Internship overview

An unpaid internship is different from student placements (which are approved by an educational institution) and other voluntary work. Interns generally progress time-limited projects or scope work for larger projects in which they have an interest.

Internships can suit recently-graduated, almost-graduated, or postgraduate students who want to build their industry exposure outside of the course requirements of an educational institution. Interns at SSI are generally not involved in service delivery and are supervised by a senior member of staff.

The length of internships may vary. A typical internship is about one (1) day a week for a period of three months. However, SSI will offer a high degree of flexibility based on a person's availability and preferences.

Interns will not be paid for their participation but they will have access to SSI office resources including a hot desk, printer and photocopier, as well as guidance and mentoring from an SSI supervisor. SSI will also refund all pre-approved costs incurred in relation to the internship.

Potential benefits to interns

Interns can gain valuable industry knowledge, mentoring, a referee and a reference letter to use when seeking employment and the opportunity to observe and participate in initiatives at SSI under the supervision of highly experienced staff.

Application and selection process

All enquiries for unpaid internships should be directed to the Research and Policy Manager. Applicants will be asked to complete an Application Form. The Manager will complete an initial assessment of an applicant's capacity to undertake an internship with SSI. If an applicant is suitable, the Manager will scope a project that is a good match to the person's skills and interests. If a project is identified, the Research and Policy Manager will seek a senior staff member to supervise the internship. Applicants may be requested to attend an interview to assess their capacity and interest in the proposed internship project.

If an application is successful, the nominated SSI supervisor negotiates a project plan, induction and orientation to SSI, and on-going supervision and line management. The SSI supervisor will also be responsible for processes at the end of the internship including issuing a reference letter.

For more information

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Success stories

SSI Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Vile

Courtesy The Australian: Ethiopian refugee Adi Tefera, left, with volunteer chef Kate Spina at Four Brave WomenSue Vile was among the first to be inducted into the SSI’s Armidale volunteer program, bringing with her a wealth of experience and existing training gathered from her time in aid work, in Australia and abroad.

A retired school teacher and nurse, Sue has dedicated an enormous amount of her time in recent years on the front line of humanitarian services, helping refugees at many stages of their journey to safety.


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