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Telethon Kids intern rises to the challenge of working from home

14 July, 2020

University of WA Biomedical Science student Alice White was “amazing” at adapting to completing her Telethon Kids Institute internship from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, says intern supervisor Jacinta Freeman.

Telethon Kids Embrace Project Manager Ms Freeman said she was very impressed by the way her McCusker Centre for Citizenship interns Ms White and Kristina Magoutas dealt with the extra challenges of working from home.

“They both continued to remain engaged, upbeat, enthusiastic and sought out opportunities using new methods of working,” she shared.

“They kept us informed of their university requirements and changes in assessments which we were able to accommodate.

“The interns from McCusker have been enthusiastic, dedicated and committed to the internship and we have enjoyed having them at the Institute.”

During her 100-hour community service internship, East Fremantle resident Ms White worked on multiple research projects run by the Telethon Kids Youth Mental Health team.

“Alice conducted literature reviews for projects concerning the mental health of pregnant women, culturally and linguistically diverse young people, and trans and gender diverse young people,” Ms Freeman said.

“She trialled a digital mental health intervention for trans and gender diverse young people and developed an understanding of ethical requirements for a youth mental health research project.

“Alice’s graphical skills were put to good use during her internship by many of the youth mental health team members.”

Ms White, 20, said her internship had been a rewarding experience working from home.

“I especially appreciate the great effort that my host organisation made to support me in my remote internship,” she said.

“Completing an internship is a good opportunity for integrating work experience into your degree, whilst also being able to assist your host organisation in their important work.

“It gives you the ability to participate in a real work environment and to form professional relationships. This internship at the Institute has showed me the importance of continued research, and its ability to benefit all members of the community.”

The McCusker Centre for Citizenship recently received almost double the expected number of student applications for its upcoming winter (June-July) round of internships. 

Centre Director Michelle Scott said the “overwhelming” number of applications was a sign that young people were increasingly seeking opportunities to engage with and give back to their communities.

“It is clear UWA students have a great appetite for internships with a social purpose,” Ms Scott said.

“They have seen the very practical way that their peers contributed, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, and want to do the same.”