Call for Interns/Fellows/Work Experience Students

When I was 16, I did two weeks’ work experience for John Langmore, who was then the member for Fraser. It was 1988, the first year that the new Parliament House had been opened, and I remember getting hopelessly lost as I went on errands around the building. I'm not sure that I provided any value to John, but the experience had a profound impact on me – as I learned a ton about the issues and personalities that drove politics in that era.

Over the past parliamentary term, I’ve been fortunate to have a variety of people help out as volunteers in my office, assisting me with speeches and submissions, helping solve constituent problems, answering the phone, assisting with campaigning activities, and looking into data-related issues (I've made particularly good use of economics students). They have ranged from work experience students (typically in years 10 or 11) to university students, to people in the workforce (two Teach for Australia students generously donated me their school holidays).

So I thought it might be useful to put out a formal call for interns, fellows and work experience students.

Keen to apply? See the FAQs below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the criteria?

Enthusiasm, intelligence, and an interest in helping shape progressive ideas.

How long are the placements?

It depends on you. My office can accommodate anything from a week to a couple of months (though longer stints would probably need to be part-time). We typically only have one intern/fellow at a time. From my experience, people get the most out of doing a solid 1-2 weeks.

What would I gain?

A unique insight into parliament and constituent engagement.

What can you supply?

We can’t promise anything more than a desk and a chair. You’ll probably need to bring your own laptop.You may be working at either the electorate office in Braddon, the Parliament House office, or both.

Is it unfair not to pay people?

This is something we've worried about a lot. If we had an external source of funding, I'd love to run a paid internship program. But we don't. So our philosophy has been to work hard to ensure that interns/fellows have an experience that's stimulating and rewarding (as my time working with John Langmore was for me). There are few better ways to demystify politics than a week or two in an MP's office, and we think it's better to run a stimulating but unpaid internship program than no program at all.

What are my chances?

In the past, we have said yes to about half of the people who apply.

How do I apply?

Email andrew.leigh.mp <asperand> aph.gov.au with a one-page CV setting out your experience and skills, plus a covering email saying why you’d like the position and what period you’d like to work. Either I or my overworked chief of staff Nick Terrell will get back to you within a few weeks. It would be helpful to contact us at least a month before you’d like to start volunteering.

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8/1 Torrens Street, Braddon ACT 2612 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au