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Michael finds direction through internship with children and families service-provider

13 February, 2023

UWA student Michael Pascoe completed a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship in the second half of 2022, learning about how he could apply his learning from university to work that served the community.

Michael, a Hilton resident studying a Bachelor in Science majoring in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences, said that the opportunity to apply for the internship came at an ideal moment in his life.

“During that time, I had this constant feeling that what I was doing in my life was not really contributing to the community at all. “

“When I saw this internship I thought it was the perfect opportunity to fulfill that need,” he said.

Michael was matched with Wanslea, an organisation that began in WA and now provides a range of services focused on the wellbeing of children and families in WA, the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

Working with Wanslea’s Quality and Compliance Team, he was able to research online environments and resources that promote safety and wellbeing, and minimise risk, for children and young people.

“My project required me to analyse Wanslea’s existing online safety policy and compare it to government requirements for policy in this space, and then to provide recommendations for improvement,” Michael said.

“Personally, what I found was the most rewarding was the realisations I had about what kind of work I liked; this internship made me realise that what I was doing within the internship was exactly what I liked doing the most at university, which is researching and analysing,

“The internship opened my eyes to a future where work could be something that I can really enjoy,” he said.

Michael’s supervisor, Therese O’Sullivan, acknowledged the significance of Michael’s contribution to Wanslea’s work, and his demonstrated commitment to the aims of the project he supported.

“Michael displayed an engaging and conscientious approach each and every week of his internship,

“Michael’s technical knowledge and informed holistic approach to children and young people’s wellbeing in the online space led to an incredibly detailed and extensive assessment in meeting the requirements of ‘Safety by Design’,

“He proactively sought advice and asked questions to progress the project assessment in a timely manner and applied himself consistently and methodically throughout the scope of the project to produce work of a very high standard and quality,” Therese said.

“Michael sought to understand the broader work of Wanslea across many program areas to ensure comprehensive assessment of the work Wanslea engages in within online spaces; his contribution to progress the Research and Policy Development Project will enable Wanslea’s ongoing embedding of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations,”

Michael said that he would recommend a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship to other students “who have an idea of where they want to work but have no clue what it’s like to work in those environments,”