USC Public Relations students help community

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USC Public Relations students help community


USC Public Relations students Emma O'Mara, April Nicholls, Jacinta Bonus, Gemma Larsen, Katelyn Flood and Jarryd Gould are promoting a high tea fundraising event for Bloomhill Cancer Help

6 May 2013

Seventeen University of the Sunshine Coast students are putting into practice the theories learned in their Public Relations course to gain real-life work experience while helping three community groups.

Three teams of Public Relations Event Projects students have been working with AGL Action Rescue Helicopter, Buddies Refugee Support Group and Bloomhill Cancer Help to hold fundraising and awareness events in May.

USC Senior Lecturer in Public Relations Dr Umi Khattab said the work-integrated program allowed the students to apply concepts learned in earlier courses, work with actual clients and develop ideas supervised by tutors who were industry practitioners.

“We run this compulsory course every semester and most clients are from not-for-profit or non-government organisations, so there is benefit to the community as well as our students,” Dr Khattab said.

“The students must work from scratch: brainstorming and developing an idea; doing fieldwork and meeting with clients; and working with a small budget provided by USC.

“Students enjoy the course but it’s stressful because they want to succeed in meeting client expectations. Their projects involve fundraising, sponsorship or other community work and they must try to get publicity and participation.”

She said other benefits included students gaining employment based on the skills they displayed during the work placement.

The upcoming student-organised events are:

  • Buddies Film Festival for Buddies Refugee Support Group at Montegos, Kawana on 10 May;
  • High Tea for a Blooming Good Cause at Flaxton Gardens on 19 May;
  • Aussie World Family Fun Night for AGL Action Rescue at Aussie World on 25 May.

The USC tutors are Course Coordinator Sarah Pye from Kids Welcome, Anne Lawrence from Boardroom Business and Peppi Bueti from Queensland Advertising.

Julie Schomberg

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