Ever thought about doing an internship? Ever wanted the chance to do some work that would really contribute to a major social justice issue? Then maybe it’s time you checked out the Aurora Program.
The Aurora Native Title Internship Program gives social science, legal and anthropology students the chance to get a sense of and work in Native Title. Running winter and summer internships, Aurora places interns in Native Title Representative bodies, community groups, Government departments and think tanks. They support you in the lead up, during, and after the internship to make sure you can get the absolute most out of this amazing experience.
I was lucky enough to undertake one of the Social Sciences internships during the 2009/10 Summer break. For 6 weeks I was placed Native Title Services Corporation (NTSCORP) in Redfern, with the research department. During my time there I was blown away by the people I met and the work being done.
NTSCORP assists Traditional Owners in making Native Title Claims in New South Wales. As their name suggests, the Research team researches family histories and continuity of connection to land and cultural practices in relation to the claim. As you can probably guess, this is not easy work, and certainly not always pleasant work. Spending your days tracing in detail a history of often violent and always traumatic dispossession is tough. What amazed me however, was the resilience and optimism of the claimants and the strength and commitment of the researchers.
An Aurora internship is a chance not just to learn about the Aboriginal experience but to do something about it. Knowing that the work I did for 6 weeks will form part of the research that goes towards a Native Title claim gives you an invaluable sense that just maybe, all those hours at uni can make a difference. Seeing someone from the research team hand over a family tree that you helped research to a person who previously could not name their grandparents is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.
I cannot recommend highly enough that you all check out the Aurora website listed below. Get involved and apply now for the Winter program for this year, or start making plans for summer 2010/11. This is a chance to put you theory into practice and contribute to achieving greater social justice in Australia.