Victorian Parliamentary Internship Program

Call for Expressions of Interest for the 2017 Victorian Parliamentary Internship Program

Swinburne University of Technology – Applied Political Research, Semester 2, 2017

In 2017 Swinburne University of Technology will again participate in the prestigious Victorian Parliamentary Internship Program (VPIP). Established in 1990, the program has seen over 1,000 interns complete placements with members of the Victorian Parliament.  It provides students with an outstanding opportunity to observe and contribute to parliamentary, political and public policy processes and debates and to develop knowledge, skills and networks directly relevant to their post-study employment. A number of former interns, including the current Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, have gone on to become Members themselves, with many others developing careers as parliamentary officers, journalists, and public and private sector leaders. In 2016 six students from Swinburne took part in the program and successfully completed research projects exploring issues such as youth homelessness and social entrepreneurship; the provision of education programs for primary school-aged refugees; reform options for current self-defense laws; and the potential value of community-based anti-extremism strategies.

What does it involve?

Students who participate in the VPIP are placed in the office of a current member of the Victorian Parliament for one day per week and complete a significant research project jointly supervised by the MP and academic staff from Swinburne.  The internship runs across the full semester and is equivalent to a 25-credit point unit (ie. two normal units of study).  Students are required to attend induction and research seminars throughout the semester; to keep a journal; write a 2,000 word reflective essay; and submit a 6,000 word research report which, after assessment, will be filed in the Victorian Parliamentary Library.

Eligibility

Entry to the VPIP is highly competitive.  Eligibility is normally limited to students studying at third year level in their year of placement with a distinction average across units in their Politics and International Relations, History, International Studies or Security and Counter Terrorism majors.  In 2017, two of the seven places will be reserved for second year students as the program will not run in 2018 because of the Victorian state election scheduled for November.  Normal scheduling and eligibility criteria will apply in 2019.

 

How do I apply?

Students meeting the selection criteria who are interested in completing the internship are invited to submit an Expression of Interest to the Unit Convenor comprising a brief cover letter outlining their reasons for undertaking the placement (250 words); a transcript of their grades; a CV; and a sample of their writing (eg. an essay or paper).  Applications should be emailed to Dr Damon Alexander at dtalexander@swin.edu.au by 5pm Friday 24th March.  Short-listed applicants will then be asked to sit an interview as part of the selection process.

Further information

For further information on the Victorian Parliamentary Internship Program please visit the program’s website at: http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/about/parliamentary-internship-program

For information on the application process please contact Dr Damon Alexander (Unit Convenor) at dtalexander@swin.edu.au or on (03) 92145798.

Details about the 2016 intake can be seen here.

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Please note that the parliamentary internship program will not run in 2018 due to the Victorian state election.  As a result, students currently in their second year of studies will be eligible to participate in the program in 2017.  We are in the process of developing alternative internship options for 2018 and will provide further information as soon as possible.  The parliamentary internship program will return to normal scheduling in 2019.

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