UWA student San Dingre has taken a valuable step towards a career in healthcare that supports the community following a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship at the Champion Centre in the City of Armadale.
San, a Canning Vale resident, is currently studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science majoring in Anatomy and Human Biology and Humanities in Health and Medicine, on a direct pathway to a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine.
With a goal to one day start her own healthcare support organisation, San undertook the internship to gain firsthand experience in community service.
The Champion Centre is a gathering place for Aboriginal people, families and communities, as well as for agencies who offer health and support services for the Aboriginal community, which has led San to gain valuable experience engaging with Aboriginal elders and families.
“I worked on a parent information handbook for the Champion Centre families, which contains information about all the services the Centre provides,” said San.
“The highlight of my internship was the weekly community cook-ups where members of the Aboriginal community come to the Centre every Wednesday. It was really rewarding as I got to engage with community elders,” she said.
“I have learnt so much about Aboriginal people and their culture. From their strong familial ties to their ways of showing respect by calling each other: ‘sis’ ‘brother’ and ‘aunty’, I have learnt how to engage with a diverse community which I hope to interact with in the future,” said San.
In addition to listening and learning from the Aboriginal community, San has gained knowledge on how to steer her studies in healthcare towards a career that gives back to the community.
“My internship has opened my eyes into how I can integrate service into my career. For example, during my internship there were organisations such as Aboriginal Medical Care 360, podiatrists and Telethon Kids that offered their services to the Aboriginal community, which is something I resonate with,” said San.
Most notably, San’s experience at the Champion Centre has showed her the power of learning through new experiences.
“By being welcomed into the Indigenous community it changed my perspective of how individual experience creates ways of thinking,” she said.
“I would recommend a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship to other students because you will only gain positive experiences. This internship is not only enjoyable, but a time where you can learn valuable skills and gain new friends,” she says.