Cassandra Kohle

Social Science
Native Title
Summer 2015

For four weeks over the summer holidays, I moved several hours out of Melbourne to do an internship with the Barengi Gadjin Land Council (BGLC) in Horsham, as part of the Aurora Project’s Internship Program. The Program places a number of interns in both summer and winter each year, to work for Native Title Representative Bodies (NTRBs), Prescribed Body Corporates (PBCs), and various other organisations working to support the Indigenous sector. There are several streams in which interns can be placed, namely law, anthropology, and some social sciences. Having a background in archaeology, I couldn’t help but think that this would be an interesting and productive way to spend my summer.

I was not wrong. During my four weeks at Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (BGLC), I got to see and experience a lot of interesting things, along with some very satisfying cataloguing and organising of reports, books and files. From examining artefacts from a dig at Ebenezer Mission, to playing around in the field with software that gives you the ability to make 3D models, to spending a week assisting with a research survey, there was plenty of variety, and I enjoyed all of it!

Then for the last two weeks of my internship, I was back in Melbourne, this time with the NTRB, Native Title Services Victoria (NTSV). Unfortunately, my time there was very short, having already spent most of my time with BGLC. Nevertheless, it was still enough to make a meaningful contribution to their work. This included re-organising library filing cabinets, creating a bibliography relevant to a specific claim area and sourcing referenced documents/articles and assessing their relevance, as well adding to a database of archaeological sites, by going through various reports.

This internship was a fantastic experience, and it was great to learn more about native title and the organisations involved in it. I would highly recommend an Aurora internship for anyone who is considering or interested in working in areas focusing on native title or Indigenous heritage.

There are two rounds of placements in summer and in winter, applications for which open in March and August through the Aurora website.