Milestone for Gadens’ Indigenous Intern Program

Paul Spiro, Partner, Brisbane

Gadens Queensland today celebrated a milestone of the firm’s Indigenous Intern Program.

Justice Anthe Philippides was the keynote speaker at a function to acknowledge the 10th anniversary of Gadens’ Indigenous Intern Program which commenced in 2007 under the auspices of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

In 2013, Gadens aligned with CareerTrackers, a national non-profit organisation that creates internship opportunities for Indigenous university students. 

CareerTrackers supports pre-professional Indigenous university students and links them with private sector employers to participate in paid multi-year internships.  Students perform their internship with a sponsoring company with the aim of converting from intern into full-time employee upon completion of their university degree.

Justice Philippides said: “In providing these internships, Gadens has demonstrated a genuine commitment to indigenous advancement.”

Gadens has employed 23 Indigenous interns across a range of Practice Groups (including Banking and Finance, Corporate Advisory and Property and Construction) over the past 10 years. A number of Gadens’ past interns have gone on to secure positions at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC); Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC); Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT); Cape York Land Council; and, in private practice.

Gadens Queensland Chairman Paul Spiro said: “The Indigenous Intern Program has been an outstanding success and the partnership with CareerTrackers is integral to our People and Performance strategy. Our firm is delighted to invest and develop Indigenous talent.”

Gadens reaffirmed its backing of the program last year by becoming a signatory to the CareerTrackers “10/10” program, which is a commitment to provide internship opportunities, adhering to Learning Contracts for indigenous students, for a period of 10 years.

Kathryn Dorante, Zachary Frazer, Mikaela French, Chloe Heterick, Suzie Howard and Liam Roberts are the interns currently at Gadens Queensland.

Ms Dorante said: “The CareerTrackers program has strongly enhanced my university experience and heightened my ambition and drive to succeed.”

“I feel fortunate to be offered an internship at such a successful and respected firm like Gadens,” she said.

Justice Philippides praised the interns for their commitment to seek a career in law and wished them well with their future endeavours.

You have what it takes to be at the pinnacle of whatever career path you choose,” Justice Philippides said.

“Your abilities mean that you will, inevitably, be in positions of power and influence and you will provide an important indigenous presence in your chosen fields. You will help change perspectives.

“You will help non-Indigenous people to also understand how much is to be gained by acknowledging, respecting and making an important place for Indigenous culture.”

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Gadens’ commitment to the Indigenous Intern Program were (from left) interns Suzie Howard, Kathryn Dorante, Zachary Frazer, Justice Anthe Philippides, Paul Spiro (Gadens Chairman), Liam Roberts, Chloe Heterick and Mikaela French.


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