As a mature aged student, I came to La Trobe University with the intention of earning a certification, which would allow employment within the field of native title, or at least somewhere within the Aboriginal sector.
During the past six weeks I have been in Darwin undertaking an internship through a placement program named The Aurora Project, which places anthropology, law and some social sciences students and graduates in internships with Native Title Representative Bodies.
I was buzzing when I heard the news that I would be heading off to Darwin as part of the Aurora Native Title Internship Program. I knew it would be a world away from growing up in brash Sydney and living in cosmopolitan Melbourne.
Having just graduated with my double degree, I knew I wanted to continue my studies and undertake honours. But I felt I was lacking in the practical experience that often comes with anthropological work.
I was first introduced to the Aurora Internship Program during my Graduate Diploma at Melbourne University by a fellow student. They emphasized the fun and possibilities it had opened up for them, particularly if I wanted to work in Indigenous affairs.
When I received confirmation of my Aurora placement with the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) in Darwin for six weeks over the winter break I was overjoyed. The prospect of working for such a unique organisation was extremely exciting.
I came to Australia for the first time in 2009 to conduct my honors research thesis focused on Australian Aboriginal Land Rights.
I decided to apply for an Aurora internship in the final semester of my Bachelor of Arts, in which I took an extended major in anthropology. At that point in my degree, getting a taste of ‘real life anthropology’ was exactly what I wanted and also felt I needed to do.