"Reading my acceptance letter to the Aurora Internship program, I didn’t realise how lucky I was to have secured a position at the Wet Tropics Management Authority within the Aboriginal Partnerships section. At the time of writing this I am three weeks into a five week placement and already I feel like I have learnt so much more than I possibly could have during a five month university course.
My tasks have been absorbing and fascinating: I was charged with developing a communications plan to facilitate engagement with the Rainforest Aboriginal people of the Wet Tropics region, as well as a cultural protocol guide and a few miscellaneous tasks like creating a profile of community groups and Aboriginal corporations within the region.
Despite the work I am doing, it seems to me that I have been outside of the office more than I have been in it, accompanying other members of the Authority to places like Atherton, Kuranda and Cardwell in order to consult with Traditional Owners. These excursions provide not only a glimpse of the stunning scenery around Cairns, but also a chance to meet and chat with Traditional Owners, an opportunity I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise."
"I was really excited about being placed at the Wet Tropics Management Authority, having read about great projects the Authority has been involved in, particularly in regards to their partnership with Indigenous peoples. I have spent the last three weeks working in the Business Management team looking into a future State of the Wet Tropics Report. The theme of the report concerns the assessment of World Heritage Criterion VII, regarding aesthetic value. This is an interesting element to assess due to the subjectivity of aesthetics. I have mainly been researching other World Heritage listed sites subscribed under this criterion, the methodologies they have used and processes that enable engagement with a diverse range of individuals and groups.
I have also done some work producing a project plan for a potential Wet Tropics art exhibition in 2017. My time at the Authority has been a great opportunity to see an environmental organisation at work and an incredible introduction to the beautiful Wet Tropics. A highlight has been the Cassowary Awards: seeing all the inspirational nominees and also the hard work of the Authority staff coming together so wonderfully. The staff have provided a really welcoming environment and I’ve enjoyed the chance to talk to everyone about their work and different roles at the Authority."