The Aurora Project

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Since my internship at NTSCORP, I have such a renewed sense for Aboriginal rights and native title that I can definitely see myself working for this sector in the future. My time on placement was irreplaceable and in all honestly, the five weeks was definitely not enough!

Dunja Janjic,
placed at NTSCORP

About the Aurora Internship Program

The Internship Program commenced in 2004 with the placement of legal interns at a limited number of NTRBs and other organisations working in Indigenous affairs more generally. To address the needs of anthropology and research staff at NTRBs and PBCs, the Program expanded to include anthropology students and graduates in 2006 and other social science students and graduates in 2007. The Program is funded by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Just prior to the announcement of the 2 July election, PM&C extended Aurora’s funding through to the end of December 2016, with the intention to enter into a longer arrangement with Aurora later in the year.

Overview

Aurora winter 2015 intern placed at CAALAS, Alice Springs

The legal Internship Program has since expanded to include anthropology and some social science (archaeology, cultural heritage, environmental management, human geography, history and sociology) students and graduates, now placed at the 15 NTRBs, 10 PBCs and at over 100 other Indigenous corporations, government bodies, community groups and other policy organisations Australia-wide.

In 2009, Aurora piloted the placement of business interns at NTRBs and other organisations.

The Internship Program, combined with Aurora’s training and professional development program, support the recruitment and retention of staff at NTRBs and PBCs in particular, in addition to the broader Indigenous sector.
 

Internship Program now

Over 1,900 internship placements have been arranged as at summer 2015/16.

The Program continues to attract enthusiastic participation by students and graduates from universities across Australia as well as overseas, with over 5,000 applications received and over 1,900 internship placements arranged, as at the summer 2015/16 round.

 

 

 

 

Internship Program - making a difference

  • Over 5,000 applications received.
  • To date, 2,040 internships arranged have provided over 380,000 hours of additional capacity to more than 120 organisations working in the native title and broader Indigenous sector.
  • This translates to approx. $11.5 million of cost savings and productivity gains. 
  • The Program has led to 511 internship alumni (28% of all alumni), including 18 alumni of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) decent, going on to be employed in Indigenous sector organisations.
  • 63 legal internship alumni have taken up full-time employment at 15 NTRBs, which is over 80% of the number of full-time lawyers (76) in the NTRB system at the time of our April 2005 Report.
  • 35 anthropology internship alumni have taken up full-time employment at 14 NTRBs, which is over 45% of the number of full-time anthropologists (74) in the NTRB system at the time of a recent survey, by Cameo Dalley, Research Fellow, Centre for Native Title Anthropology, ANU.
  • 4 social science internship alumni (one archaeology, two researcher and one communications officer) have taken up full-time employment at 4 NTRBs. 
  • All of these alumni noted that their decision to work in the sector was greatly influenced by their Aurora internship.
  • 98% of Hosts report that the interns were of value.
  • 79% of Hosts have taken interns over multiple rounds.
  • Placement of Indigenous students is a high priority – 90% of Indigenous applicants are selected for placement, compared to 46% of non-Indigenous applicants.
  • Of our 114 Indigenous interns placed to date, 18 (29%) have undertaken 14 paid roles in the Indigenous sector.
  • 8 alumni have been awarded Rhodes scholarships.