New South Wales

In this section


Apply for an internship with AIIA NSW


Applications for Semester 1 2023 (February – June) internship program will open December 1 – 31, 2022


Our previous group of interns 2021: Niki Beri, Isabel Freudenstein, Luke Goldman, Cameron Smith and Grace Bui


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.  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 2022, applications are open from 1 December to 31 Deember 2023
  • For Semester 2 internships, applications will be open from 1 May to 31 May, 2023

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. Do not submit co-authored pieces.

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 (Feb – June, 2022)

L to R: Drew Beacom, Sachin Khunte, Victor Liang, Rebecca Zhang, Jacqueline Michalopoulos and Emily Shelley


Drew Beacom is a fifth-year student at the University of Sydney undertaking a Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Studies (International and Global Studies), majoring in International Relations. Drew is set to commence his honours year, researching the diplomatic consequences of the rise of China, specifically to the Indo-Pacific region. Drew has spent the past year as a councillor on the University of Sydney Student Representative Council, holding the position of Environment Officer, and is currently a delegate to the National Union of Students. Drew also currently holds a position with the Sydney Peace Foundation.

Sachin Khunte is a recent Bachelor of Arts graduate majoring in Politics and International Relations and International Business at the University of Sydney. He was working as a Team Lead and an editor in an American intelligence and counterterrorism firm. He was formerly a Policy Researcher intern with the University of Sydney where he researched how Australian governments can effectively implement Artificial Intelligence in the public sector. His regions of interest are South Asia, Middle East, and North Africa and his topics of interests are counterterrorism, security, foreign policy, cybersecurity, and Australia’s relationship with South Asia.

Victor Liang is a fourth-year student at the University of Sydney, studying a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Politics and International Relations, International Business). He is currently a Project Officer at the Australia China Business Council, an Editorial Assistant at the University of Sydney’s Journal of Chinese Tax and Policy, and a Programme Coordinator for the 2022 GIR Symposium. Throughout his studies, Victor has developed interests in political theory, business-government relations, and the applicability of these and surrounding ideas towards areas of interest, such as Australia-China relations.

 Jacqueline Michalopoulos is a third-year student at the University of Sydney, studying a Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Advanced Studies (International Relations, International & Global Studies). She is currently working as a business cadet at Transport for NSW, primarily in the areas of policy, strategy, and governance/compliance. Jacqueline was previously a student policy developer for the Australian Law Reform Commission’s collaborative policy reform project with the University of Sydney. Through her work developing policy reform suggestions to ameliorate relations between minority groups and the judicial system, Jacqueline has consolidated her interests in foreign aid and humanitarian policy.

Emily Shelley is a fourth-year student at the University of New South Wales, studying a Bachelor of International Studies and a Bachelor of Media (Communications & Journalism). She has a particular passion for using digital and social media to educate youth about diplomacy and international affairs. Currently, Emily is a Digital Communications Officer at Young Australians in International Affairs and an Editor with the ASEAN-Australia Strategic Youth Partnership. She has previously interned at the Diplomacy Training Program, a human rights capacity building NGO, and in Federal Parliament, where she completed a research project investigating Australia’s role and responsibility in ensuring equitable COVID-19 vaccine access in the Pacific. These experiences have fostered Emily’s interest in Indo-Pacific politics, sustainable development policy, and humanitarian affairs.

Rebecca (Yancheng) Zhang is a fourth-year student at the University of Sydney majoring in International Relations and Education. She is currently undertaking an honours year writing her thesis on potential cross-strait conflict. Rebecca is a research assistant at Intellisia Institute where she writes a series of reports and commentaries on AI politics, data governance, Taiwan politics and US-China relations. She is also a member of the CISS Youth project at the Centre for International Security and Strategy, Tsinghua University. Her research interests revolve around Taiwan politics, political theory, war and justice and AI and politics as well as Indo-Pacific geopolitics.


Intern Coordinators and Councillors for 2022:

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. 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 works as a Compliance Analyst for a financial services firm. Her main areas of interest include American and Japanese foreign policy and domestic politics, and wider Indo-Pacific trade and security issues.

Alex McManis is a former intern at AIIA NSW. He is currently completing his Juris Doctor at the University of Sydney, having previously graduated from a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in Government and International Relations also at the University of Sydney. His honours thesis analysed the European Union’s behaviour at the 2015 U.N. climate negotiations in Paris. Alex was the Climate and Energy Security Fellow at Young Australians in International Affairs and clerked at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, a leading Australian commercial law firm. He was also the winner of Sydney Law School’s 2021 Summer Innovation Program. Alex’s research focuses on climate change and global environmental politics.

Isabel Freudenstein is a former intern and studying a Juris Doctor at the University of Sydney. Before this, Isabel graduated from the University of Sydney with a firstclass honours in International Relations and a Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Studies in Politics and International Relations. Her thesis examined the changing nature of humanitarian intervention in a multipolar international system. Isabel writes for the university newspaper, Honi Soit, and formerly worked with REA Group in their communications and sustainability team. Her main areas of interest include norms of international behaviour, international organisations, gender and migration.