Helping to establish a $35 million endowment fund for the WA Museum is the latest step in Jenny Allen’s philanthropic journey.
The McCusker Centre for Citizenship (the Centre) at The University of Western Australia is unique. It was established in 2015 to foster caring, connected and socially engaged citizens in actively contributing to the wellbeing of their communities.
The Centre was established with a generous endowment from the McCusker Charitable Foundation, with the purpose of providing structured practical learning opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students to develop a greater capacity for civic responsibility.
Over the past three years, the McCusker Centre for Citizenship at UWA has embedded itself in the Western Australian community. The Centre is collaborating with students completing degrees in a wide range of disciplines, not-for-profit and community organisations, government and business, to make a difference in our communities locally, nationally and globally.
Our extensive partnerships with over 250 organisations enable us to collaborate with the community to provide students with experiences which create greater understanding of important social challenges, while developing their skills and their ability to make a practical contribution.
Our students contribute to a wide range of social benefits in the community including:
• working with organisations in regional and remote communities to deliver youth services;
• securing philanthropic funds and grants for services to the homeless;
• developing practical resources to assist vulnerable families coming into contact with the legal system;
• creating innovative ways to communicate with men who need mental health services; and
• researching and measuring the effectiveness of services in the community.
The number of students wanting to undertake the internship continues to grow. This is consistent with what research is telling us: that young people are looking for social purpose in their education and career paths.
Already, 850 students have undertaken an internship with the Centre contributing more than 91,000 hours in service to the community. An impressive 93 per cent report that they learned more about being an active citizen through their internship.
Many students continue to volunteer with the organisation with which they interned, and some have been offered ongoing employment. Their experiences have been overwhelmingly positive for all concerned: 95 per cent of our students said they would recommend the internship to other students, and 96 per cent of our partners would recommend the program to other organisations.