Kerry Shephard

Organisation: 
Stream: 
Legal
Sector: 
Policy/Research
Location: 
Adelaide
Round: 
Summer 2015

The Aurora Internship Program provides legal, anthropological, and other social science internships twice a year in summer and winter.  It was originally set up primarily to address the professional development needs of lawyers in the area of native title but has developed into a Program that supports the broader Indigenous sector as well.  Successful applicants for the Program commit to a placement with one of a variety of organisations  working in the sector, throughout Australia.  

I recently completed a five-week legal internship with the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) in Adelaide.  The ILC is a body corporate of the Commonwealth Government which set up the ILC under the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005.  It is ‘committed to the achievement of benefits for Indigenous peoples by acquiring and managing land that will allow access to and protection of cultural and environmental values; and socioeconomic development’. [ILC Annual Report 2013-2014, page 3 – ILC website – www.ilc.gov.au].

The work of the legal unit of the ILC is commercial law.  During my time there I prepared various types of legal documents, carried out research into legal issues, and provided the findings of my research to my supervisors.  The internship took me out of my comfort zone but I enjoyed the experience and my time at the ILC; the five weeks went very quickly.  I was able to put into practice some of that theory I learnt at Uni. and I feel that I learnt a lot from my time there and from the very helpful, staff that provided me with guidance.   

I am thankful and happy that the Aurora Project and the ILC gave me this opportunity and even though I currently work, it is not in a legal area and working at the ILC has given me greater impetus to find a legal job.   

For more information about the internships, please visit http://www.auroraproject.com.au/nativetitleinternshipprogram.  The winter round applications are now closed but you can still visit the website, and if interested, start preparing your application for the summer round of internships.