Inspiring the next global citizens
UWA’s McCusker Centre for Citizenship is a community initiative based at The University of Western Australia. Headed by Director Michelle Scott, former Commissioner of Children and Young People WA, the Centre was created to foster a culture of global citizenship among students in the state. Over the three years since launching the brand, the Centre has embedded itself in the WA community, contributing thousands of hours to the community through its internship programs.
Issues in focus
Global Citizenship, Capacity-Building, Youth Participation
For nonprofits, resourcing is a major battleground, as they often straddle between the need to innovate and lack of personnel to launch these new programs. As designers, we knew we could bring something different to the conversation. We were challenged to activate a brand that would not only resonate with academics, community partners and educators but ultimately mobilise young people to enrol in volunteer-based internships alongside their studies.
In an increasingly complex employment landscape, it became apparent that student buy-in to skills-based volunteering was critical to the brand story’s success. The DrawHistory team interviewed much of the university ecosystem and conducted secondary research in order to craft the Centre’s story from the ground up. Through a number of collaborative sessions, dozens of focus group interviews, and a Student Advisory Group review, the result is a brand that is true to the Centre’s vision and spirit separate to the traditional UWA brand.
Our research began by speaking with the student community, both undergraduates and those undertaking their masters, to understand the constraints full and part-time studies placed on their weekly capacity. This, coupled with our own team’s background working in similar contexts, helped us to empathise deeper with those who rush from commitment to commitment.
From this jumping point, we created a brand identity distinct to anything else at UWA. Instead of expounding the prestige and exclusivity of the program, we wanted to lower the barrier. We found that this mattered less to students – people simply wanted to make a difference in a way that fit their routines. This is reflected in the identity’s logomark – a vibrant, rectangular shape symbolic of an even “centre”, alluding to the balance and youthfulness of the program.
Since its launch, the Centre has gained strong traction from students and community alike, with over 540 students completing this program over time. Over 28,000 people have also participated in their public events on topics such as the impact of technology, the self-determination of Aboriginal women, building more inclusive communities and the role of international aid in the security of our region.
The 57,000 internship hours contributed to the community, alongside 250 partnerships its secured with nonprofits, are encouraging indicators of a brand that will resonate with key audiences as it continues to grow.
Since launching in mid-2016, the McCusker Centre has contributed 25,000 hours to the community and placed over 200 young global citizens in meaningful nonprofit internships.