Public Interest Careers Guide - Aurora Project

Field of Law

Indigenous; Human Rights

Stage of career

Undergraduates; Graduates; Practising Lawyers; Indigenous Students and Lawyers

Contact Details

Address: The Aurora Project and Programs Pty. Ltd, 100 Botany Rd, Alexandria 2015
Phone: (02) 9310 8413 or (02) 9310 8400 (General Enquiries)
Visit the Aurora Project website
Contact person: Kim Barlin
Email: kim.barlin@auroraproject.com.au

Description of Organisation

The Aurora Native Title Internship Program aims to assist in building capacity within Indigenous organisations by supporting their legal and research staff.  The Program facilitates internship opportunities for students and graduates to work with organisations that focus on native title, Indigenous policy development, land rights, social justice and human rights.

Aurora also administers two Scholarship Programs for lawyers and anthropologists/researchers interested in a career in native tile via both the Australian Government Rio Tinto NTRB Scholarships (to undertake a Masters in Mineral Law in Scotland) and the Australian Government Native Title Research Scholarships (to undertake post-graduate study at a Masters or PhD level, in a field relating to native title and focusing on anthropology and history.

In addition, Aurora administers a number of other initiatives aimed at improving educational outcomes for Indigenous Australians including scholarship opportunities for Australian Indigenous graduates to study overseas; Aurora Travelling Scholars' tour of leading universities overseas;  The Indigenous Scholarships website and Indigenous scholarship guidebooks.

Information for students/graduates

For information on the Internship program, see the Native Title Internship Program page on the Aurora Project website.

We accept applications from legal and social science students and graduates.

For information on the NTRB (Postgraduate) Scholarships Programs, see the NTRB page on the Aurora Project website

What kinds of internship opportunities are available?

The Aurora Native Title Internship Program aims to assist in building capacity within Indigenous organisations by supporting their legal and research staff.  The Program facilitates internship opportunities for students and graduates to work with organisations that focus on native title, Indigenous policy development, land rights, social justice and human rights.

Approximately 700 applications are received annually and approximately 200 placements are arranged annually at 15 NTRBs and over 65 other organisations working in Indigenous affairs more generally.

How to apply

1. Prepare the required information in a SINGLE Microsoft Word file of not more than 200kb that includes:

i) A cover letter (addressed to Kim Barlin, Manager, Placements & Scholarships) highlighting:

  • A strong academic record (max. 200 words)
  • Demonstrated experience in and/or knowledge of Indigenous/multicultural affairs, social justice and other legal work and/or fieldwork (max.150 words)
  • Demonstrated reliability and integrity (max.150 words)
  • Demonstrated strong interpersonal and communication skills (max. 100 words)
  • Motivation and initiative (max. 100 words).

ii)  A curriculum vitae                                     

iii) An up to date an unofficial academic trancript listing all university results

iv) A passport-size photo.

 2. Save your Microsoft Word document using the following format:

surname.first name.university.legal.app.doc, for example: smith.jane.UNSW.legal.app.doc

If you want to apply for more than one stream you will need to specify ‘anthropology', ‘legal' or ‘social science' in the saved document name.

3. Complete the online application form.

4. Attach the SINGLE Microsoft Word file to your online application form and submit your application prior to the closing date.

Dates for application

March and August each year.

Interview process

  • All applications are reviewed by the Placements team
  • Applicants are short-listed for interview
  • Interviews are conducted face-to-face Australia-wide (or by phone/Skype if necessary)
  • Following the interview, successful applicants are short-listed as eligible to be proposed for an internship
  • Applicants are matched to the various host organisations in response to the organisational needs.

What are they looking for in an applicant?

  • a strong academic record
  • an interest in the area of native title, social justice, policy development, human rights and Indigenous affairs more generally
  • strong cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • commitment to the minimum internship length

Qualifications/skills required

  • Legal applicants to the Internship Program need to be currently enrolled or have completed Property Law at the time of their application.
  • All applicants need to have a demonstrated interest in the area of native title, social justice, policy development, human rights and Indigenous affairs more generally.

Programs for Indigenous students/lawyers

In addition to the Aurora Native Title Internship program which welcomes applications from Indigenous law students and graduates, Aurora also administers a number of other initiatives aimed at improving educational outcomes for Indigenous Australians including scholarship opportunities for Australian Indigenous graduates to study overseas; Aurora Travelling Scholars' tour of leading universities overseas;  The Indigenous Scholarships website and Indigenous scholarship guidebooks.

The Indigenous Scholarships website makes available information on over 300 undergraduate and 100 post-graduate scholarship opportunities open to indigenous people.

For information visit the Indigenous Scholarships website.

For information on other Indigenous education initiatives, visit the Indigenous Education page on the Aurora Project website

Information for practising lawyers

Each year Aurora administers two postgraduate scholarships to undertake a Master of Laws (LLM) in Mineral Law and Policy at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) at the University of Dundee, Scotland.

Scholarships are offered to lawyers currently working at an NTRB or who are interested in working in native title. Scholarship recipients need to commit to work for a minimum of two years at an NTRB providing mining and resources-related legal advice to native title claimants in Australia following graduation from the LLM program. This work may be as an employee of one or more NTRBs, or another entity involved in advising traditional owners.

For information on the NTRB Scholarships Programs, visit the Australian Government-Rio Tinto NTRB scholarships page on the Aurora Project website.

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