Partnership and reciprocity are hallmarks of community engagement. That has certainly been the experience of CatholicCare as we work with ACU Engagement and ACU students. CatholicCare’s Communications, Fundraising and Marketing (CFM) Team has had considerable benefit from students as interns and as volunteers. The students have benefitted from their involvement in a diverse and busy workplace, and the opportunity to contribute to CatholicCare’s work.
Over the past twelve months we have had six different students in various positions with the CFM Team. This is in addition to the M. Psych graduates who have been able to fulfil their internship as School Counsellors with CatholicCare. Two of them worked on different aspects of CatholicCare’s Family Week – our annual campaign with Catholic primary and secondary schools - helping to review previous years’ work, produce new resources and assist with gathering feedback and analysing a survey. Three media students worked together as a team to produce a video promoting Family Week. A history student helped to research the story of CatholicCare in preparation for its 85th anniversary in 2020.
All of the students showed the skills they have learned through their study. Also, they were willing to take initiatives and showed great flexibility in the way they fitted into the workplace. They showed commendable dedication to their work.
One of our new programs for primary schools in the outer western suburbs has been very well received. However, it needed an external evaluation. Fortunately, an honours student in Psychology is willing to do the research needed.
CatholicCare and Australian Catholic University have shared interests in Community Engagement. We look forward to building on this partnership.