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Apply for an internship with AIIA NSW

Applications for the Semester 2 2021 (July – December) internship program have now opened.

Our previous group of interns:  Nimaya, Thomas, Amelia, Evangeline, Wendy and Marcus

Internships at AIIA NSW are offered to university students who have an interest in international affairs, and who are looking to further develop their skills for future professional involvement in international policy. AIIA NSW internships are highly competitive and previous interns have found employment in Australian Public Service graduate roles, think tanks, not-for-profit organisations, business, law and academia.

Please note that the AIIA NSW is not considering interstate applications at this time and does not sponsor relocation to Sydney. For those residing outside of NSW, you can view internship opportunities at other AIIA branches here.

AIIA NSW’s internship program offers:

  • Opportunities to attend speaker events, including private roundtable discussions with presenters before events
  • Opportunities to publish opinion pieces on the AIIA website, including in AIIA’s national online publication Australian Outlook
  • Participation in intern presentation and debate nights
  • Training in event organisation, public speaking, debating and research
  • Opportunities to network with experts and AIIA members, who have wide-ranging experience in international affairs
  • Participation in masterclasses on diplomacy, publishing and management and an annual careers event
  • Access to mentors from the public, private, academic and not-for-profit sectors

Internship duties

AIIA NSW interns must be able to commit to the full duration of the internship. For Semester 1 internships, the duration will be from February to June, and for Semester 2 internships, the duration will be from July to December. Depending on COVID-19 restrictions, successful applicants for the Semester 1 2021 internship intake may be given the option to extend their internships for an additional six months.  Internship periods roughly coincide with university timetables.

Interns must be available to assist during events which are usually held on Tuesday evenings at Glover Cottages in Sydney, and may need to allocate additional time to complete research and administrative tasks. Interns are expected to:

  • Provide administrative assistance such as producing promotional information for events, assistance in setting up, managing multimedia and summarising events for the AIIA website
  • Produce a short opinion piece of 600-800 words and an option to pitch another piece to Australian Outlook, both on topics of their choice
  • Contribute to the Columns from Glover Cottages Newsletter
  • Participate in intern presentations and debates
  • Promote AIIA events in interns’ university campuses, and through other platforms including social media

Selection criteria

AIIA NSW is looking for current undergraduate students and postgraduate students who have:

  • Excellent writing, research, presentation and public speaking skills
  • Initiative and motivation
  • Teamwork and time management skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Awareness of, and interest in, international affairs

Knowledge and prior experience with professional audio-visual equipment, social media management, online marketing and hosting webinar events through applications such as Zoom are highly desirable.

How to apply

Applications for internships are welcomed during the following period:

  • For Semester 1 internships, applications are open from 15 November to 31 December 2021
  • For Semester 2 internships, applications are open from 1 May to 31 May, 2021

Applications should be emailed to, with the subject “AIIA NSW Internship Application – Your Name”, and must contain:

  • A brief cover letter that addresses the selection criteria
  • A CV or resume, including contact details for two referees
  • A sample of written analytical work that is no more than 3 pages in length. The sample should be on any topic of international affairs and should showcase analytical and communication skills rather than just subject-matter knowledge. For those who wish to submit a three-page extract of a larger piece, please include an introduction and conclusion.

Please collate all documents into a single PDF attachment.

Shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend in-person or online interviews.


For further information, please email


Our current group of interns ( February – June 2021)

From left to right: Alice Nason, Sanjay Balakumar, Pailey Wang, Rachel Bell MacDonald, Adjoa Assan and Erica Bell

Adjoa Assan is a fifth-year student at Western Sydney University studying a Bachelor of International Studies/Law and a Bachelor of Applied Leadership and Critical Thinking. In 2017, she was selected to represent the Academy of Western Sydney University at a Democracy and Citizenship summer program at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa. She has a particular interest in African affairs and global perspectives, founding the first Africa-focused student society at Western Sydney University – the African-Australian Youth Collective. Adjoa would like to work in the areas of international diplomacy, policy-making and human rights, also pursuing opportunities at multilateral institutions.

Sanjay Balakumar is a fifth-year student at the University of New South Wales, studying a Bachelor of International Studies and a Bachelor of Laws. He is currently an editor for both the Young Diplomats Society and Politik, the student-run UNSW International Affairs Review. He is also a Grants Officer at the United Nations Association of Australia NSW Division and a volunteer at the Toongabbie Legal Centre. Sanjay’s research interests include economic and political security in the Indo-Pacific, the dynamics that shape countries’ elections, climate politics and technology’s impact on informed public discourse.

 Erica Bell is a recent graduate of an Honours degree in International Studies, majoring in International Relations and Politics at the University of Wollongong. She is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of the Australia-Pacific Youth Dialogue, Founder of Frontier: UOW Journal of International Affairs and a Digital Communications Officer for Young Australians in International Affairs. She is also a Marketing Strategist and Outreach Manager for Women in Foreign Policy and The Organisation for World Peace. Erica has previously interned for the Fijian Government’s Ministry of Youth and Sports and worked for the Australian Senate Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. Her research interests include technology policy, cyber security, digital diplomacy and the Asia-Pacific.

Rachel Bell Macdonald is a third-year student at the University of Sydney studying a Bachelor of Arts and Advanced Studies, majoring in Politics and International Relations. Rachel has been a recipient of several university awards, and recently presented her award-winning policy report on US-Taiwan relations to the US Consul General. She has previously interned at a consultancy firm, the Infrastructure Collaborative, where she focused on government relations and stakeholder engagement, as well as with her local State MP. Rachel hopes to pursue Honours in 2022. Her interests include Brexit, US-China relations and the changing dynamics of the international system.

Alice Nason is a Politics, International Relations and American Studies student at the University of Sydney. She is currently undertaking an honours year, writing a thesis on the role of diplomacy below the presidential level in sustaining American influence in the Indo-Pacific during the Trump administration. Alice was formerly a research fellow at the Global Business Policy Council, a think tank that examines the implications of geopolitics on international business, and interned at the management consulting company Kearney, where she focused on public-sector consulting. Her core interests lie in American foreign and domestic politics, party polarization and the liberal international order.

Pailey Wang is a dual-degree student, studying at Sciences Po where he undertook an Asia-Pacific regional specialisation and majored in Politics and Government, he is currently in his final semester of the program and is completing a major in Political Economy at the University of Sydney. A keen writer, he has edited and contributed to student publications. His particular interests lie in international economics with a focus on environmental and socio-economic transitions.



Intern Coordinators and Councillors for 2021:

Nicole King has recently graduated from a double degree in Arts (Government and International Relations, Spanish and Latin America Studies) and Economics (Environmental and Resource Economics) at the University of Sydney. Nicole’s main interests are in environmental politics and international security, and in particular how those two areas intersect and relate to one another. Having previously interned with the Diplomacy Training Program she is also concerned about human rights issues. Nicole is undertaking a Masters in Policy Analysis with a focus on environmental security.

Vicki Sideris is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce (International Studies) at the University of New South Wales, where she majored in International Relations and International Business. She studied for one year at Georgetown University in Washington DC, where she also volunteered as a literacy tutor for the local DC Reads program. Vicki was awarded a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to intern at the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok. She has previously worked at Insurance Australia Group and interned at the Social Impact Hub. Currently, she is a compliance associate at Macquarie Group. Her main areas of interest include American and Japanese foreign policy and domestic politics, and wider Indo-Pacific trade and security issues. Vicki interned at the AIIA NSW before being elected to the council as an intern coordinator.

Alex McManis is a former intern at AIIA NSW and will be an intern coordinator in 2020. He recently completed his Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. His honours thesis analysed the European Union’s behaviour at the 2015 U.N. climate negotiations in Paris. Alex has previously interned at Ports Australia, and was a pro-bono consultant for a Sydney start up. Alex is also a passionate debater. He has debated in the finals of the Australian Debating Championship and judged debating competitions across Australia, Asia and Europe. His research focuses on global environmental politics and the politics of the European Union.

Chris Khatouki is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of New South Wales. His research focuses upon political violence and economic development in North East Asia. He is also currently assisting the Programs and Research Division at Asia Society, Sydney.
Before beginning his PhD, Chris worked in South Korea for the Gyeongsangnam-do Office of Education. In 2018, he completed his International Relations Degree at the University of Wollongong, where he was awarded first class Honours and the University Medal for Academic Excellence.