Growth through discovery

Nine secondary school students learned the basics of magazine production
during Jesuit Communications’ recent Internship Program.


By Laura Kings, ‘Australian Catholics’ assistant editor – education and youth  

This year, nine teenagers from four states and eight schools were immersed in producing the Spring edition of Australian Catholics magazine. The guest editors could submit at least one article for the edition, which addresses the theme “Do good, be good, spread the Good News”. 

The guest editors were called on to adapt to working with students from other schools and the team at Australian Catholics while grappling with unfamiliar tasks, such as interviewing people and writing feature articles. This is one of the most important aspects of the internship because it challenges participants to step up in their efforts to pursue a future in the media.  

Beyond personal growth, the guest editors made tangible contributions to the Spring edition, highlighting good news stories from their local communities. Guest editor Ripley Nunn said balancing schoolwork with the internship was challenging but worthwhile. 

“I aimed to immerse myself in the world of journalism, learn as much as possible and make meaningful contributions to Australian Catholics magazine. I was also hoping to connect to the other young writers who were also interning,” Ripley said.  

One of the most enriching aspects of the internship program is the opportunity to forge connections among mentors, other guest editors and industry professionals. Guest speakers included ABC Four Corners reporter Adele Ferguson; ABC Adelaide’s Daniel Litchjens; Kathryn Kernohan and Andrew Gillet from Jesuit Social Services; ACU’s Emilie Ng; director of publishing at Jesuit Communications Michael McVeigh; and Society of Jesus Australian Province communications manager David McMahon.  

Guest editor Eve Elliott said she created memories. “I was hoping to meet important people in the media industry, which happened. We got to interview many people who really showed their passion for various aspects of media. Some really interesting stories were shared.” 

Fellow guest editor Gabrielle Elias liked the guest speaker sessions for two reasons. 

“First, it was a valuable experience to be able to conduct an interview with a fellow guest editor, as we navigated the process of constructing questions, note-taking and engaging with each guest speaker. Further, I loved hearing the passions, interests and career paths of the speakers, as they provided fantastic advice for us.”  

During one session, David McMahon told the interns he was blessed to have had mentors at every stage of his life, and that supporting emerging writers and journalists is how he pays that good fortune forward. “It’s a ripple effect, because one day, the interns will mentor someone else as well.” 

He said there were benefits for him as a guest speaker because taking is never as much fun as giving. “The guest editors were attentive, switched on, and they asked great questions. I hope they found it informative. I also hope they enjoyed the story of the grizzly that charged me!” 

This year’s interns finished the program with a wealth of experiences and insights that will shape their future endeavours. Eve said: “This experience certainly reinforced my interest in pursuing journalism as a career and further ignited my love for writing. I am grateful for the opportunity and the friendships I have formed with my fellow guest editors.”  

The 2024 Jesuit Communications Internship Program is testament to the power of experiential learning and the profound impact it can have on individuals and organisations.  

Australian Catholics editor Michele Frankeni said the internship program was always a learning experience, for her as much as for the guest editors. “The students bring a passion and dedication to the week that is inspiring. They are keen to promote social justice issues, but they do that through a Catholic lens, which is heartening.”  

You can read the stories written by the guest editors, along with the winning entries for the 2024 Young Voices awards, in the Spring edition of Australian Catholics magazine.   

Applications for the 2025 Jesuit Communications Internship Program open in February next year. In the meantime, we encourage keen young writers to join our Young Writers’ community using these links: 

Young Voices Awards 2024 

Australian Catholics Magazine 

Young writers community.  

Banner image by Sinenkiy, Canva