Hannah Klein completed her 100-hour internship with the Shire of Gingin while studying for a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Western Australia, and was today recognised with an award for her efforts.
Ms Klein was presented with an Outstanding Intern of the Year Award at a presentation event on March 25, 2021 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.
During her internship at the Shire of Gingin, Ms Klein worked on a project to piggyback on existing Beach Emergency Numbers signs (BEN) – which provide members of the community with information that can be quoted to emergency services so the location can be accurately pinpointed – to provide further information such as maps, safety information and local area knowledge via QR codes.
“Seeing the project come together and getting an idea of how my work might make a meaningful impact on the community was the highlight of the experience,” said Ms Klein.
Her supervisor, Gingin Community Development Officer Helen Sutherland, who nominated Ms Klein for the award, said the project was “a fun and rewarding experience with a positive and successful outcome”.
“This project was significant in that it has the potential for all 31 Local Governments to use the 1,508 Beach Emergency Number signs ranging from Geraldton to Busselton to Esperance approximately 800 kms of coast, as a state-wide initiative for public information exchange,” said Ms Sutherland.
“The outcomes directly impact local government economic and financial capacity as it is focusing on reducing the cost of signage, hard copy communications and visual pollution along the coastal region of Western Australia.”
Ms Klein highly recommended the Centre’s internship program and said her internship in local government offered “a rare chance to try something totally new”.
“Applying your university skills in a real-world context is more beneficial than any unit you might take, and it's an excellent opportunity to give back to your wider community in an engaging and rewarding way,” said Ms Klein.
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 five years more than 1,300 students have undertaken their internship with the McCusker Centre for Citizenship contributing more than 145,000 hours in service to the community.
Ms Klein and fellow student Genevieve Burke, who undertook an internship with St Patrick’s Community Support Centre, were joint recipients selected from nine nominated students shortlisted for the Award.