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NSW Government Aboriginal Internships Program

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NSW Government Aboriginal Interns

What are the Aboriginal Internships?

The NSW Government Aboriginal Internships Program provides a career springboard for Aboriginal university students. It supports students’ career aspirations by connecting them with employers who offer paid internships during university holidays.

The internship program introduces interns to the world of work and builds their interest in pursuing a career with NSW Government. The program is delivered by CareerTrackers, a non-profit organisation that links Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students with employers. CareerTrackers offers support and advice to interns during their placement, including professional development through hands-on work experience, plus leadership training and mentoring. Interns complete a Summer placement of up to 12 weeks between November and February and a Winter placement of 4 weeks in June-July.

The program ensures that NSW Government has a presence in a highly competitive market and showcases the choices and opportunities available in NSW Government.

Benefits for agencies

Departments and agencies who choose to host an Aboriginal intern can:

  • recruit diverse and high potential Aboriginal talent
  • develop a pipeline of future Aboriginal leaders
  • value, support and retain Aboriginal people by facilitating their career development
  • boost their agency’s performance against future diversity targets on Aboriginal employment
  • invest in raising the profile of their employment brand in Aboriginal communities.

Program objectives

The Aboriginal Internships Program aims to build a pipeline of future Aboriginal leaders in both urban and regional locations and is an action item under the Aboriginal Employment Strategy 2019-2025. The PSC is managing the program centrally and it is currently in pilot phase.

The pool of university-qualified Aboriginal graduates is small and university completion rates are low. Aboriginal Internships will support Aboriginal students to build the capability, skills and confidence they need to graduate successfully and gain valuable on-the-job experience necessary to be competitive in the NSW Government Graduate Program.

Case Study

  • Amanda BurnsAmanda Burns is an intern placed with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) through the NSW Government Aboriginal Internships program. This program is delivered through CareerTrackers, a non-profit organisation that links Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students with employers.

    The interns are provided with professional support and opportunities to learn and add value to the work of their host agency. Interns are given a career springboard by completing up to 16 weeks’ placement during each year of their degree.

    “The Department has given me transferrable skills that I can use within any workplace, as well as relevant on-the-ground experiences that will link to my uni courses this semester.”– Amanda Burns.

    It’s not just the intern who benefits from this experience. Amanda’s placement and skills have brought value to the Environment Protection Authority and Local Land Services teams by incorporating a depth of Aboriginal perspectives and strengthening DPIE’s knowledge and relationship with Aboriginal communities.

    Opportunities such as these support the identification of future talent and strengthen the NSW Government’s profile as an employer of choice for Aboriginal people. The internships also assist in identifying and developing future Aboriginal leaders in both urban and regional locations. This is an action item under the Public Sector Aboriginal Employment Strategy 2019-2025, in line with the Premier’s Priority of increasing the number of Aboriginal people in senior leadership roles.­