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Wungening Aboriginal Corporation gives intern the opportunity to put university skills to the test

4 May, 2020

University of WA student Harry Osbourne was just halfway through his McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship when he was offered a part-time contract at host organisation Wungening Aboriginal Corporation.

The Computer and Data Science student has been working at Wungening as a Special Projects Officer for IT since completing his internship in January.

During the 100-hour community service internship, Mr Osbourne supported the Research, Evaluation and Impact Manager Lindey Andrews to establish visual tools to support ongoing evaluation of Wungening’s services.

He made visual representations of the data and conceptual frameworks in order to increase communication and enhance engagement for the organisation’s internal and external stakeholders.

Intern supervisor Ms Andrews said Mr Osbourne produced a series of dashboards (from the data) that visually told the story of Wungening’s program outputs and outcomes.

“This work supported us to begin to create a picture of who we are supporting, what we are doing, and how we are doing,” she said.

“It will increase communication and enhance engagement of internal and external stakeholders.”

Floreat resident Mr Osbourne said his internship project “quickly evolved” into something more than the initial role description.

“The project was originally just to translate data in a simple, visual way,” he explained.

“Because I am a data scientist, I was able to take it further and make that connection from the data to the end product.”

Mr Osbourne said he was thankful for the opportunity to put his university skills to the test in the “real world”.

“My degree has been a lot of ‘Here is some data’, but there is not really any attachment to it,” he said.

“But, with this internship, I was working with real numbers that represent real people and real change.

“It was really valuable to be able to look at the pages and pages of data and pull out those important numbers that really show what an important impact Wungening is making.”

Ms Andrews agreed that the internship program offered mutual opportunity and benefit to both the intern and the host organisation.

“Harry had the opportunity to fully engage with the organisation and put his skills to use in a real world context, under supervision, with the satisfaction of knowing the value of the work he was doing,” she said.

Long-time City of Perth Surf Life Saving volunteer Mr Osbourne said he was inspired to apply for an internship with the McCusker Centre for Citizenship to “give back to the community” in a different way.

“There are so many opportunities for us to be making a difference,” he said.

“The internship is a great experience, because you’re put in the deep end, but you’re given so much support at the same time.”