What’s it like to work at Reconciliation Australia

Student and Aurora intern Annalyce Cuda spent some time as an intern at Reconciliation Australia in early 2013. Here she blogs about her time working in the Policy, Research and Government Affairs team.

I arrived at Reconciliation Australia in Canberra just a couple of days before they hosted their first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Showcase at Parliament House, so nearly straight away I got stuck in to helping getting everything organised for the event.

The event itself was a great experience to be a part of, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and other MP’s attended and I got a really strong sense of the great reputation Reconciliation Australia has not only in Canberra, but the broader political community. The following week, I was lucky enough to watch the Act of Recognition (for the Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) get passed through the House of Representatives and attended a morning tea at Parliament with many high profile Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academics, activists and community leaders, as well as the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott.

Annalyce with the Reconciliation Australia team at the RAP Showcase event at Parliament House.

The rest of my time at Reconciliation Australia was spent working on a variety of research projects. I was fortunate to get experience in a diverse range of research tasks and was allowed a lot of input in the type of tasks I wanted to work on. Some of the tasks I worked on included; writing a summary of the 2013 Closing the Gap Report, researching the different ways law firms engage in pro-bono legal work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and people, a comparison of the way universities were using RAPs, researching and drafting a ANZAC factsheet on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander involvement in the Australian military as well as helping put together case studies for the Indigenous Governance Toolkit.

The internship gave me a great insight into federal government Indigenous policy and the wide range of initiatives and projects currently operating around Australia to promote reconciliation and help close the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non – Indigenous people.

While it is not an area that I had a lot of knowledge or experience about prior to applying for the internship, it is definitely now an area I would be interested in pursuing after I graduate.

Annalyce Cuda enjoyed her Aurora internship at Reconciliation Australia

Applications for Winter and Summer internships are open every March and August, respectively.

Paul House with gum leaves and smoke
Paul Girrawah House

Paul Girrawah House has multiple First Nation ancestries from the South-East Canberra region, including the Ngambri-Ngurmal (Walgalu), Pajong (Gundungurra), Wallabollooa (Ngunnawal) and Erambie/Brungle (Wiradyuri) family groups.

Paul acknowledges his diverse First Nation history, he particularly identifies as a descendant of Onyong aka Jindoomang from Weereewaa (Lake George) and Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams from Namadgi who were both multilingual, essentially Walgalu-Ngunnawal-Wiradjuri speaking warriors and Ngunnawal–Wallaballooa man William Lane aka ‘Billy the Bull’ - Murrjinille.

Paul was born at the old Canberra hospital in the centre of his ancestral country and strongly acknowledges his First Nation matriarch ancestors, in particular his mother Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and grandmother, Ms Pearl Simpson-Wedge.

Paul completed a Bachelor of Community Management from Macquarie University, and Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage and Management from CSU.

Paul provided the Welcome to Country for the 47th Opening of Federal Parliament in 2022. Paul is Board Director, Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Member Indigenous Reference Group, National Museum of Australia and Australian Government Voice Referendum Engagement Group.  

Paul works on country with the ANU, First Nations Portfolio as a Senior Community Engagement Officer

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing  connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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