Emma Lukeij

Native Title
Summer 2019

Through the Aurora Project, I undertook an internship with NTSCORP’s legal team from late November to late December 2018.

I enjoyed working at NTSCORP as I found the overall work atmosphere promoted teamwork and wellness within its organisation. The staff were very welcoming and supportive towards interns, which is not surprising as quite a few of NTSCORP’s employees had previously been Aurora interns.

When I first applied to the Aurora Internship Program, I had limited knowledge of native title. However, through the support of the Aurora Project and NTSCORP, in addition to self-directed learning, this was not an impediment to my placement. From this experience I have gained a greater understanding and appreciation of the native title claim system and the complexities and detail required. Further, this placement has increased my cultural understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how far Australia has come, and how much further Australia needs to go, in recognising their culture and rights.

The work I completed during my placement ranged from the mind-numbing, yet vital, tasks to the mind-expanding tasks that draw upon and develop your writing and research skills. These tasks included research into legal and broader issues, drafting letters to stakeholders, filing, answering phones, and drafting memorandums for the legal team. Regardless of where the task fell on this spectrum, each was an opportunity to learn more about native title and general legal processes. Moreover, each task completed provided the necessary support to the legal team in their work, allowing them greater focus on more complex issues.

Beyond completing tasks, this placement provided a great opportunity to converse with and observe the lawyers and law graduates of NTSCORP. I was also given the opportunity to join NTSCORP in attending court. On the first occasion I observed an appeal and on the second occasion I observed the court’s case management. I thoroughly enjoyed observing the court process and the various parties as well as meeting the barristers briefed by NTSCORP.

On a personal side, NTSCORP at Christmas time is fantastic. I enjoyed being a part of their holiday celebrations and in meeting members of the board. NTSCORP, for me, projects a sense of community within its organisation and among the various native title claim groups.

I strongly recommend the Aurora Project and working at NTSCORP as great opportunities to develop any interest you have in Native Title and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues.