In early 2014, Astron and Edith Cowan University (ECU) School of Natural Sciences commenced implementing a workplace internship designed for undergraduate students studying at ECU. Both ECU and Astron had internal policies and procedures that needed to be addressed and the implementation of the program had to satisfy the requirements of federal legislation related to voluntary internships.
Astron’s first ECU Intern was Chanelle Webster, who is enrolled in her second year of Conservation and Wildlife Biology. Chanelle was hosted by Astron in East Perth over the duration of her voluntary internship, which solely included observational tasks. This observation approach worked very well, allowing Chanelle to spend time within each of Astron’s business units, engaging with scientists and gaining an understanding of how Astron executes survey designs, fieldwork, data warehousing, analysis, geospatial modelling and reporting. Chanelle was also able to participate in the annual Astron seminar day at Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre. Not just a passive observer in the audience, Chanelle was able to practise her seminar skills presenting information on the internship program and sharing her experiences as an intern with Astron and ECU.
Acknowledgements to the ECU and Astron “Intern Champions” – Associate Professor Andrea Hinwood and Dr Mark Garkaklis. Appreciation also to all of the Astron managers, scientists and HSE staff who enthusiastically engaged with our intern. Special thanks to our intern Chanelle; her enthusiasm, interest and energy inspired everyone she collaborated with during her time at Astron.
Photo L-R: Astron’s Dr Mark Garkaklis, ECU student Chanelle Webster and ECU Senior Lecturer Dr Annette Koenders.