Over 5 weeks in November and December, I undertook an internship as part of the Aurora Internship Program at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). AIATSIS is a distinguished research, collections and publishing organisation. I worked with Dr Tran Tran and Dr Mary Anne Jebb in the Indigenous Culture & Heritage Unit.
My task was to conduct a literature review of what is required to evaluate the community impact of a research project. This task was important to AIATSIS as it helped them develop a methodology for evaluating their own research projects. I produced an annotated bibliography of selected literature and I wrote a short paper on my thoughts regarding the topic. The literature on impact evaluation, particularly for research projects, is limited and fairly narrow. I read about a hundred articles to glean helpful or insightful papers, and yet I still could have read more. I quite enjoy research, and to spend my internship reading and researching was very rewarding. I learned a great deal about impact evaluation, and I significantly improved my research and time management skills.
I also began the cataloguing process of a collection of photographs and documents that came into the possession of a member of our team. These were intriguing documents, and I gained invaluable cataloguing experience, of which I previously had none.
The workplace at AIATSIS was very welcoming and friendly. The people there are wonderful to talk to, and I gained so much wisdom just by listening to their conversations. Moreover, the workplace was a lot of fun. I participated in all the Social Club lunches, Secret Santa, and the Christmas party. Every Monday lunch time, Dr Doug Marmion ran Pitjantjatjara language classes. This was an amazing opportunity to learn an Australian language and very enjoyable.
I highly recommend applying for an Aurora internship for an invaluable experience in the Indigenous sector. For more information or to apply, visit http://auroraproject.com.au/internship-program. Applications for the Aurora Internship Program are open in March and August each year, and applications for the winter 2017 round will be open from 6 through 31 March 2017.