Indigenous applicants

For the first time, the Internship Program will be focussing more on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander* students and graduates via internships as pathways to jobs in Indigenous organisations and other organisations working in the Indigenous sector.  An exciting development is that the Commonwealth's Jobs, Land and Economy Programme (JLEP) will provide financial support via Scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander interns under the Program. 

Eligibility and obligations:

  • We will accept applications from Indigenous candidates who are preferably in their 3rd or penultimate year of study or above, or have graduated with an academic background in: business, education, health science, law, media/communications, psychology, social work and some social sciences (including anthropology, archaeology, cultural heritage and environmental management, Indigenous studies, history, human geography and sociology) 
  • We place interns at Indigenous sector organisations involved in native title, land rights, justice, policy and community development, health, social welfare and research, Australia wide. 
  • Internships will run for 4 to 6 weeks full-time, usually over the university breaks, with flexibility out of those timeframes for graduates.
  • Scholarships will cover the interns' daily living expenses and, in addition, travel and accommodation costs will be covered for away-from-home placements. Indigenous interns will receive Scholarships in the amount of:
    • $3,000 for a 4 week internship
    • $3,750 for a 5 week internship
    • $4,500 for a 6 week internship.
  • There may be tax and Centrelink implications for Indigenous scholarship recipients, and we advise those candidates to seek advice from a tax consultant and Centrelink (see link to more information below)
  • Indigenous applicants will be assessed according to: their academic record; their demonstrated interest in social justice and/or the Indigenous sector; and their commitment to fulfilling their internship obligations. 
  • Indigenous applicants who are found to be eligible to be placed in a funded placement will be required to provide a declaration of Aboriginality and complete a Participant Eligibility Documentation Form provided by the Department, prior to the interview round of the matching process.  

Please note that students who have taken up the ABSTUDY Residential Cost Option (and are not currently funded of Career Trackers) are encouraged to apply. 

Indigenous scholarship recipients will be required to complete an Aurora Commitment Statement which will include the following obligations to:

  • complete their internship in the confirmed timeframe
  • send weekly updates to Aurora
  • provide confirmation that their weekly installment payments have been received
  • provide receipts for larger expenses such as airfares and accommodation
  • complete the on-line Aurora Overview questionnaire at the end of their placement
  • write a 1 page reflection on their internship at the end of their placement
  • agree to promote the Program and their Host by committing to do a presentation at their university, or attending a Career Fair on our behalf (if possible).

The following quotes highlight the experiences of some of our funded Indigenous alumni:    

  • Declan Fry, placed at the ALRC

I should mention what an enormous, enormous privilege it was to be able to stay in the centre of Sydney, thanks to Aurora and the funding they receive in order to provide this opportunity to recipients. I was also provided with a stipend for daily living expenses and for flights to and from Sydney. I had worried I wouldn’t be able to take the opportunity otherwise; but this made it happen and also lets interns have the ability to potentially be placed at organisations, towns and cities all over Australia. It gives me a lot of hope to think that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates can intern and gain experience in this way, and contribute to such major projects. It was an opportunity that made it extremely easy to concentrate and work hard while I was at the ALRC, as well as to enjoy the beauty of Sydney landmarks like Redfern and Bondi.

  • Chenoa Masters, NCIE

I  had a great experience and couldn't recommend it enough.  The most rewarding aspects were getting the opportunity to work with mob and give back to the community, as well as getting to use new skills and knowledge.  I ended up learning so much I never thought I could get a hang of.

  • Mollie O’Connor, QSNTS

I have developed a deeper interest in native title as a potential career option.   The most rewarding aspect was the knowledge that the work that I was doing was contributing to assisting Indigenous people to claim native title interests in land, and manage those claims and how native title works in practice. 

  • Marlon Jones placed at TAI

Working in this space, I can feel my personal and professional development growing as each day goes by.

  • Cassandra Page, at IBA

I feel so great full to be given the opportunity to have such an extraordinary experience, as I only have an administrative background of real world experience of financials and Indigenous business development and growth, and to have the opportunity to develop with my degree and utilise my skills learned from uni is a great advantage on my career development.  My experience here with the IBA team has been an “epic” adventure and has broadened my mind on indigenous engagement, development and commerce opportunities for the indigenous community as well as the small business and home ownership opportunities to the indigenous community.

  • Clinton Benjamin, placed at Aboriginal Victoria

I have learnt a lot whilst completing my internship at AV, being able to sit in on executive team meetings has given me a valuable understanding into the processes of governments. Furthermore, working within the treaty team has given me a unique insight into the current treaty process in Victoria.  My internship at AV has also provided the opportunity to develop substantive legal skills and connect the theory and practice of law by experiencing the law in practice outside of the classroom and textbooks.  Finally, whilst at AV I have been able to strengthen existing relationships as well as form new ones with the Victorian Aboriginal community. Much like the rest of Aboriginal Australia, my community has been encouraged by the treaty discussions in Victoria and will be keeping a close watch on the process. I would not have been able to apply if it wasn't paid.

  • Alice Temblett placed at NSW at NSW Aboriginal land Council

The best aspects of the internships are being able to gain professional experience in a field of interest, while also having guidance and learning as you go.  I have learnt a lot about Aboriginal land claims and understanding legislation reforms and how they can both affect and bring opportunities to LALCs. I learnt a great amount of new skills and it has also given me an insight into future career options. Furthermore, the Commonwealth funding received via Aurora made my internship experience all the more enjoyable, allowing me to stay close to my Host organisation and experience living in the city.                   

  • Vanessa Farrelly placed at Ninti One

Ninti brought me right in on their projects and gave me some core work, which was amazing!  This experience has taught me more about how Government contracts and research from universities get rolled out in communities through NGOs.

  • Ricki-lee Walley placed at the Kimberley Community Legal Service

My expectations were 100% exceeded. I went from initially asking if i could reduce my internship feeling overwhelmed (after the first day) to not only doing a 6-week internship but am now staying on to do casual work as a paralegal.  I saw first-hand what kind of lawyer I aspire to be. Overall, I was proud of myself for stepping up and seeing through my internship, and gaining knowledge and confidence to do tasks.  This has positively impacted not only myself but has been beneficial to my studies.  I am thankful for the support the Aurora staff provided.

  • Barbara Bynder, placed at Nulungu Research Institute

The Aurora Internship Program has been a fantastic introduction to full time research and I am honored to be an Aurora alumni.      

  • Gemma Pol placed with AEF

My expectations of the internship experience were greatly exceeded. I have completed work experience multiple times in the past and was never given tasks that required responsibility and decision-making. It has helped me grow professionally and personally.  Receiving Commonwealth funding played a huge role in allowing me to stay in Sydney for 5 weeks to complete this internship, and without it I would not have been able to experience such a fulfilling and valuable placement. I am so grateful for this financial support, because now that I have developed my practical skills, I feel empowered to go back to University and excel in my courses. 

Click here for information and advice in regards to Tax implications and Centrelink/ABSTUDY for all Indigenous Scholarship recipients.

Click here to download the flyer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants.

Click here for information on how to apply*.  

*PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the website, the term "Indigenous" is used to describe Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples.