Laura Mwiragua

Native Title
Winter 2019

The Aurora Internship Program

The Internship Program provides students and graduates opportunity to gain experience in native title and the broader Indigenous sector by assisting a host organisation. Internships are unpaid and usually four to six weeks in duration. The program is open to students and graduates with backgrounds in law, as well as health and social welfare and some social sciences. Over 200 host organisations nationally participate in the program. Legal interns may be placed with a land council, Indigenous corporation, justice agency, government body, community legal centre, Aboriginal legal service, barrister or private legal practice.


Interning at CLCAC

CLCAC is a Native Title Representative Body that draws membership from the nine Aboriginal language groups whose traditional lands and waters are located in the Gulf of Carpentaria. I was placed with the Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC) Support Unit which delivers services to PBCs in the post native title determination space. As responsibilities of the PBC Support Unit range from organisational compliance to strategic economic development to future act notifications and agreements, working in this area is fast-paced, varied, and demands a breadth of expertise. 


Across my four weeks at CLCAC I assisted with the maintenance of member registers, administration of mining permits, review of cultural heritage agreements, and preparation of grant funding applications. A major piece of work during the internship was drafting CLCAC’s submission to the review of Queensland’s Cultural Heritage Acts. All these tasks applied and extended knowledge and skills from my studies, from corporations law to statutory interpretation. It was most meaningful to appreciate sovereignty and self-determination following determination of native title. Interning at CLCAC was an exceptional learning experience and it was a pleasure to be party of such a welcoming team. 


Why apply for an Aurora Internship

An Aurora internship is a uniquely pragmatic and immersive opportunity to understand what a career in the sector may look like and the range of pathways available following study. The diversity and calibre of host organisations spread across both metropolitan and regional Australia is remarkable.  I had a fantastic time in Cairns and surrounds, exploring the Atherton Tablelands, Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef on the weekends. Escaping Perth winter for tropical far north Queensland was very welcome.


Many interns go on to roles at host organisations or in the sector, and the Internship Program fosters a network of alumni. Through my internship I made great connections, both professional contacts and friendships with colleagues and fellow interns


I cannot more strongly recommend an Aurora Internship to students interested in native title or working in the Indigenous sector. The Aurora Internship Program accepts applications twice yearly for summer and winter rounds. More information on the Internship Program and application process can be found at


Applications for the winter 2020 round will be open from 2 through 27 March 2020.