Juanita Summer

Social Science
Arts and Culture
Winter 2018

During my first semester of my undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree, with a focus on Indigenous Knowledges and Society, I heard about the Aurora Internship Opportunity. Students from Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education at the University of Adelaide all received an email about this opportunity from staff members on campus –  it sounded fun, exciting and interesting, so I decided to apply for a position. At first, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, but the idea of a funded internship and the possibility of it being interstate sounded like a great opportunity to broaden my horizons and grow professionally. A few weeks after my interview, I heard back from the Aurora Project placement team telling me that I had been successful in receiving the Aurora Scholarship. Based off my application form and with an interest in Indigenous studies, language, the arts, and music, the Aurora Project placed me at PARADISEC. PARADISEC work on digitising and archiving records of small languages from all around the world. During my first semester, I took a course at my University where we got to work with old records from the Centre of Aboriginal Studies in Music. A lot of the materials amongst the many boxes was filed old band posters, cassettes, meeting notes and a range of other things. This course gave me the opportunity to work hands on and gain experience in archiving, so being placed at PARADISEC for me was incredibly fitting with my studies. I learnt hands on skills, I had access to multiple collections on the PARADISEC catalogue, and I saw many incredible photographs taken from Aboriginal communities mostly up north. During my time at PARADISEC, I worked on a range of tasks which included the digitisation of film photographs, working with spreadsheet data as well as metadata. It has been valuable to have contributed to such important collections of cultural heritage materials for Indigenous communities. I learnt some new skills while undertaking some tasks that my supervisors assigned me, such as how to use and create short films and clips on Adobe Premiere Pro. One of my supervisor’s Georgia Curran set me a task to create a short film using recorded footage of Anmatyerr and Warlpiri women’s song and dance. I was lucky enough to see some great footage of the women.  This short film will be displayed at an upcoming exhibition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music library between August and October this year. While interning at PARADISEC I was fortunate enough to be working with a great group of people, and it was my first time experiencing work in an office environment. Another one of the projects I was lucky enough to work on was Dr Clint Bracknell’s Wirlomin Noongar language dictionary. While being on this internship it reminded me how incredibly important it is to preserve and digitise audio, text and visual materials belonging to language and cultural groups around the world. I am very fortunate and feel lucky to have had this opportunity, especially while still being in my undergraduate program. I wouldn’t have been able to fund this experience without receiving the Aurora Scholarship, and I recommend this to any student undertaking studies, as it is important to get into work environments and learn hands on experience, as you gain knowledge and skills which coincide with your learning and studies.