Reflecting a high level of interest as well as community engagement among our students, Adelaide students have been incredibly successful in gaining prestigious and competitive native title internship placements. Eight Adelaide law students and graduates are to gain first-hand experience in the field of native title and indigenous affairs this winter through the Aurora Project.
In 2005 an extensive report into the professional development needs of lawyers working with native title representative bodies (NTRBs) identified that lawyers representing Indigenous peoples in this vital area were under-resourced, underfunded, had limited access to professional development or career progression opportunities, and that recruitment into the field was difficult.
Recruitment was especially affected by the fact that many graduate lawyers were not aware of the potential for gaining employment in the field of native title. These conclusions had obvious consequences for native title claimants and for achieving any social justice outcomes for indigenous peoples. The Aurora Project is one organisation which is responding to this need. It organises a diverse range of internship opportunities for law, anthropology and social sciences students and graduates nationally. These competitive internship opportunities provide invaluable assistance for host organisations, and also facilitate students and recent graduates to gain practical experience in interesting, important and rewarding areas of work.
Adelaide Law School has been involved with the Aurora Project for nearly a decade, and over the years 53 Adelaide law students have successfully secured internships positions and completed placements with a wide variety of organisations. In winter 2014 they will be joined by 8 more Adelaide students and graduates, who will be completing their internships at NTSCORP, the Australian Human Rights Commission and Jumbunna in Sydney, the Kimberly Land Council in Broome, Kuruma Marthudunera Aboriginal Corporation in Karratha, AIATSIS in Canberra and Ninti One in Alice Springs.
Four of these students will also be continuing the work they undertake in their internship placement during a native title elective course in the Law School, during which they will complete a substantial supervised research project. Some of these students can benefit from the Native Title Scholarship scheme, a scheme generously supported by the Law Foundation of South Australia which provides financial assistance for Adelaide law School students undertaking internship placements around Australia.