Teghan Collingwood

Social Science
Community Development/Ranger Programs
Alice Springs
Summer 2017

After being accepted into the Aurora Internship Program, I really didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that a massive learning experience was awaiting. My preference was to intern with Ninti One as I have followed their work over the past few years in the Indigenous sector, and I was very keen to get out into Central Australia.

The hot desert air and sun were there to greet me as I walked off the plane and into Alice Springs airport. The dirt on the ground was a vibrant red-orange, and the plants mostly silvery grey. I felt like I was walking through a painting. After I settled into my accommodation, I was very lucky to have a fellow intern to show me around as she had arrived a week earlier. Reflecting back on the town of Alice Springs, the first thing that comes to mind is its strong personality, filled with interesting characters, gorgeous scenery, and complex social problems. This atmosphere alone made my stay very rich. There was a vibrant array of social activities to fill my spare time with, such as the local theatre, cultural centres, bushwalking and hiking, a Christmas parade, and karaoke. I will definitely be back.

Working with Ninti One was a fantastic experience. My colleagues were supportive, passionate and dedicated. Because the organisation is very diverse in its role in the Indigenous sector, I was required to complete a variety of tasks that really extended my skill set and confidence. One of the highlights was data analysis for an evaluation report commissioned by the Indigenous Eye Health Unit at Melbourne University. I was also extremely privileged to go on Country with one of the Aboriginal Community Researchers and the Project Manager for the Stronger Communities for Children Programme. This trip to the Utopia Homelands is one I will never forget.

I would recommend the Aurora Internship Program to anyone who is looking for an experience to contextualise their knowledge of working in the Indigenous sector. For me, the opportunity to travel to a remote area, and to be apart of an organisation working to make change was invaluable in confirming my career aspirations. I returned from Alice Springs with new friends, networks, experience, and of course a deeper appreciation of the Aboriginal People and their culture.

Applications for the Aurora Internship Program winter 2017 round of internships are open from now through to the 31st March, 2017. For more information, please visit http://auroraproject.com.au/about-applying-internship.