Changing the world one internship at a time

International student Keren Rowaro is passionate about social justice – and her ACU degree will help her create a fairer and more equitable world.

Keren Rowaro is committed to building a world where all people are supported to achieve their potential.

“I’m interested in a career in humanitarian aid development as it’s a passion of mine to work with individuals, children and families that are suffering in poverty resulting from a lack of social development,” says Keren Rowaro, an international student from Papua New Guinea.

“I want to be able to work and help elevate and maintain their human dignity in the best possible way.”

This passion led Keren to the ACU Bachelor of Social work, a degree that’s focused on social justice and human rights. She is also the recipient of a coveted ACU Mercy Scholarship, a merit-based award that aims to promote the value of human life and the eventual abolition of the death penalty internationally. The scholarship will cover the full cost of her tuition during her four years at ACU.

Now in her third year of study, Keren says her degree is equipping her with in-depth theoretical learning along with extensive practical placements where she can put her knowledge into practice.

To date, she has completed a case management placement with St Vincent de Paul, an organisation focused on social justice in Australia; and an internship supporting high school students from refugee backgrounds to improve their academic and social skills and prepare for life after high school.

“It’s a requirement of my degree that we do 1000 hours of placements, community engagement and internships where possible,” she says.

“My placement and internship helped consolidate my learning by allowing me to work alongside social work and other professionals within a multidisciplinary team.

“My next placement will be with Queensland Health working at the Children’s Hospital. I’m also thinking of taking an international community engagement elective in India.”

These placements have also helped Keren start building professional connections with social workers and social work organisations. Connections like these are invaluable in helping students find jobs after graduation, and also contribute to their ongoing professional development while they study.

The combination of high-quality course curriculum, professional opportunities and a degree from a highly regarded university like ACU means that Keren will be more than ready to start her social work career the minute she completes her degree.  Currently, her plan is to work in Australia after graduation, with a view to enrolling in the ACU Master of Social Work down the track.

“ACU as a university is building me up to become future leader and to approach my future profession with compassion and social justice,” she says.

“I believe my ACU degree will prepare me for the market by teaching me the relevant skills and knowledge, being exposed to opportunities to build my profession and also ongoing development for trends within the industry.

“An Australian qualification will also prepare me to be marketable for employment.”

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