Human Rights Internship Program
Obtaining Financial Aid
While it is clear that human rights internships offer an amazing,
rewarding and challenging experience for Flinders’ law students, it is
also quite clear that the unpaid nature of such internships means that
travel and living expenses can prove to be prohibitively costly for most
The university is currently seeking funding which will help make
human rights internships a reality for some students. Whilst the
university may often be in a position to support students undertaking
internships, there is also a lot that motivated students can do to seek
financial assistance from an outside sponsor or number of sponsors.
The following information is to assist students in obtaining financial
In the past students have received funding from private businesses
(corporations as well as small businesses in their local community).
It is important to remember that as a student you may have many things
to offer a business in return for their financial contribution. For
example, a student can offer to write a press release or an article for the
local newspaper describing the business or company’s contribution
towards their exchange experience.
Furthermore, where appropriate, the student can offer to recommend the
company or distribute their brochure during the period of their
internship. As a consequence of such sponsorship businesses are able to
reach a much wider audience.
The procedure for obtaining corporate sponsorship is usually as follows:
1) Contact as many corporations or local businesses as
possible, asking for the name and contact information of
the person or department in charge of sponsoring student
activities. If they inform you that they do not usually
sponsor student activities, ask for the name of the person
who would be the best to approach with a possible
2) Submit a formal letter to the appropriate person
outlining the details of your request for funding.
Remember to emphasise what you will do for them in
return and how they will benefit from sponsoring you. If
possible, request a short meeting with them to discuss your
proposal in more detail.
3) Discuss your sponsorship request in further detail in
person, or receive a written response that approves (or
denies) your request for funding.
4) Receive your funding
5) Undertake that which you have agreed to do in return for
the company. This could include:
writing to the local paper about the business’
contribution to our exchange prior to your
some form of business/ company promotion
during your time overseas.
6) Upon your return home it is important that you provide
the company with some form of follow-up report of your
Local State/Federal Member of Parliament
While contributions from your local State or Federal Member of
Parliament are usually quite small, they are nonetheless a step
towards making your internship experience a reality.
The best way to seek a financial contribution from a local MP is
to write a letter which includes:
Your motivation for undertaking the internship and what
you aim to gain
How these gains will benefit the wider community
The total amount you are trying to raise
Your financial situation and why you need financial
Inquire with the Office for Youth, Government of South Australia about
the Youth Development Grants. The contact address is:
Ms Justine Kennedy
Office for Youth
Department of Human Services
GPO Box 1669
STA Travel Trust provides “Financial support for travellers committed
to making the world a better place”.
Application deadlines are 21 Jan, 21 May and 21 September. Pick up
an information form from STA.
Rumour has it that you can contact AUSAID about becoming a
sponsored Youth Ambassador if you suggest a proposal to them.
Online Searching for Funding
You can also use the vast resources available on the internet to search
for funding. You’ll find many websites dedicated to financial aid and
Below are four examples, however remember that there are many more
out there. All you need to do is explore the web to find them.
1) COS Funding Opportunities
This is one of the most comprehensive sources of funding information
available on the Internet. It allows you to search for funding from
Australian based sponsors and also search for sponsorship offered
elsewhere but still available to Australian citizens.
2) Postgraduate Scholarships Database for Australia
JASON is a search engine that contains information about postgraduate
scholarships. The scholarships in the database apply to Australian
students wishing to study or undertake internships at home or abroad.
If you are planning to undertake a human rights internship as part of the
Masters of Comparative Law then this is probably one of the most
3) The Foundation for Young Australians
“Youth for Youth Investments” is an example of a grant opportunity
offered by The Foundation for Young Australians. It is open to
organisations that work with young people aged 12 to 25, as well as
individuals within this group. Grants are offered for initiatives that
enhance youth participation. A human rights internship is certainly an
avenue for young leaders to step out of the classroom and actively
participate and thus applications to The Foundation for Young
Australians should be encouraged.
While this foundation is constantly offering new funding opportunities,
applications for the “Youth for Youth Investment” grant described
above generally close in mid-March.
Other funding opportunities from the Foundation for Young Australians
On Track Leadership Program
Youth Participation Awards
Details can be viewed at the above mentioned website.
4) Idealist: Action Without Borders
This website has a directory of more than 34,000 non-profit
organisations which could potentially be contacted for financial aid.
5) The Australian Federal Government
GrantsLink is a website which allows you to search for funding
offered by the Federal Government. The website is somewhat
complicated and sometimes confusing but well worth exploring.
However, if you don’t find what you are looking for then
assistance is available on (freecall) 1800 026 222 (9am-6pm
6) Dick Smith Foods
A large amount of the profits derived from Dick Smith Foods' sales are
donated to charities and worthwhile causes around Australia each year.
Since the company started four years ago, Dick Smith Foods we have
donated more than $2.5 million to a large number of charitable
organisations, individuals and families.
Requests for donations can be sent to:
Dick Smith Foods, PO Box 3440, Tuggerah, NSW 2259
It’s easier than you think!!
There is definitely money out there to help finance academic programs
such as the Human Rights Law Internship Program. With a little
initiative and a little research you are sure to find an organisation,
business or foundation looking to put its money to good use and invest
in a future leader or human rights lawyer. Remember that it is in their
best interest to do so, which makes seeking financial assistance easier
than you think! We wish you the best of luck on your quest for financial