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Upcoming Events

Future Events

The McCusker Centre for Citizenship sponsors events and forums for students, academics, members of the public, not-for-profit, community organisations, government and business about making a difference in our community on contemporary social issues.

If you are interested in attending our events, please complete the contact form above.

Previous Events

Panel Discussion: What does it mean to be a good citizen? 31 Ocotber 2018

Panel Good Citizen event

The panel of four respected Western Australians discussed what makes a good citizen.

The advice from the panel about consistently being a good citizen included:

• Stay informed

• Have your voice heard

• If you can, be active in some way, keep raising awareness of the issues

• Keep going!

• Change will only come from effort!

• Hear the voice that makes you most uncomfortable as they have something to teach you.

The panel was moderated by Focus presenter Nadia Mitsopoulos, ABC Radio Perth.

Panel members included: The Most Reverend Kay Goldsworthy AO, Anglican Archbishop of Perth, Emeritus Professor Mike Daube AO, Curtin University, 2018 Western Australian of the Year, Jonathan Ford, CEO, Moorditj Koort, 2018 Community Person of the Year Perth NAIDOC Award, Linda Savage, Lawyer and Inaugural Convener of the Valuing Children Initiative.

This panel discussion was supported by ABC Radio Perth, City of Perth Library and Celebrate WA.

Listento the discussion

Modern Slavery: Breaking the Chain - 11 October 2018

Modern Slavery - event imge

Our Student Advisory Committee's second event this semester was a panel discussion about Modern Slavery, with panellists: Nathanael Foo, Founder, threeonesix, Tori Anderson, Director of Marketing and Philanthropy, Anglicare WA, Dr Fiona McGaughey, Director of Higher Degrees (Coursework), UWA Law School and Co-convenor of the UWA Modern Slavery Research Network and the UWA Not-for-Profit Hub and Stella Freitag, Human Rights Researcher, Walk Free Foundation.

The engaging discussion covered the definition of modern slavery, the panellists' experiences of working with victims of exploitation and trafficking, and how the proposed Modern Slavery Act aims to hold businesses accountable along with examples of cases to watch. The panel also shared their views on how we can take local action to help eradicate the complex issue that is modern slavery.

The panel discussion was followed by a student group discussion on the topic.

Sir Wallace Kyle Oration - 22 August 2018

Fiona Stanley

The McCusker Centre for Citizenship hosted the 2018 Sir Wallace Kyle Oration which was delivered by Professor Fiona Stanley AC. Professor Stanley spoke about her inspirational career and passion for improving and advocating for the health and wellbeing of our children through her work in public health.

More than 250 people, attended Professor Stanley’s Oration which focussed on her early career as a clinician, her study of epidemiology and public health, and her role in establishing a multi-disciplinary research institute, lobbying for a national agenda for children and young people, advancing Aboriginal health care and social justice, and calling for action on climate change.

No doubt Professor Stanley’s Oration has inspired a new generation to follow in her footsteps to become active citizens.

The Sir Wallace Kyle Oration is supported by the McCusker Centre for Citizenship and the Rotary Club of Perth.

Listen to the Oration

Matariki Network of Universities (MNU) Global Citizenship Forum discussion - 21 August 2018

MNU global citizenship forum event

The McCusker Centre for Citizenship students who attended the Matariki Network of Universities’ Global Citizenship Forum led an interactive workshop on active citizenship for UWA students.

The students discussed ways of getting involved in the community, with some examples being volunteering, advocacy, and education. They then focused on barriers to community engagement including the issues of balancing paid and unpaid work, how to get involved if you have an introverted personality, as well as not being aware of the opportunities available. The students also discussed the benefits of organisations reaching out to students to offer their opportunities as well as the advantage of unpaid internships with the incentive of credit points for degrees.

Students left the workshop with broader understanding of opportunities available to be an active citizen in the community.

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Our Centre sponsored the Disrupted Festival of Ideas, a weekend of free events including: conversations, panel discussions, keynotes and activities held at the State Library of Western Australia in the last weekend of July.

Now in its fifth year, Disrupted again challenged and inspired our way of thinking, with 2018 shining the spotlight on technology and its impact on humanity.

To find out more about the festival, visit here

Pop-up: The View from the Outside - Homelessness in Perth - 8 May 2018

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Our second student pop up event for the year was on the issue of homelessness in Perth and generated a very engaging discussion.

Our Student Advisory Committee was joined by panellists Tayla Byatt, a second year Juris Doctor student who helped found the Perth based social enterprise uneARThed, and Katherine Haag, a Student Assist Officer with the UWA Student Guild.

The panellists provided their insights into the issue on a local level and a perspective on homelessness as it affects students and young people.

Internship Information Session Winter & Semester 2 2018

Info Session

You can find the presentation slides for the Internship Information Session Winter & Semester 2 2018 here

Pop-up: Educational Inequality - 22 March 2018


Our student pop-up event series for 2018 began with a Panel Discussion on Educational Inequality, featuring panellists Dr Carmen Lawrence, Mr Sione Murray and Mr Harry Sanderson.

The informative discussion organised by our student committee, considered the issue of educational inequality from both a broader policy perspective as well as through anecdotal stories, and highlighted that Australia has one of the highest rates of educational disparity in developed countries.

The panelists discussed how this leads to negative social outcomes and contrasted Australia’s educational situation with Finland’s educational system, which has greatly minimised this issue. They also reinforced that it is important to try to achieve equity, rather than equality (the same for everyone) in education. A standardised national curriculum may be in place in Australia, but regional and economic differences mean that its delivery is greatly varied, and better outcomes may flow from a more place-based approach to education, in which teaching and learning is more connected to the local context of students.

Turbulence and Volatility: Australia's Foreign Aid and Security - 20 February 2018


Co-hosted with the Perth USAsia Centre and the City of Perth Library, the panel discussion was led by Dr Helen Szoke, CEO of Oxfam Australia, and facilitated by Professor Gordon Flake, CEO of the Perth USAsia Centre, who were joined by panellists Senator Linda Reynolds, Madeleine King MP and Anne Aly MP.

The panel held a robust and thought-provoking discussion with a full house of engaged citizens, including many students, on the significance of Australia’s foreign aid amidst a turbulent and volatile geopolitical environment in the coming year.

For a summary of the key takeaway points raised in the discussion see:(

Pop-up: Women in Contemporary Australia - 25 October 2017

Zee Ibrahim, Aurelia Joy Brian and Ishita Mathur performed at Uni Hall for an audience of students to celebrate women in Australia today.

Djook to Jija (Sister to Sister) Aboriginal Women Speak Out: A self-determined future - 11 October 2017

Djook to Jija panel

Co-hosted with ABC Perth, the event brought female Aboriginal women together for a frank panel discussion about life in Australia today. The panel of June Oscar, Colleen Hayward, Jeanice Krakouer and Ingrid Cumming was moderated by Speaking Out presenter Larissa Behrendt. The discussion will be aired on ABC Radio Perth, at 7pm on 22 October 2017.

Indigenous Panel Discussion - 13 September 2017

Indigenous Panel Discussion

McCusker Centre for Citizenship hosted a panel of community leaders at University Hall for a discussion about the challenges and successes impacting on Indigenous people and communities in WA today. The panel was chaired by McCusker Centre for Citizenship director Michelle Scott and included:

  • Judge Denis Reynolds - President, Children's Court of Western Australia
  • Jonathan Ford - CEO, Moorditj Koort Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre
  • James Back - CEO, Reconciliation WA
  • Ingrid Cumming - Whadjuk Noongar Traditional Owner and Custodian
  • Joseph Bin Omar - UWA Student

Global Citizenship Exchange: Information Session

Global Citizenship Exchange program- Facbook Event

You can find the presentation slides from the Global Citizenship Exchange Information Session here

Video: Building a More Socially Inclusive Community


Watch our the video of the Building a More Socially Inclusive Community event at City of Perth Library here

Popup Series Event: Climate Change and Us - 30 August 2017, 4pm

The Hemsley Learning Centre in Reid Library was full for the third Student Pop Up event of the year - Climate Change and Us. Danii and Bethanii Baron-Heeris from Australian Youth Climate Coalition educated attendees on how our everyday activities can have drastic effects on the world around us. Attendees left inspired to make a change and help take action against climate change.

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The Big Idea UWA Launch - 31st July, 4pm

Students gathered in UWA Business School to hear from Danya Sterling of The Big Issue who shared all the details about The Big Idea competition and how students could apply. Danya was joined by Sean - a Big Issue Vendor - who told the students in attendance about becoming homeless at age 14 and how The Big Issue helped him turn his life around.


Cultural Awareness Session for Semester 2 Interns - Wednesday 9th August, 4-6pm

Dr Richard Walley hosted the Cultural Awareness Session for Semester 2 interns where he facilitated a lively and engaging discussion.


Building a More Socially Inclusive Community - Panel Discussion - 19th July, 4.30-6.30pm

Building a more socially inclusive community - panel

The inspirational panel of Richard Walley, Virginia Cumberbatch, Carmen Lawrence and Adam Levin spoke about how to build a socially inclusive community at the McCusker Centre for Citizenship Event at City of Perth Library on 19 July.

More than one hundred people braved the weather to attend the Impact Sparker event as part of the Social Impact Festival 2017 to hear the panellists share their own stories about challenging the status quo.

The discussion - facilitated by UWA's Fadzi Whande - centred around storytelling and the importance of listening to everyone’s stories in order to learn how to create an inclusive, diverse community – both here in Australia and around the world.

Thanks to our event partners The Museum of Freedom and Tolerance, City of Perth, United Nations Association of WA and Global Shapers.

Un Youth Australia - Young Innovators Panel Discussion - Sunday 9th July, 10.30am

UN Conference

The McCusker Centre for Citizenship partnered with UN Youth Australia to deliver their Young Innovators panel discussion as part of their 2017 national conference. Speakers included Akram Azimi, Shannon Ziegelaar, Ella Ganfield, Sara Shengeb and Adrian Petersen.

Cultural Awareness with Dr. Richard Walley - Tuesday 6th June, 3.00pm


Our Winter interns had an insightful and engaging session with Dr Richard Walley in preparation for their internships. During the session Dr. Walley discussed the timeline of Aboriginal culture, struggles and vision for the future, as well as providing students with a great insight into the culture, heritage and traditions that exist around us today. An engaging and valuable session that we hope students got a lot from to take forward into their upcoming internship experiences and future endeavours.

Pop Up Series - Connecting with our Aboriginal Culture - Wednesday 31st May, 6.00pm


The final instalment for our student pop up series took place as part of Reconciliation Week, and students heard from Jade Dolman Penangke, a visual artist and a cultural educator. Jade spoke on the event topic and how she remains connected to her culture through painting and family. She has a passion for making a change for Indigenous Australians especially youth through different forms of art whether it be through painting or dance. She teaches Aboriginal dance and runs Aboriginal art workshops in schools, for organisations and companies.

Pop Up Series - Social Inequality and Art - Wednesday 26th April, 6.00pm


The second instalment of our student pop up series saw students taking a look at the topic of 'Social Inequality and Art'. Two excellent young speakers, Fatema Shalemi and Amran Abdi, discussed how they personally have used different art forms to address and raise awareness of different social inequality issues within our communities, and in a broader national context. You can find more information and photos from the event on our Facebook page: @mccuskercentreforcitizenship.

What it means to be a 'Good Citizen' - Thursday 30th March, 4.00pm


On the 30th March we held a moderated panel discussion in partnership with Celebrate WA and the City of Perth Library titled 'What it means to be a 'Good Citizen;'. The event was attended by a variety of UWA staff, leaders and members of not for profits, community and government organisations, and individuals from the wider Perth community. The diverse panel shared with us their views on what a 'good citizen' is and means in today's current community climate, and their own experiences of what they feel helped shaped them to become good citizens.

Pop Up Event: Too Young to Change the World - Wednesday 29th March, 6.00pm

Too Young Pop Up Two

"Get out there and do stuff! If you see an issue that needs addressing in your community - get involved!" - Emily Hardbottle

We heard from three young, active citizens at the first of our student pop up events, 'Too Young to Change the World?', who offered a inspiring insight into their experiences and how they managed to take one idea and turn it around for the benefit of their community and their peers. Many thanks to Sara Shengeb, Emily Hardbottle and Brianne Yarran for sharing their stories and time with UWA students, and thanks too to the members of our Student Advisory Committee, Conor and Rasa, for organising a great event.

Cultural Awareness with Dr. Richard Walley - Tuesday 7th March, 4.00pm

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Thank you to Dr. Richard Walley for hosting our Cultural Awareness session with previous and current interns. During the session Dr. Walley discussed the timeline of Aboriginal culture, struggles and vision for the future, as well as providing students with a great insight into the culture, heritage and traditions that exist around us today. An engaging and valuable session that we hope students got a lot from to take forward into their upcoming internship experiences and future endeavours.

The Big Idea Pitch Night - Wednesday 19 October, 6.00pm


We are very excited for The Big Idea - Pitch Night! You will be in awe at what some of our students have come up with! In 2014, ACOSS revealed that poverty has been increasing in Australia. The social enterprises being pitched in this competition will aim to meet the needs of homeless, marginalised or disadvantaged people, either through meaningful work opportunities or other means. Come and hear our students pitch their new, creative and innovative ideas for a social enterprise - all projects are focused to meet the needs of homeless, marginalised or disadvantaged people.

Disability, Access and Inclusion - Thursday 25 August, St Catherine's College

Thank you to Prof Tim Stainton, Director Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship at the University of British Columbia. Tim presented on the topic of Disability, Citizenship and Inclusion last night at St Catherine's College. The event was jointly hosted by The McCusker Centre for Citizenship and the Disability Services Commission.

Global Poverty Panel Discussion - Wednesday 27 July, Wesfarmers, UWA


The Centre co-hosted a panel discussion with Global Citizen on the topic - What is Australia's role as a regional leader? - Inspiring creative solutions to end extreme poverty by 2030. Thank you to Prof. Bruce Robinson AM, 2013 WA Australian of the Year, The Hon. Stephen Smith, former Minister for Foreign Affairs and Dr. Sue Boyd, former Head of Australian Diplomatic Missions

Disrupted - Festival of Ideas - Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 July, State Library


We were very excited to work with the State Library to bring you our 'Active Citizens' panel for the Disrupted - Festival of Ideas. The panel was led by Waleed Aly - and included June Oscar AO, The Hon. Wayne Martin, Michael Sheldrick and Kaliyugan Pathmanatha

Sue Ash AO, CEO UnitingCare West - Wednesday 29 June at 4.00pm, St Catherine's College

Sue launched her paper on the role of not for profit organisations and active citizenship.

The Sir Wallace Kyle Oration - Tuesday 17 May at 6.00pm University Club, UWA

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The 2016 Wallace Kyle Oration by Lieutenant General David Lindsay Morrison AO (Retd). Hearing the Unheard, Seeing the Unseen. A Man’s Journey to Better Understanding the Challenges Facing Australia in the 21st Century.

Sarah McCauley
Current UWA Student
Intern at Southcare

"The McCusker Centre for Citizenship provided an opportunity to explore unchartered territory and experience firsthand the inspiring work, people, and mission of the community and not-for-profit sector. I would recommend this opportunity to any UWA student. You might find a new passion or direction for your future career. I know I did."

Ross Wortham
Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia

“Our organisation and others have been blown away by the quality and professionalism of the interns and we benefit from the different viewpoints they bring. I'm now very excited by the collective impact that potentially hundreds of these interns will have on the community service sector over the coming years, helping to build real generational change.”

Rebecca Ball
Executive Director
Office of Multicultural Interests

"There’s a great need for young people to contribute to internships like these. They bring contemporary thinking, they reflect the views of not only their own personal views but the views of their peers and that’s very important... to be embedding that type of thinking ..."