Harriet De Souza

Social Science
Summer 2018

I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Aurora Internship Program and would recommend this to anyone who wants to gain more experience within their field. Through the Aurora Internship Program I have developed  my skills and knowledge and had the opportunity to gain real-world experiences within the field I have recently graduated. During the five weeks of my internship I worked on a program that runs camps in the remote Kimberly and Northern Territory, working to empower and build on leadership skills with students from grade 9 – 12. This is an area that I am passionate about as a young Aboriginal women and would encourage anyone who wants to work within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sector to apply for an Aurora Internship.

I applied for a summer 2017/18 internship in my last semester in my final year of a Bachelor of Human Services, I am appreciative to have been accept and then placed at Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) in Melbourne. FYA is a non-for-profit organisation that has eight different programs within the organisation although I mainly was involved within the IMPACT and briefly worked on $20 Boss. I was able to gain knowledge of the other program through discussion with staff members.

During my time at FYA I was a part of the Programs & Events team and worked on the IMPACT camp. I attended two camps over a period of two weeks first in Broome with year 9 Aboriginals and the second took place in Darwin with year 10, 11 and 12s. In my first week I travelled to Broome for the first camp, and this opportunity was life changing and over the six days I was able to gain an understanding of the current social and political issues that young people in the Kimberly region face. I also gained an understanding of the facilitations role and assisted in organisation leading up to the camp and finalisation, such as a camp update to parents and student summary to teachers. The following week I flew to Darwin for the final end of year camp working with years, 10, 11 and 12s. The camp was filled with hilarity and sentiments due to year 12s graduating and entering which was a major milestone. I was able to confidently engage and established authentic relationships with these young people, who will forever have an influence on my life. I believe I learnt a lot from these two camps and connecting with these young people who are knowledgeable and inspirational, hearing their stories and journeys allowed me to reflect on my personal story.

I am very fortunate for the support and opportunity that I have received from Aurora and FYA for the last five weeks and have only furthered my drive to want to work within my community. This has also only furthered my desire and passion to work with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to support, advocate, empower and build on their strengths.