Katelin Taylor

Native Title
Winter 2014

I was in my third year of a Bachelor of Laws/ Bachelor of Arts degree when I began my five week Aurora internship via the Aurora Native Title Internship Program at the Central Desert Native Title Service. When recalling my first days as an intern it is clear to me that I was, above all, young. This may seem like a bizarre statement given that I write this a mere two months after finishing my internship, but the experience I gained throughout those five weeks makes it impossible to consider myself to be the same person who nervously began her first day of interning in Winter Term of 2014.

As a double degree student, I was technically only completing second year law units when I decided to apply for the Aurora internship after hearing about it from a former intern. While my friends planned winter break holidays and finished their assignments, I prepared for an interview I was sure would amount to nothing – after all, I had no practical legal experience to speak of. I cannot be more pleased and grateful that I applied, however, as it gave me the opportunity to be part of a truly engaging, educational and supportive program. Both the Aurora internship community and the Central Desert Native Title Service allowed me to gain a variety of experience in a field I am now passionately interested in practicing in.

On my first day I was quickly introduced to everyone, given my own desk and began working on a variety of interesting tasks in an environment that guaranteed I felt like part of the team. Over the following five weeks I had numerous tasks, including; transcribing client interviews, drafting letters to mining companies, editing a constitution for the creation of a Prescribed Body Corporate, attending the Federal Court (for matters such as interlocutory hearings and case management conferences), and writing an appeal chronology for past cases. My largest task spanned several weeks, and involved tabulating future acts mining documentation in such a way as to develop a manner of predicting the time and cost of similar documentation to be lodged on different land areas.

The office environment was welcoming and supportive, with regular opportunities to meet and speak with staff members working in a variety of fields. Soup Day was the social and culinary highlight of the week, with two different staff members providing beautiful food for everyone each week. There were even several occasions where a large group of the staff went out for lunch, or stayed after work for drinks, and it was always made clear that the interns were more than welcome. Hardly a week went by without a group lunch of birthday cake or brownies, and I am overwhelmingly grateful to have had the opportunity to meet such a wonderful group of people.

I came away having gained experience in a field I had previously had very little knowledge of, and with the realisation that this may be the field I hope to work in as a graduate. I met a wonderful variety of people, learnt more than I can say about practicing as a lawyer, and even gained a greater knowledge and understanding of the community I live in. I would not hesitate to recommend applying for a position as an Aurora Legal Intern and the Central Desert Native Title Service.