Aboriginal Legal Service

Being immersed at the ALS was an incredible opportunity for me to undertake legal work in the Indigenous sector and get a proper understanding of the kind of work they do. 

Trilby Donald, ALS

This experience has opened my eyes to the immense impact that public interest community legal centres can have on the lives of those who are disadvantaged in our community.​

Sarah Kennedy, ALS

I feel like it has improved my overall confidence and future prospects immensely.

Sam Playford, ALS

ALS was the perfect environment for a new intern. I felt that I could be productive but also spend time observing and learning new skills for my own development. It was made very clear that the experience was dependent on what we wanted to get out of it. I liked this approach, as I was able to take on jobs and help out, but there was no pressure from the staff. I also loved that the internship opened up a pathway for me to become involved in the Indigenous sector, which I have long been aspiring to do. I feel incredibly lucky to have had this experience and I can't explain how appreciative I am of the efforts made by the team to make everything manageable for me. I feel like I have had the opportunity to develop my own skills and make connections that I may not have been able to do without the assistance through Aurora.

Holli Backhouse, ALS

Ultimately it was a privilege to aid the community of ALS lawyers, staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to improve the outcomes for their client base and drive change for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The perspectives I have adopted and skills I have learnt during my internship will remain with me throughout my legal career.

Natalie Dalpadado, ALS

I really appreciated having the opportunity to spend a lot of time observing the day-to-day operations of the office and continuously learning new skills and pieces of information from ALS members and employees.

Courtney Adamson, ALS

What made this experience so rewarding was the people I worked with and their commitment to the organisation. I had great supervisors who provided me with guidance and support but also gave me challenging work and useful feedback.

Eliza Obery, ALS

I gained a lot of insight into care and protection and an understanding of some of the systematic issues those involved in care and protection are facing, and for Aboriginal people in particular. As such, it has been a great placement and has resulted in me continuing to consider care and protection as an area of the law I could work in in the future.

Meg Behl-Shanks, ALS

Working at the ALS was a great experience – I was able to shadow lawyers at the Children’s Court and inspect subpoena documents which I had never done previously. I feel like child care and protection was a completely new and different area of law that was challenging and interesting at the same time. I’m glad I had this opportunity to learn as much as I could and gain legal experience in this area.

Shamma Clark, ALS

Being placed in the ALS, I gained first hand insight at the scale of the operations of ALS and the criminal department.  As an intern, it was not only valuable to be able to gain valuable knowledge related to access to justice and the role of organisations such as ALS, but also to have the opportunity to contribute to the organisation.  It was an amazing platform on being able to discuss the social issues affecting our clients whilst simultaneously learning how to apply the legal system to resolving each case. 

Humayra Rabab, ALS

The internship provided me with a greater understanding and appreciation for the work of an organisation in the Indigenous affairs sector. I feel as though I learnt a lot about the practical work of solicitors working in the family law and child protection sectors, and many of the key issues that confront Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients in these areas.

Lucy Cornwell, ALS

Undertaking a placement with ALS was a decision that I am mighty grateful for, as it lent me direction and exposure into alternative areas of legal work, such as policy work within the sectors of both Indigenous affairs and social justice.

Mohra Fazel-Ahmadzei, ALS

My internship has confirmed that I would like to work in criminal law, in a capacity that assists Indigenous people.

Amy Farrugia, ALS

The sum of this experience was that it was extremely empowering and worthwhile. Prior to coming to the ALS I was not set on what area of law I wanted to practise in. Now I now feel much more confident in my skills and direction.

Sam Playford, ALS

I feel privileged to have had the experience of completing an internship at the ALS

Joshua Baravelli, ALS

I have not had that level of responsibility in any other legal setting, and the skills and knowledge the ALS team taught and expected me to apply to my work has set me up for the rest of my career.

Trilby Donald, ALS

The experience cemented my desire to work in criminal law, especially in the area of social justice. I hope I can return to ALS in the future. 

Caitlin Joensson, ALS

I cannot thank the Aurora team enough for the opportunities you have provided me in both the Winter/Summer intakes this year. I have developed my critical thinking skills, my engagement with community legal services and have gained connections with like-minded people in a field I am excited to join upon graduation. The work that Aurora does to enable law students, like myself, to gain exposure in Aboriginal sectors of law is invaluable.

Jessica Heaney, ALS

I now have a greater understanding of the work involved in a community law centre dealing exclusively in the criminal jurisdiction.​

Adam Flynn, ALS

I had a truly positive experience during my time at ALS and I would highly recommend this organisation to anyone with an interest in social justice. It is an opportunity to learn and absorb information about how the law works in practice and its effect on Indigenous Australians.

Liana Tenace, ALS

Participating in the program was an enriching experience, not only because it sharpened my legal research skills, but also because I could see that the work that I did would, even in the smallest way, be useful to the organisation.

Kara Gorey, ALS

As the saying goes, don’t be sad that it’s over, be glad that it happened. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work on these case summaries considering Aboriginality. I hope I am in a position to volunteer at the ALS again in the future.

Geena Kordek, ALS

This internship has taught me how to exercise initiative and be proactive.

Jennifer McCourtie, ALS

I have gained a lot of knowledge and understanding which will help me in my career as a criminal lawyer.

Laura Melhuish, ALS

As an Aboriginal person, I realised the importance that the ALS plays in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities including in my own region.

Stuart Larkins, ALS

This was an excellent opportunity to put the research skills I had acquired in my degree to practical use while also contributing to the long-term practice of the ALS. Overall, my internship fortified my desire to work in the Indigenous legal sector and provided me with a first point of access into the sector.

Lydia Ganci, ALS

Upon reflection, the internship experience has left an indelible mark on me. I have learned some valuable lessons that I wouldn’t have had the time to learn otherwise. In hindsight, I have had a positive experience: appreciating the lessons learned, skills gained, supervision received, and the professional relationships formed.  

Ara Daquinag, ALS

My time at the ALS gave me great insight into the challenges solicitors and vulnerable clients and face in the legal system. The ALS provided me with a fantastic opportunity to get a taste of criminal law and the legal system in general.

Tim Forrest, ALS

During my time at the ALS I was really surprised by how little ‘admin work’ I was given, and how often I found myself working on something which felt really tangible.

Eliza Obery, ALS

Most rewarding part of the internship was knowing that my work ultimately assisted in the social justice/Indigenous and criminal justice sector; as well as meeting other inspiring and wonderful staff in the organisation; and, most especially, developing effective legal research skills that will assist in future studies and practice.  

Ara Daquinag, ALS

I realised quickly that I really enjoyed this aspect of legal work, such that I am now interested in scoping opportunities to work in criminal law at the local court level in the future.

Claire Schwager, ALS

This experience has been eye-opening, challenging and rewarding. Being with ALS for a month full time allowed me to have a much more intense and meaningful learning experience and I hope to continue work with ALS in some capacity in future.

Abigail Gallagher, ALS

I really enjoyed working with the ALS. I gained a lot of experience in a number of different areas of the criminal law field. I always had something to do and was always learning something new.

Laura Melhuish, ALS

The Internships an invaluable opportunity to be exposed to the day to day practise of organisations involved in First Australian legal areas and give you an idea of the working culture of relevant organisations. ​

Ruben Tabuteau, ALS

The most rewarding aspect of my placement was feeling like I was playing a role in achieving just legal outcomes for Aboriginal people. I'm very grateful to the Aurora Program for this experience.

Joshua Baravelli, ALS

The internship program is an invaluable stepping stone for those interested in pursuing legal careers that contribute to social justice and that focus on the Indigenous sector.

Mohra Fazel-Ahmadzei , ALS

ALS Lismore provided me with opportunities to gain real experience working in this field. I observed the solicitors in all aspects of their role.  A number of students handed in their resumes to ALS during my time there, however going through Aurora gave me that foot in the door.

Emma Goodwin, ALS

Working at the ALS was a great and memorable experience. I highly recommended it for interns with an interest in family and/or care and protection law and interns wanting more Court exposure. Child care and protection was a completely new and different area of law that was both challenging and interesting at the same time.

Shamma Clarke, ALS

Being part of the ALS world for only four weeks allowed me to see the close connections that are formed in this sector of the law, where despite the solicitors’ best efforts, many cases don’t go their way and often have devastating effects. The support system established in the ALS working environment was very encouraging to see, particularly if I decide to work in the Indigenous legal sector later down the track.

Jacinta Kezelos, ALS

To be involved in the internship program is an invaluable way to broaden your personal skills and knowledge, whilst being applied to a highly relevant and necessary cause.

Courtney Adamson, ALS

I can honestly say that my time with the ALS has been the most rewarding and beneficial experience of my law degree to date. I learnt so many new things, relating to culture, legal processes, and office etiquette.  The most rewarding aspect of my placement was definitely the opportunity to learn more and become more involved within a remote Indigenous community.

Madeline Pywell, ALS

Overall, I had a fantastic experience with ALS Care & Protection and would recommend it to anyone who is interested. Not only was it great to gain community legal centre experience and to learn about how care & protection and family law worked in practice, but the people I met there were kind, hard-working and truly committed to their cause. 

Anita Moser, ALS

It was a super interesting and valuable experience, and it has certainly ignited an interest in criminal practice.

Miranda Traeger, ALS

My five week at the ALS was one of the most incredible experiences of my law degree. It was so hands on and I enjoyed every minute. It shifted the pathway my career will take.  Working hands on in an area that is so rewarding and being surrounded by people who were enthusiastic and committed to ensuring Indigenous people have access to quality legal advice.

Prue McDonald, ALS

Through undertaking this internship, I gained a greater understanding of the systematic issues those involved in Care and Protection matters are facing, for Aboriginal people in particular, and the positive work the ALS is doing to try and achieve the best possible outcomes for Aboriginal children, parents and families.

Meg Behl-Shanks, ALS

Three words encapsulate my time at the Aboriginal Legal Service: rewarding, fast-paced and amazing. It reinforced to me how passionate I am in working in public justice and would love to end up working at the ALS one day.

Prue McDonald, ALS

It was really valuable to be given tasks that took me out of my comfort zone and required me to improve both my research skills and case analysis – two skills that I know will be essential both for the remainder of my time at university and my career in the future. The Program truly provides a rare opportunity, not only to develop legal and professional skills, but perhaps more importantly to gain insights that can never be learnt in the classroom.

Lucy Cornwell, ALS

This experience has been a huge challenge! I have extended my research skills and learnt to work as an independent researcher.

Sarah Proust, ALS

The best aspects of the internship were: ability to learn new skills; ability to make a different in the community; ability to make connections to career into a career in the Indigenous Legal Sector; and the chance to travel and have independence while also contributing to career development. The Aurora team has been so helpful and understanding throughout the entire experience. I feel very privileged to have been a part of the organisation.

Lydia Ganci, ALS

Undertaking this internship was a great experience, not only because it sharpened my legal research skills, but also because I could see that the work that I did would, even in the smallest way, be useful to the organisation.

Kara Gorey, ALS

My time spent at ALS has been a rewarding experience and I can confidently say that I have gained  vital skills in areas where tertiary education falls short

Jefferson Boyd, ALS

This placement has been a rich experience that has opened my eyes to the systemic disadvantage and discrimination facing Aboriginal people in all aspect of the justice system, not just crime.

Meghan Scolyer, ALS

This opportunity opened my eyes to the complexities of the Australian legal system and gave me great hands on experience in the criminal law field.  I was able to be exposed to situations and clients which has given me a new perspective of current legal system and driven me to contribute to change.

Katherine Walker, ALS

It is a great experience interning at ALS Lismore and witnessing first hand the importance of their service. The more time I spend here, the more resolve I have for undertaking a career in the Indigenous Legal Services Sector, especially within criminal law. 

Thomas Scott, ALS