For about 3 months, I volunteered for I Matter Foundation. They are a non-profit organisation who offer high quality, responsive self-protection and assertiveness training. They work with survivors of family violence and people with experiences of trauma, disability, and mental health challenges.
In my time, I helped out as a Project Management Volunteer. This meant that I assisted them with any marketing, communications and public relations related projects. Tasks such as updating their marketing and social media plans, creating SMART goals to boost their strategies, preparing promotional materials and helping to give them tips for great email marketing.
When I began my search for organisations to work with, I initially wanted to find a big business to intern for as it would help boost my resume and help me build new connections. However, when I stumbled upon this opportunity it was too good to pass over. From day one I was treated as someone with real responsibility. I wasn’t filing paperwork and grabbing coffee, I was making real change. Everything I learnt in university was able to be applied and put to the test. One of my assignments was to help run a video project where I got to write up a creative brief, storyboard, shot list and even help direct on the day. I also had the opportunity to work collaboratively with a group of more than fifteen people, including a professional photographer, mental health workers, self-protection coaches and class participants to capture the action and interview footage for the video.
I was in close contact with the Founder and CEO, Belinda Cowie. We would email, text and call. And every so often, we would meet in person at a local café to give me the next project brief.
There weren’t any long commutes to the CBD where my work was insignificant, I got to do almost everything from home. If you live in the Mornington Peninsula and you want to use what you learnt in TAFE/University in a real situation to help the community, choose I Matter.
From Michael Saliba, Public Relations Student
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology