I graduated in law a while ago and have been out of the profession for some time. I applied to the Aurora Internship Program because of a long held belief in social justice and with a hope it would be an opportunity to re-acquaint myself with the legal profession. Being placed at Campbell Law in Adelaide I was able to gain exposure to native title Law as well as experience the general operation of a law firm.
As well as covering all aspects of law, Campbell Law represents members of the Kaurna people in many matters including native title in Adelaide as well as other members of the Indigenous sector in other parts of Australia. I worked on the Kaurna Native Title Claim.
Throughout my time at Campbell law I witnessed an effective, collaborative working style, and respectful friendly atmosphere. The guidance and knowledge imparted by Tim Campbell as my mentor, was invaluable. He made sure I was kept up to date with the legal process of the claim as well as with the existing law and new judgments affecting Aboriginal property rights.
Initially I spent my time familiarizing myself with the Kaurna history, ethnology and genealogy as well as the law surrounding their native title claim from settlement right up to present day. I worked closely with the anthropologist involved in the case and met some of the Kaurna people. The anthropologist had previously been involved in other native title matters and I learnt a great deal from him both generally with regard to Indigenous anthropology, and especially when we came to interview and record a witness statement for the claim.
I was involved to a limited extent in the legal proceedings of the Kaurna Native Title claim. Time was spent researching and recording possible documents and information necessary for a discovery application. I observed the preparation of an affidavit accompanying an Interlocutory Order Application and was included in a meeting with the Campbell Law barrister in the case. I also assisted with researching and drawing up Points of Claim in native title cases.
Besides my work on native title, I was invited by Tim Campbell to observe the proceedings of a criminal matter in which Campbell Law is involved at the Magistrate's Court as well as a hearing at the Industrial Court. This was most interesting.
I also accompanied Tim Campbell to a public meeting held under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 with respect to a development proposal for an area of land in close proximity to and including an Aboriginal sacred site. It was rewarding to be given the opportunity to read up on the background to this meeting and then observe the structure and dynamic of the meeting and the interests expressed by the different parties.
I was also privileged to assist at and attend a Director’s meeting of the Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation (KYAC) which provided insight into the challenges, administrative duties and responsibilities of the Kaurna committee members.
In conclusion, I most definitely benefitted from my Aurora internship at Campbell Law and am inspired to continue in the Indigenous Sector. There is so much work to be done.
For more information about the Aurora Internship Program check out their website: http://auroraproject.com.au/about-internship-program. Applications for the summer 2017/18 round will be open in August (exact dates TBC).