As a Communications and International Studies student, majoring in Social Inquiry and in my final year at the University of Technology Sydney, the Aurora Internship Program provided me with the perfect opportunity to combine my interest in social sciences with my motivation to work in the Indigenous sector.
The Program provides Indigenous sector organisations with the assistance of motivated and skilled students and graduates from various educational backgrounds, including law, social science and health science streams.
After an extensive application and interview process, I was selected to undertake the Program and offered a six-week placement with the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute (AIGI), based in Canberra at the Australian National University. AIGI is a national centre of governance excellence, promoting self-determination and connecting Indigenous Australians with world-class governance practice, research and policies.
My work at AIGI was unique in that it provided me the opportunity to undertake a task that was not only challenging, but would also allow me to develop skills that I had acquired through my Communications degree. This involved developing an internal document for AIGI; a communications and digital engagement strategy that could be used for building their online social media presence and engagement with stakeholders. The task allowed me to critically think of the role of communication in today’s day and age and how as a small organisation, AIGI could tactically engage with community and stakeholders to encourage their collaboration.
What was most rewarding about working with AIGI was the opportunity to work on other various tasks as well as assist in AIGI held events. This included developing skills in WordPress to update their website, designing flyers for upcoming seminars and working in a team to prepare for an Indigenous only summit regarding Indigenous data sovereignty. These tasks all contributed to my overall understanding of empowering Indigenous peoples and pushed me to learn and develop new skills in time management, communication technologies, and research and writing.
While I am grateful for all the skills I developed by working for AIGI, it would not have been possible without the continued support of my CEO and supervisor as well as the rest of the AIGI team. I can’t thank them enough for providing me with such a valuable experience and for being so welcoming from day one.
I encourage anyone who is interested in working within the Indigenous sector to apply for an Aurora internship and consider the AIGI as a possible organisation to work for.