Like many university students studying within law, anthropology and the social sciences, I applied for the Aurora Internship Program, for the summer 2016/17 round. While the Program places interns into Indigenous-focused organisations all across Australia, I wanted to stay close to home, and was placed within the Aurora Education Foundation (AEF) office itself! The office is in Alexandria, just a ten minute walk from Redfern station, which was convenient for me, and I was super excited to gain some experience within such a wonderful organisation.
I was already familiar with the some of the great work done by the AEF through the Internship Program, but through my own research leading up to the internship, and my experience during my four weeks there, I had learnt that Aurora has many excellent objectives external to the Internship Program. Alongside their placement work, Aurora organises overseas study tours for high-performing Indigenous students, as well as administering bursaries and scholarships for prestigious overseas universities such as Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard, through the Charlie Perkins Trust and Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation.
Working within the Trusts team, I was able to help with summarising scholarship applications from a number of inspiring Indigenous academics, preparing presentations based on university completion statistics, and, most notably, greatly expanded my Excel skills through working on a Scholar database which included important details about participants, scholars and bursary recipients that have been involved with the organisation. Within the Scholarships team, I felt as though I was given considerable responsibility. I often had meetings with the Trusts team and the Executive Director, and I also felt as though the work I was doing was useful - I was frequently encouraged and motivated by the members of the office, who expressed great interest and excitement about the work I was completing. Within the Indigenous Website team, I was able to work with different people, and alongside meetings with the team, I was given a chance to flex my creativity and problem-solving skills to help re-design and re-format the website for the Charlie Perkins Scholarship Trust, which is managed by AEF.
During my time with Aurora, I was able to work on a number of diverse and interesting projects, and was welcomed with open arms, trusted, and encouraged to make an individual input. Before the internship I was curious about where an anthropology degree might lead me, and interested in a career within the Indigenous sector. Now, after having completed the internship, I am excited by the possibilities of what my anthropological academic background might have to offer, inspired by the possibilities for future study within anthropology, and I am certain that working within the realm of Indigenous affairs is something that I have become passionate about, and something that I would like to steer my course towards.
I didn’t want to leave at the end of my four weeks, and luckily for me, I didn’t have to! I was fortunate enough to have been offered a casual position towards the end of my internship with Aurora. I’d really like to thank the Aurora Education Foundation for all of the wonderful opportunities and experiences that they have offered me, and would strongly recommend that any interested and eligible student take up the opportunity - you won’t regret it!
Applications for the for the Aurora Internship Program winter 2017 round of internships are open from now through the 31st March, 2017. For more information, please visit http://auroraproject.com.au/about-applying-internship