The internship program is an important part of the ALRC’s community education activities. An internship at the ALRC provides an opportunity for students to increase their awareness of law reform issues and improve their research and writing skills, while contributing to an ALRC inquiry. Interns join a team for one of the ALRC’s current inquiries and are supervised by legal officers.
In 2009–10, there were 16 internship places offered and these were filled with students of an exceptionally high calibre.
Four applicants from overseas universities received placements. The ALRC has an intern partnership with the University of Maryland in the United States and in August 2009 both Mr Aaron Besser and Ms Michelle Salomon completed their internship programs, while Mr Steven Dunst and Mr James Small joined the ALRC in January 2010 from Harvard University as part of its Clinical Placement Program. These students made a valuable contribution to the ALRC’s inquiries, including comparative research into and analysis of the laws of Australia and United States.
The 12 other students who completed internships at the ALRC came from the: Australian National University; University of Melbourne; University of Western Australia; University of New South Wales; University of Sydney; and Queensland University of Technology.
Students were involved in a range of ALRC activities, including: undertaking research for the ALRC’s inquiries; assisting in the development of online consultation forums; and attending consultation meetings with inquiry stakeholders.
The ALRC plans to launch an Indigenous internship program in the next reporting period. The ALRC has committed to creating opportunities for Indigenous law students to be involved with the ALRC as interns as part of the ALRC’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
Table 15: ALRC Interns 2009–10
|Aaron Besser||Maryland||Family Violence|
|Michelle Salomon||Maryland||Secrecy/Family Violence|
|Mariam Jacob||UNSW||Family Violence|
|Vasudha Sathanapally||USyd||Royal Commissions|
|Calvin Shaw||UNSW||Family Violence|
|Philip Boncardo||USyd||Family Violence|
|Mia Hollick||UMelb||Family Violence|
|Zhiyan Cao||UNSW||Family Violence|
|Tracey Kingsbury||UWA||Family Violence|
|James Small||Harvard||Family Violence|
|Anna Spies||UNSW||Family Violence|
|Tamara Phillips||USyd||Family Violence|
|Frances Stephenson||ANU||Family Violence|
|Dorothea Anthony||UTS||Family Violence|
“In many ways the internship surpassed my expectations. I had not realised that I would be performing a similar level of work as the Legal Officers or have exposure to such a wide range of the ALRC’s operations and functions.”Dorothea Anthony—University of Technology, Sydney
“My expectations have been exceeded in every possible way. I have appreciated the fact that the work I have done will be of value to the ALRC and used by the organisation, the fantastic level of supervision and support from staff, the collegiate nature of the time, and the way we were welcomed from the very first day.”Danielle Trudgett—Queensland University of Technology