As a non-Indigenous person passionate about the challenges faced by Australia's first peoples, I often struggle to know where I fit in the Indigenous landscape. After completing a Bachelor of Justice and commencing a law degree, I knew the only way to navigate this space was through work experience, and the Aurora Project gave me this opportunity.
During my time at the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute (AIGI) I learnt about the importance of "effective governance" and the various challenges associated with a start-up company. I worked alongside former CEO Robynne Quiggin and Project Officer Lara Drieberg - a former Aurora intern. Together we updated and developed content in support of the AIGI's strategic goals. This included: the cretion of website content, drafting company policy and Memorandum of Understanding, and developing a proposal for the analysis of the 2014 Indigenous Governance Awards (IGA).
Once the five-week internship was completed, I was asked to return in a research capacity to complete the proposed IGA analysis. This was a great opportunity to build on my research experience through exploring the incredible work being done by Indigenous-lead organisations all around the country. IGA application data was sorted, coded, analysed and compiled into storied of governance success. These stories offer a positive counter narrative to discussions of Indigenous governance in the public discourse.
My time at the AIGI increased my knowledge of the Indigenous landscape and also added to my experience in ways 'work experience' typically aims to. I was exposed to processes behind company policy drafting, Board meetings and papers, grant applications and relationships with stakeholders. I also learnt the imprtance of developing relationships, work place culture and working together as a team.
Without the gateway offered by the Aurora Project I would not have had the priviledge of these experiences. I highly recommend that students looking to learn, grow and make a difference apply for an Aurora Internship - be ready for anything and be grateful for all you take out of it. Thank you Aurora and AIGI!