Connor Dalgety

Native Title
Winter 2017

I was lucky enough to be able to participate in two separate Aurora internships as part of the Aurora Internship Program. My first internship was at Native Title Services Victoria (NTSV) and the second one was at the Myuma Group. I had incredible experiences at both these internships and I am genuinely grateful that I was given the opportunity to take part in the Aurora program.

The most salient aspect of my internship at NTSV was the quality of the mentoring that I received. Throughout my internship I performed tasks for a number of different lawyers within the organisation. Every time that I was given a task the expectations of that task were clearly explained. After I completed the task, my work was thoroughly reviewed. Through this process, areas of improvement were clearly defined. I believe that this resulted in significant professional development. I was also able to progress my professional development due to the type of tasks that I was given. I was generally not given menial tasks; rather I often had the opportunity to conduct extensive legal research and to draft legal documents. For example, in my final week I was tasked with preparing a report (to be used internally within NTSV) that detailed the laws surrounding the authorisation of native title claims and how those laws affected a current claim that NTSV was responsible for. Another striking aspect of the internship was how valued I felt. Staff within NTSV regularly thanked me and commended my work when it was of a high standard. In addition, my opinion was often sought out and when I made suggestions they were either taken on board or actioned. This was particularly relevant after I attended a Special General Meeting and a Country Planning Gathering in Dimboola for the Barengi Gadjin Land Council. My supervisor genuinely sought my input and encouraged me to make suggestions as to how the process could be improved in the future. Another example that resulted in me feeling valued came on the last day of my internship. On my last day NTSV had a morning tea to thank me for the work that I had done.

During my time at NTSV I was given a range of different tasks. Some of these tasks are detailed below:

  • Preparing documents in relation to applications for exploration licenses;
  • Analysing future act notifications to identify instances of extinguishment of native title;
  • Analysing existing agreements to determine relevant benefits that should be negotiated; 
  • Taking minutes at meetings;
  • Attending a court hearing; and
  • A wide variety of legal research tasks