What types of organisations are eligible to host interns through this program?
The McCusker Centre’s Internship Program is available to not-for-profit and government organisations. The program focuses on Western Australian organisations, however interstate and international internships are possible (please contact the Internships Coordinator to discuss options). Organisations should be registered with an ABN and hold public liability insurance.
What are the minimum requirements for an organisation to host an intern?
Host organisations need to provide:
- Meaningful and structured project/activities that add value to the organisation and give interns the opportunity to understand the community work that you do and individual people you serve.
- A project/activity for each internship that requires a minimum of 100 hours in order for the intern to meet their academic requirements.
- An appropriate and safe work environment (including equipment and materials) to ensure that the student is embedded in the organisation, can carry out necessary tasks, and be supported to feel safe at all times.
- Regular supervision from a paid employee and opportunities for the intern to receive feedback on the work that they undertake.
- Completion of basic paperwork, including signing timesheets, a short mid-internship and end-of-internship evaluation on the intern’s performance, and a brief program survey at the end of the internship period.
Are there any financial costs to organisations in hosting interns?
No. There is no cost to becoming a host organisation and internships are unpaid. Internships that require travel of any kind (including car travel within the Perth metropolitan area, regional or interstate travel) may incur costs for the host organisation; this should be discussed with the Internships Coordinator in advance of hosting an intern.
Do internships need to fit into the standard teaching periods?
Yes. The McCusker Centre internships are strictly run in the rounds outlined above (see Dates & Deadlines). Internships need to take place within the dates and at the intensity (i.e. days per week) outlined.
Can interns work from home?
Host organisations are required to provide interns a safe and suitable workspace on location at their organisation, along with the necessary equipment and materials to carry out their tasks. Our interns report that they experience greater engagement with organisations and their communities, as well as learning outcomes, when on site at their organisation. It also ensures the safety and wellbeing of interns, and reduces risks of cyber security and data confidentiality that may arise when interns work from home. Under exceptional circumstances, the Internships Team may consider an internship role that requires an intern to work from home, for some or all of their 100 hours of service. It is essential that organisations talk to us about this in advance and receive approval from the Internships Team to host a work-from-home internship. Student interns are advised that they cannot request to work from home.
What level of supervision is required?
Students should be supervised at all times during the internship. It is advisable that supervisors plan to have a check-in or meeting with their intern at regular intervals throughout. Supervisors need to ensure students are provided with an induction to the organisation and work premises, as well as copies of workplace policies and procedures, (e.g. occupational health and safety, security and emergencies).
What are the insurance requirements?
Interns are covered by UWA’s student placement insurance (see Resources above or the UWA website). The interns’ enrolment ensures that this cover is automatic and does not require special documentation.
Unless otherwise agreed, organisations must maintain the following insurance cover for the duration of the internship covering the organisation and the student:
- Public liability insurance with insured limits in respect to bodily injury and property damage of at least $20,000,000 in respect of each claim and unlimited in aggregate; and
- Professional indemnity insurance in the amount of not less than $10 million.
If your organisation does not have this level of cover, please simply talk to us as this can be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Are internships compliant with Fair Work requirements?
Yes. As all the students are enrolled in an academic unit to credit the internship, our program meets the Fair Work Ombudsman requirements for unpaid internships. This also means that our international students are able to complete the internship, without concerns about visa work restrictions. To help ensure these requirements are met, internships should not include tasks that a paid employee would usually do or that is part of day-to-day operations. Read more on the Fair Work website.
What are some examples of internship roles?
Each role is developed to suit the specific needs of the host organisation and their project/s. However, to give you some ideas there are some commonly requested roles outlined in the Internship Role Development Guide.
Can my organisation host more than one intern at one time?
Yes, you are welcome to express an interest in hosting several interns. However, please consider the resourcing requirements for this, such as supervisor time, office space, and equipment.
How are interns matched to the roles?
Our application has been carefully designed to identify the strengths, experience and interests of each student. With this and our careful role development process, our internship matches are overwhelmingly successful.
Is my organisation guaranteed an intern?
At the McCusker Centre, we do everything in our power to ensure that each internship role is filled by a suitable student applicant. However, on rare occasions we may not be able to match a suitable student. In these situations, you will be notified as soon as possible.
Does my organisation need to supply a computer and other equipment?
Organisations should provide students access to all facilities and amenities necessary or desirable for carrying out the internship. This may include a desk, computer, office supplies and other equipment required for their role. However, if this is not possible students may be asked to use their own personal devices. This should be discussed with the Internship Coordinator and noted in the Role Description.
What happens if the internship is not working well?
Very rarely, an internship might not work out – for many reasons including illness, poor performance, changing circumstances within the organisation, and so on. There are staff at the McCusker Centre who can help address any issues that arise – just get in touch as soon as you identify an issue, no matter how small.
What do students get out of their internship?
Our internship program is specifically designed to foster community-minded thinkers and leaders, to inspire students to become lifelong contributors to our communities and to promote awareness about challenging social issues. Every student who undertakes our internships is enrolled in a unit, which appears on their transcript. They may or may not be taking the unit for academic credit. Our program attracts applications from a wide range of students, from first year undergraduate through to PhD candidates, from the range of disciplines offered at UWA. Our program is not a requirement of any course, which means that the students who apply are self-motivated to undertake a community internship.
Where can I find more information about previous organisations’ experiences of hosting interns?
You can read about a whole range of internship experiences, hearing from both students and organisations, in our news.
Who can I contact with further questions?
If you have any questions about the internship program, please contact us via email us or call 6488 7553.
Are there are other internship programs available at UWA?
Internships of this kind are only hosted through the McCusker Centre for Citizenship, however if your organisation is interested in exploring UWA’s Work Integrated Learning programs, please visit https://www.careers.uwa.edu.au/wil/students#placement