13 Apr 2023
Research & Analysis
Governance, Policy & Institutional Strengthening
Gender, Community & Inclusion
Posted13 Apr 2023
It has been three weeks since I started the commute from Randwick to Wollongong to intern with LEI, and I can say that the two-and-a-half-hour journey is well worth it! On my first day I was welcomed into the land administration world where I attempted to get across the dozens of acronyms and to dip my toes into the vast literature on land administration.
I have been very warmly welcomed by the LEI team, who quickly began sharing articles, lecture material and online resources to help me transition into land administration for the internship. I have felt so lucky to share an office with such passionate individuals who collectively carry with them decades of experience and knowledge in the industry. Aside from the work I am doing, what has been a huge highlight of the internship to date is hearing the stories of the LEI team and how they got to where they are now. As someone just starting out in this field, the various pieces of advice and wisdom being imparted on me are invaluable. I was able to continue these conversations last week with other local individuals working in international development at a networking event I was invited to through LEI.
One of the tasks that has been assigned to me is to support the Nauru Higher Ground Initiative project. In my first two weeks I was busy researching how best to create a dispute resolution mechanism for the new development on the top-side of the island (which is currently uninhabited following decades of phosphate mining). I am now moving into the land allocation side of the project, looking at mechanisms to ensure there is a fair, equitable, and sustainable distribution of land rights for the proposed site. Working across these areas of the project has helped me to think more pragmatically about mechanisms for land administration. Coming from a law-school background (which is notorious for unnecessarily complicated mechanisms), I am learning to apply a more pragmatic and practical approach to my work, which is changing the way that I think about problem solving (for the better)! It has been such a great experience learning about land administration processes in the context of such a small island, and the importance that each decision can have in determining outcomes. I appreciate working with LEI who put critical issues of gender, indigeneity and sustainability at the fore of their work.
I have only been here for three weeks, and yet it feels like the time is passing so quickly. There is still so much I hope to learn over my three-month internship and every day has brought new opportunities and lessons. I am so grateful to LEI for taking me on and helping to make the most of this experience. I am trying to say ‘yes’ to as many opportunities as I can – whether that is sitting in on meetings to hear about different projects or doing background readings to better understand this very complex and exciting world. I look forward to the next two months … and here’s hoping I will experience some first-hand island lessons too.
In spirit of reconciliation, Land Equity International acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea, and community. We pay respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.