UNE students to work as political interns

Published 09 April 2009

parliamentary_internships_sThe University of New England has marked a first in rural and regional NSW by offering its students internships to work with rural and regionally based state politicians.

The scheme run in conjunction with the NSW Parliament has been offered at metropolitan universities for some years.

Wearing all three hats, UNE Chancellor, Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly and Member for Northern Tablelands Richard Torbay launched the regional initiative on campus today.

“I am looking forward to having two of the students in my office,” he said.

“The insights gained at the workface will be invaluable to those who participate. I’m sure many of them will find politics in action rather different and more robust that in books or lecture theatres and that is the aim of the project.”

Through the new scheme at UNE up to 10 students in their final undergraduate or any postgraduate year.

They will work up to 150 hours in an MP’s office on special projects and accrue six credit points towards their degrees. Students have been invited to submit written applications and those successful will be selected through an assessment and interview process.

They will be assigned to the offices of rural and regional MPs who agree to join the program.

“It is about time this program was extended to include students from regional universities,” Mr Torbay said. “It has been very successful in Sydney and very popular with students.

“This first program at UNE is a pilot but I am sure that our students will jump at the opportunity to experience politics at the coal face and to undertake some projects that can make a real contribution.”

Mr Torbay congratulated Dr Dan Riley, Dr Belinda Beattie, Ms Airlie Bell and Ms Julia Perryman for working with Parliament to establish the program at UNE.

Further information, contact Richard Torbay on (02) 6772 5552/0427 635 029.