Philanthropy Internship for Advocate of the Homeless
15 December 2008 at 2:11 pm
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) postgraduate student Helen Styles intends to learn the Not for Profit sector inside out during her internship at one of Australia’s leading philanthropic organisations, The Myer Foundation.
Inspired by her work for Brisbane’s Micah Projects which supports and advocates for disadvantaged people, Helen has just completed a Graduate Certificate of Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies) at QUT.
She is also the recipient of the inaugural internship at the Myer Foundation for students at QUTs Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (CPNS).
The six-month internship in Melbourne will give her the opportunity to look at the other side of philanthropy – donor organisations – as well as give her the chance to work on her own project.
Styles says this is a wonderful opportunity to gain skills and confidence in the area of allocation of grants and looking for and researching worthwhile projects.
She is determined to help people "who have had a rough trot in life" and have lived on the streets by bringing a program that is having huge success in the United States to Brisbane.
The Common Ground program puts people who have been homeless for a long time into permanent housing with support where they receive the services they need to get back into the mainstream.
Styles says the program has reduced chronic homelessness by 30 percent in the past three years in New York by buying old city buildings and refurbishing them into beautiful spaces where people want to live and the local community is proud to have in their area.
She says chronic homelessness is complex – trauma such as family breakdown, job loss, childhood abuse, – is a significant factor accompanied by poverty. It becomes a lifestyle that is very difficult to break out of.
During her six-month internship, Helen will be paid a full wage, receive accommodation assistance and a travel allowance and, best of all, work inside a highly respected philanthropic organisation.
The CEO of The Myer Foundation, Christine Edwards, said that the internship was a wonderful opportunity for the Foundation as well as the Intern.
Edwards says that as much as Helen will develop new skills and knowledge as an intern, QUT will also benefit from her time through her knowledge and recent academic experiences.