Anna Ross

Organisation: 
Stream: 
Legal
Sector: 
Native Title
Location: 
Melbourne
Round: 
Summer 2015

The Aurora internship was an amazing experience. I knew little about native title before going into the internship and have finished with an understanding of corporate social responsibility, native title, Future Acts, heritage planning and all the politics involved with Aboriginal Corporations. Although I was meant to do my whole internship with NNTC working on the Cultural Flows Project, circumstances arose that meant I could no longer work with NNTC. NTSV were very accommodating and I had a great final two weeks with them. It was also really great meeting the two other Aurora interns with NTSV.

Experience with NNTC

At NNTC I was able to do a few administrative tasks for the Cultural Flows Project. The project was really interesting and certainly gave me an awareness of the importance of Indigenous water rights. My main task at the NNTC was to research the corporate social responsibility initiatives of mining companies. This was quite an interesting task and there were a lot of publications from various bodies such as the Australian Human Rights Commission, particular mining companies, the International Council on Mining and Metals and many other bodies.  This research was aimed at the formation of an NNTC prospectus that targets mining companies. I also did some research on whether companies had a selective tendering process that favoured Indigenous businesses. This research tended to show that whilst most companies had policies in this vein for employing Indigenous people, there was not a lot regarding selective tendering to Indigenous businesses.

All though my time with NNTC was really interesting and informative, my time with NTSV was more relevant to my studies in law. In saying that though, I think I did provide some useful research to the NNTC, which is what the Aurora internships are about, so I was really happy to have spent two weeks there. I also had a really interesting discussion with Brian, the CEO, about where he sees native title going and his opinions on a number of matters.       

Experience with NTSV

I had a great time at NTSV. NTSV is very well set up for interns, they were really accommodating and the staff were very friendly. I was able to do a really interesting research task on the responsibility of NTRBs under the Native Title Act and the duties of lawyers in the statutory scheme. I was also able to attend two meetings on country, one of which was an overnight stay, where I took minutes. The meetings were very different, one being a Board meeting of a very well established Corporation, and the other an Annual General Meeting of a not so established Corporation. The one similarity was the politics involved, the issues that came up where highly sensitive and it was really interesting to observe how issues were discussed and resolutions achieved.   

I was really lucky to be able to attend the Christmas party and the building opening which were both great events!

Conclusion

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities and experience that both NNTC and NTSV have given me and I hope that I have been of some assistance! After having seen some of the work that these bodies do I would certainly be interested in a career in native title when I have graduate. I would really like to thank all of the Aurora staff that organised the internship and were really supportive in the move from NNTC to NTSV.