Our People

Rohit Hirani (Intern)

The Association for Culturally Appropriate Services (AfCAS) is keen to support the learning of young people while also engendering interest of the young in aged care for people of diverse cultures and languages. We are delighted that our ongoing collaboration with Edith Cowan University- School of Business and Law, continues to ensure a steady stream of talented young people.

We are delighted to have had the opportunity to support Rohit’s practical learning on the job while also most appreciative of his commitment and talents that made him an ideal learner and team member.

We would like to share Rohit’s observations about his experience at the Associaton for Culturally Appropriate Services (AfCAS).

1.  What did you expect to achieve with the internship? 

 

Undergoing this internship was aimed at strengthening the theoretical knowledge that was gained from my bachelor’s degree in Management as a major. The real-world/workplace learning experience is aimed at shaping and moulding my management skills and giving and understanding of what is expected of a manager.

2. How did you find the internship experience at the Association for Culturally Appropriate Services?

Completing my internship at AfCAS was a great experience. Working in a very intriguing industry of Culturally and Linguistic Diverse and aged care was a unique experience along with the management profession experience. Learning from a supervisor who has skills and experience of numerous years, and the different levels in the management profession was a great opportunity.

3. What were your learnings from the internship?

I was delighted to be given the opportunity to work as an assistant project manager and undergo a project as a management learning experience. During my time at the placement, I learnt that as a manager it is very important to communicate and negotiate with partnering organisations and persons in a project scenario in order to achieve the objectives.

4. What were some highlights of the experience?

Given the opportunity to be part of different activities in the projects, I was able to meet new people and develop contacts with seasoned staff. A perfect opportunity was to be part of an event with speakers from Perth and Melbourne. The best part of the company is operating as a team. The company has a friendly and versatile working environment that allowed me to work productively and complete my tasks in a timely and appropriate manner.

 

5. Any other comments?

It was a great opportunity to work along with Mary Gurgone and thank the university for sourcing me AfCAS as a work placement to gain the management professional experience and skills.

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Rachel Wong (2021 Intern)

Rachel is undertaking a Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management, majoring in Event Management at ECU (expected finish date: June 2021). She has contributed greatly by utilising her event management skills and have helped hosted an event called 'Migrant Aged Care Jobs Forum for Graduates (Across Disciplines)' in April 2021. In thanking Rachel, we would like to share her observations about her internship experience with AfCAS as follows:

 

1. What are you expected to achieve with the internship?

3 months ago, I had aimed to learn how to market and promote an event. Today, I can successfully say that I know how to edit, design and create content and flyers on websites, Canva and social media platforms. I have learnt a lot from practicing and creating various designs weekly.

 

2. How did you find the internship experience at the Association for Culturally Appropriate Services?

My internship experience with Mary was amazing. Although there were some hectic moments whilst planning and hosting the Jobs Forum event, the overall outcome outweighed the negatives. We were able to attract a handful of students who were highly engaged and motivated to work in the aged care sector. Mary was also very helpful throughout the process - she was a very good listener and a leader.

 

3. What were your learnings from the internship?

I’ve learnt that with planning, preparation and scheduling ahead of time, creates a successful outcome. My high school teacher once told me, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” and although time may not always be on our side, like this quote says, through successful planning, we will not fail. With the help of AfCAS and the ECU WIB committees, we have managed to pull off a successful event through a panel discussion and have engaged university students who were looking for jobs in the aged care sector. 

 

4. What were some highlights of the experience?

Being able to connect students with industry professionals and help them achieve their goals. It has been a pleasure hosting the Jobs Forum event as it gave me a chance to help students who were looking for jobs and the aged care organisations who were looking for students, to connect them together and meet both their needs. 

Devika Solanki (Intern)

It has been a pleasure to have the professional support of Devika Solanki, Master’s student from Edith Cowan University (ECU) introduced to us through the partnership with ECU Women in Business. On her last day she was interviewed by a fellow ECU Master’s student, Dinusha Hemasiri who is volunteering with AfCAS. The interview questions and answers follow.

1) What are you expected to achieve with the internship?

I am completing a Masters in Finance and Banking at Edith Cowan University (ECU). The university runs a Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) program to provide postgraduate students with an opportunity to complete between 100- 150 hours of field work to gain experience and expertise in their field of study and prepare them for work in a corporate environment. This WIL programme is a perfect opportunity for graduating students to exercise their theoretical learning in real-world scenarios.

2) How did you find the internship experience at the Association for Culturally Appropriate Services?

This past semester, I completed an internship at the Association for Culturally Appropriate Services (AfCAS) and was intrigued by how the team analyzes the needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) community organisations along with the aged care provider organisations who are members. From August to November, I worked with the organisation. Over the process of placement, there are some unforgettable interactions. Particularly noteworthy was that I had the chance to develop relations with professional people from various organisations. Although it was very difficult during this pandemic to visit organisations in person, I am glad I was given the opportunity to visit an ethnic specific aged care organisation and learn (as part of the field of study) about how they run their organisation including finances and administration.

3) What were your learnings from the internship?

I was absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to be part of the Annual General Meeting of the Association, particularly to be involved with the financial planning and conduct of the event. Also, I participated in the preparation and conduct of an international webinar “Japanese and Australian migrant Aged Care Services and COVID-19 Response”. I also learned about financial systems including training on cyber security. I learned how to write a media release and be part of various promotional events, including Facebook and LInkedin posts, which helped develop my marketing skills, in addition to being able to meet the financial requirements of my course of study.

4) What were some highlights of the experience?

Given the opportunity to be part of different activities, I was able to meet new people and develop contacts with seasoned staff. A perfect opportunity was to be part of an international event with speakers from Japan, Perth and Melbourne. The best part of the company is operating as a team. In reality, the company has a versatile and friendly working atmosphere that allowed me to have peace of mind. The working environment was harmonious and allowed me to be productive during working hours.

5) Any other comments?

I am very grateful to AfCAS, my supervisor Mary Gurgone, and the university, for giving me the chance to be part of the working team. Working with AfCAS has strengthened my expertise and interest in aged care and CALD organisations by gaining experience of work in a professional setting. Working with my fellow student from ECU as well as making new friends at work has been a pleasure. This is made possible by my supervisor, who is always polite and enthusiastic, on a personal level.

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Dinusha Hemasiri (Volunteer)

We are proud to have had the honour of supporting such a committed and talented post-graduate Master’s student.  She will be an asset to any organisation that hires her, not only for her skills, but for her positive attitude and loyalty. In thanking Dinusha, we would like to share her observations about her internship and volunteer activity as follows:

1.  What are you expected to achieve with the internship?

As an international student, I wanted to gain experience in Australian work environment which would be a great opportunity for my future career prospects.

 

2. How did you find the internship experience at the Association for Culturally Appropriate Services?

I found the advert of volunteering role on Administration and Finance support, which was posted on Facebook page of ECU Accounting & Finance Society, circulated by ECU Women in Business. I realized that this would be a good opportunity to enhance my skills and knowledge with the practical aspects of working in Australia.

3. What were your learnings from the internship?

I gained a massive experience on overall administration and finance work in a non-profit organization by working at AfCAS. I learnt how the projects are handled from the planning stage to the delivering stage since I supported several fantastic projects organized by AfCAS. I also had an exposure to IT and marketing with the platform of learnings through web training and social media handling on LinkedIn, Facebook and the website. As a finance student, it was a good practical exposure to getting to know funding sources, contribution towards budgeting and financial reports and invoice handling.

4. What were some highlights of the experience?

I’m delighted to become the first intern and volunteer of the partnership signed between AfCAS and ECU Women in Business. Throughout my 6 months journey at AfCAS I enjoyed every moment of working with the members at events and it was a great networking experience for me. I would also like to highlight the opportunity I got to participate and provide support to organising the AGM and the opportunity of contributing towards the Annual Report preparation of AfCAS as some cherished moments of my life at AfCAS.

5. Any other comments?

I would like to thank Mary Gurgone, the vice chairperson of AfCAS for the immense support and the guidance given as my immediate supervisor. I am very thankful to Irene Mooney (Chairperson), Jean Chew (Treasurer) and all committee members for providing their fullest support including advice, training and equipment. Finally, my sincere gratitude goes to ECU Women in Business Society and the ECU Accounting and Finance Students Society for creating such networks and partnerships that are valuable opportunities for students to achieve success in their career.

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