation I choose to work with in the future,” said Olivia.

“The McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship is an amazing way to see that your developing skills can be utilised and are valuable to the community, and that you as an individual can make a difference,” she says.