Our latest intern Claudia Mancini is inquisitive, articulate, always up for a good laugh and has been a breath of fresh air for the Centre for Stories. Her curiosity about the world is conveyed through her thoughtful questions, her intelligence is illustrated through her clever suggestions, and we are constantly being bowled by her creative insights. We have a feeling that it's going to be hard to let her go!

Describe yourself in 3 words

Passionate, warm, curious. 

What are you studying at university and what has been your favourite unit/subject to date?

Last year I finished a Bachelor of Arts majoring in International Relations & Political Science, and Italian Studies. I did two units on Islamic Studies which were both really interesting. One was taught by my favourite professor, a really passionate, experienced and knowledgeable woman. I felt privileged to have been taught by her. That was definitely the best unit of my degree. Other than that, my entire Italian degree was a totally ridiculous, hilarious three years of laughter, tangents and pizza, also taught by some wonderful teachers. So I'll sneak that in as runner-up favourite... 

What does a typical day involve as an intern at the Centre for Stories? What has been your favourite part of the experience?

First thing's first, a Re Store coffee, followed by a morning chitchat/debrief with the rest of the CFS crew in the shared working space. The projects that I've been working on have involved liaising with different people involved with the Centre, so I'm usually doing lots of emailing and getting in touch with people. I've also been working on some exciting new audio stories, as well as various photo and video editing, so I can often be found behind my laptop tediously editing away! 

My favourite part about interning at CFS has been learning about all the different aspects of the Centre. There's the part about collecting stories (the part I think we all love the most), there's the behind-the-scenes stuff like organising storytelling workshops, meeting up with storytellers, and running social media, and then there's the actual events, which are often go-go-go but always heaps of fun and ultimately what we love doing. I've also loved spending time with Sisonke and Caroline, and learning about how they've been able to successfully transfer their passion for social justice and human rights into something tangible. It's so easy to feel like there's not a lot we as individuals can do to initiate social or political change, but the Centre is a standing example that everything starts from one person, from an idea, and from there it can grow into something bigger which has the potential to make a real impact. 

What is your favourite way to consume stories? 

I love podcasts for their convenience; I think they've really changed how and where we can learn. I often listen to them when I'm doing something crafty with my hands like gardening or sewing, or when I'm driving. My car has become one of the places where I engage and learn the most. One of my favourite podcasts is by Dumbo Feather, an Australian magazine that promotes 'conversations with extraordinary people'. I also love watching talks online. I'm big on TED talks (although, who isn't?!), and have been known to go on complete TED binges, sending links to all of my friends as I go!

Do you have a favourite story? 

My favourite story will always be my mother's, well, life story. She went by boat from Vietnam to Malaysia when she was 21 (my age!) with my eldest brother who was 10 days old at the time. Thanks to Menzies, she eventually made it to Australia after spending some time in a refugee camp, and slowly built up her life here. She’s a total badass and will always be my original image of female strength. Having grown up with a mother so determined yet empathetic and generous, it’s impossible for me to not feel empowered as a woman. If I ever think I can’t do something, I think about my mum and say to myself, 'Well if she did that, then I can definitely do this!'