Oceania Henry

Social Science
Winter 2018

After completing my Bachelor’s degree, I had a break before I began post graduate study and was eager to broaden my skillset. As first, I wasn’t sure if the Aurora Internship Program would be for me, as while I was very passionate about the Indigenous sector, my undergraduate degree did not entirely reflect this. I applied anyway, and one week after I completed my final exams, I found myself on a plane headed to Sydney for what I hoped, would be 6 weeks of much learning.

While I was very excited to begin an internship with the Aurora Education Foundation (AEF), I was still very anxious. How would I fit in with the team? Would I be able to produce high quality work that meet their expectations? What if I had questions and I am meant to complete a task independently?  All these uncertainties running through my mind were instantly put at ease on my first day, when I received the warmest welcome into the office. Even though the expectations were high, I was in a new place, doing tasks I had never done before, and the team were incredibly understanding of this.

I was placed within the Indigenous Scholarship Portal (Portal) and The Aspiration Initiative (TAI) teams, two programs ran through the AEF, that aim to support Indigenous students to achieve their education and career aspirations. With the portal, I answered enquires, updated scholarship listings and helped polish and develop the redesign resources. With TAI, I was given more of a project rather than individual tasks and created a Parents’ Guide to University. I was very lucky to also get the opportunity to get involved with Outreach, another AEF program, and travelled to numerous schools to deliver a program to grade 10 high school students. 

My role at AEF was very diverse, and balanced the research and offsite tasks, with equally as helpful more administrative tasks. I didn’t mind doing these at all, as it made the work AEF did easier for the rest of the staff and was quite nice to do something different from time to time. I was also available to help others out within the office, when unexpected tasks arose that needed to be completed quickly. I found it important to stay open minded and flexible throughout my internship. You are there to learn and get an insight into a field of work, but also assist your team to ensure great work can happen.

I truly had the most incredible time on my internship at AEF and did not want to leave when my time was up. I could not recommend the Aurora Internship Program enough and encourage those applying to consider AEF as a host organisation. They are dedicated to Indigenous success and have numerous programs you can learn a lot from. The work done here extremely valuable and you get to see the difference they are making, by the countless stories they share. It is incredibly rewarding to be part of, and the experience will far exceed any expectations you have.