Internships for Universities

How your University benefits from having Indigenous Interns

Why we created this Program

With the help of the GUMURRI centre (Indigenous Student Support) at Griffith University, I was able to gain entry into the University and complete my BA in Management back in 1997. During my interview, I made a promise that if I were in a position in the future where I could help out other Indigenous students, I would. Flash forward to now, and together with my wife, we own Shine People Solutions – a Recruitment company focused on permanent recruitment.

In 2015 the Federal Government implemented the Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) with the main aim of increasing the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned businesses in its supply chain. A target was set to have 3% of all Government contracts going to Indigenous businesses, with further targets for increasing indigenous employment also included. In addition, any contract with the Government valued above $7.5m, also has to abide by the IPP. Supply Nation is the organisation tasked with certifying businesses that are Indigenous-owned, and managing a portal linking Government Departments, N.F.P.s and Commercial businesses to Indigenous businesses.

Supply Nation Certified since 2015, we have been building relationships within Federal Government departments, and many of the Supply Nation Member companies. These are some of the largest companies in Australia and through their Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs), they have solid commitments to increasing the proportion of Indigenous employees in their workforce.

There is a multitude of benefits to all parties involved, but we created our internship program as a vehicle to help Indigenous students gain paid, casual or part-time employment in a field related to their studies and future career – providing them with a competitive edge over other students upon graduation.

About the Program

The Indigenous Internship Program finds casual or part-time work for Indigenous students in a business related to their course of study. So, for example, instead of working in Hospitality or Retail while they are studying, if they’re an Accounting student, we’ll try to match them with an Accounting firm. This could be at one of the big 4 accounting firms, a smaller practice, or in the Accounting department of a business. While their classmates are working in a restaurant, they’ll be getting real-world experience relative to the subject they are studying.

The work might be casual or part-time hours during the term, and more time can be negotiated over the breaks. When they graduate they’ll have 2-3 years of work experience in that field, which gives them a massive edge over non-indigenous graduates. They will be the best person for the job. Ideally, the company they’ve been working for during their studies will offer them a permanent role. After all, they’ve spent the last couple of years training, developing and mentoring the student, it only makes sense that they look to them first when choosing their graduate employees.

The beginning of a long journey...

The internship program is just the first step in a long journey we want to have with the students. It is our goal to become the Indigenous, white-collar recruiter of choice. We can not only help the students find their first career-related job, but can then be part of their career from that point onwards.

As they grow and develop in their careers we can be there to guide and mentor them. When they feel as though it’s time for a career move, we can let them know about relevant vacancies, many of which won’t even have been advertised. The beauty of this is that we can not only help the graduates succeed long-term but also Indigenous family, friends or colleagues working in Professional or White-collar jobs.

We think you and your colleagues might be able to help us do it, and along the way be part of achieving fantastic long-term employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


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Benefits to the Students

Paid work in a job related to a future career

Build relative skills to complement their field of study

Gain insight into corporate culture and networking

Find a mentor to guide you on your journey

Greater motivation to complete the course

Higher motivation to study harder and achieve better grades

Benefits to the University / Indigenous Support Unit

Higher course completion rates for Indigenous students

Excellent Graduate employment figures

Greater engagement levels in the students

Benefits to the Businesses

Meet their RAP goal by increasing the number of Indigenous employees in their organisation

Mentoring and developing future Indigenous leaders in their business

Providing opportunities for Indigenous students to gain valuable corporate experience

Creating a more diverse workforce

Meet their RAP goal by utilising an Indigenous business in their supply chain

Benefits to the Government

In addition to all the points above, the Government benefits from new jobs being created. There is a strong indication that many internships will be newly created positions.

Benefits to Us

Pride in achieving great outcomes for all parties involved

Increasing the number of Indigenous employees in our business as we expand to meet the demand

We charge a Recruitment fee to the Business that employs the intern