Internship Program


Supporting emerging practitioners is a priority for us, and a way of working. Our internship program provides opportunities for students engaged in advanced university study to develop their skills in research, training and technical support. We’ve built strategic linkages with the University of Melbourne and accepted interns from other universities including Monash University, RMIT and Swedish Defence University.

Find out more about how we support emerging practitioners here.

Current Interns

David Ross

David joins us from Ottawa, Canada during his final year in the Masters of Arts in Disaster and Emergency Management program at Royal Roads University, located in Victoria, British Columbia. He is a retired Royal Canadian Air Force pilot, and served in Afghanistan twice, once as a military advisor to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, the second time as a Chief of Civil-Military Cooperation with NATO Headquarters in Kabul. He finished his military career working in Canadian Armed Forces deployed operations policy and planning for the Asia-Pacific region. David is particularly interested not only in international disaster response from a Civil-Military Coordination viewpoint, but also in how the development, implementation and measurement of disaster risk reduction initiatives support the 2015 Sendai Framework. While working with HAG hopes to learn more about the challenges facing humanitarian action in the region.

Tyrone Bean

Tyrone, originally from Queensland, is currently completing his Master of Education at University of Melbourne. Tyrone has also completed a Master of Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Criminology and Sociology. Tyrone is undertaking his internship through the Careers Trackers Indigenous Internship Program, which seeks to connect Indigenous students with business throughout Australia. Tyrone has an interest in working with underrepresented demographics and encouraging the inclusion of these groups within the private sector and educational environmental. Tyrone has experience working for government agencies, charitable foundations and has played in a number of prominent football leagues including the Victorian Football League and Victorian Amateur Football Association. Tyrone completed this thesis during his Master of Teaching titled ‘Thriving not surviving: Exploring the notions of success and cultural identity in urban boarding school opportunities for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’.


Zoe Thomaidou

Zoe is interning with HAG as part of her final capstone project in a Master of International Development at RMIT University. During the internship, she will be developing a communication and engagement strategy for the Humanitarian Horizons Research Program to extend the reach of research findings and support targeted engagement of key actors in Australia and the Pacific.

Throughout her studies, Zoe developed an interest in participatory communication and intercultural practices. In 2016, she co-produced with peers and members of the Saora tribal community in India a participatory video project focusing on cultural revival. Most recently, she has strengthened her understanding of the nexus between humanitarian assistance and development, aspects of the program cycle in humanitarian response and issues of protection in refugee settings. Zoe is a committed supporter of the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum and is currently volunteering at the ASRC. She is also a qualified lawyer in Greece and has several years of experience as a journalist in ethnic and community media.

Previous Interns

Tissa Riani

Tissa is in her final semester studying the Master of Development Studies at the University of Melbourne. During her study, Tissa has strengthened her understanding of the relationship between conflict security, development issues, and humanitarian aid. Prior to starting her internship in Humanitarian Advisory Group, she worked on a community development project in Indonesia focussing on youth unemployment and women empowerment. Tissa was an intern at UNDP Indonesia, and was involved in preparing the release of  the Human Development Report 2014 and Being LGBT in Asia Pacific, Indonesia Country Report.

Pip Henty

Pip Henty is completing her last semester in a Master’s of International Development at La Trobe University. Whilst completing her internship at HAG, Pip is conducting research on women’s role in countering violent extremism and concerns about militarisation of the WPS agenda.

Pip has specialised practice and project-based experience in community health and services, international development, women’s advocacy and corporate education. Pip has previously interned at International Women’s Development Agency, and has recently started as the Programs Administrator at IWDA, supporting and enhancing gender equality in the Pacific and Asia. Pip has a strong interest in women peace and security, gender equality in the Pacific and Middle East region, women’s participation in disaster relief, and gendered violence in conflict and post-conflict contexts.

Monica Keily

Since completing her internship with Humanitarian Advisory Group (HAG) in December 2016, Monica has worked as a research assistant to Prof. Jacqui True at Monash Gender Peace and Security Centre. Her work investigates endemic violence against women, across sectors and geographical regions, to better understand its relationship with widespread and systematic sexual and gender-based violence. Monica is also a student of international relations at La Trobe University, where she continues to focus on the nexus between peace, conflict, gender and human security. From April 2018 Monica will be based in Palestine/Israel working in a protective accompaniment and monitoring capacity for Act for Peace.

During her internship with HAG, Monica worked primarily on its joint research project with Dr. Jasmine Kim Westendorf of La Trobe University: ‘Mapping sexual exploitation and abuse in peace operations and humanitarian crises.’ She has also worked as a Policy and Research Intern for Centre for Armed Violence Reduction (CAVR) – specifically within its Pacific Small Arms Action Group (PSAAG); has volunteered with Amnesty International La Trobe; The Melbourne Free University for Refugees; and Project Respect.

Alejandro E. Asela

Alejandro is pursuing a Masters in International Development Practice at Monash University. He is particularly interested in development issues related to humanitarian assistance within the context of civil-military interaction. Alejandro is a Naval Officer (LCDR) in the Colombian Navy where he has mainly served as a helicopter pilot conducting operations against drug trafficking, combat support, humanitarian assistance and SAR. His military decorations include the Naval Aviation Meritorious Service Medal, Order of Naval Merit Admiral Padilla, Order of Military Merit Antonio Nariño and Academic Excellence Medal (two).
Alejandro has a Bachelor’s degree in Naval Sciences and a graduate diploma in Politics and Maritime Strategy from Colombian Naval Academy, a BBA from Nueva Granada Military University (cum laude) and a MBA with a major in Strategic Planning from Bolivar Technological University.

Ayla Black

Ayla completed a Master of Gender and Development Studies at the University of Melbourne with First-Class Honours, the final component of which was an internship with Humanitarian Advisory Group. Following her internship, Ayla held the position of Policy and Program Officer at Humanitarian Advisory Group. Ayla conducted research on the localisation of humanitarian aid in the Pacific, researched the status of women in humanitarian leadership, produced a chapter for the UNFPA’s 2016 State of World Population report, undertook the International Humanitarian Protection Training and assisted with facilitation of the industry engagement program with the University of Melbourne, including authoring the SDGs Workshop Outcomes report.

Ayla Black has recently accepted a policy graduate position at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Ayla has also studied Humanitarian Action at Sciences Po in Paris, and has field experiences in India and Timor-Leste, where she worked on the development of gender policy and the implementation of human rights and sexual and gender-based violence programs.


Emma Jidinger

Emma is currently working as an intelligence specialist at Pinkerton Global Risk Group. Her work is largely focused on conducting threat assessments and risk analysis for corporate risk management with a special focus on the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Her previous experience includes working as an intelligence and investigations analyst at Pinkerton Nordic (former Seccredo), supporting the United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group, evaluating disaster preparedness and response programmes in the north Pacific for the International Organization for Migration, as well as interning with the Humanitarian Advisory Group. She is a Swedish Defence University graduate in political science, focusing on security politics and crisis management. As part of her degree she studied international diplomacy, intercultural communications and international human rights law as an exchange student in Melbourne. Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency she conducted her bachelor thesis on the field in Vanuatu, studying women’s rights and gender issues.

Alex Lia

Alex completed an eight month placement as a research intern with the Humanitarian Advisory Group in 2015 as part of her Bachelor of Arts (International Relations and Human Rights) and Laws at Monash University. During her internship, Alex contributed research to the Interim Review of the Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security among other projects, and participated in the International Humanitarian Protection Training course. Alex returned to Humanitarian Advisory Group as a researcher in 2017. She currently manages project implementation and provides research and policy advice across Humanitarian Advisory Group’s portfolio of work. Her recent work includes the Humanitarian Horizons Research Programme, a research partnership project with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Following her internship and prior to returning to Humanitarian Advisory Group, Alex held both research and legal support roles in development organisations and community legal centres. In 2016, Alex spend three months as a research assistant at the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti in Italy working on the Multi-Country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children. In early 2017, she completed internships with the Oxfam-Monash Partnership and the legal team at Oxfam Australia. Alex also currently volunteers as a paralegal at Refugee Legal.

Zoe Fawcett Enticott

Zoe specialises in project support, communications and research within the Government and Non-Government sector. She has a background in community development in South Asia and Australian not-for-profit project management. Currently, Zoe is a Project Officer with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in Australia, where she works across a number of the Departments portfolios. She also volunteers with the International Federation of the Red Cross’ Innovation team, using foresight research to conduct global trend analysis that informs strategy. In the past, Zoe has worked as a Grant Writer for St Kilda Community Housing, Project Manager for not-for-profit WhyDev and Project Manager for Bravo Charlie: a Melbourne-based comms and digital strategy company. She learnt a great deal during her internship with Humanitarian Advisory Group, where she completed research, report writing and event coordination on behalf of the University of Melbourne.

Noah Taylor

Noah Taylor interned with the Humanitarian Advisory Group back in 2014 whilst completing studies in International Development at RMIT. Coming from a military background and research at RMIT in civil-military cooperation he assisted HAG in facilitating a number of workshops bringing together experts in defence, security and humanitarian disaster relief. Since then Noah has worked in emergency management for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in Australia before moving to the Occupied Palestinian Territory to pursue a career in humanitarian aid. He has worked in monitoring and evaluation community engagement and coordination. He is working in Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) with the French NGO ACTED on the crisis response in South Sudan.

Catherine Holden

Catherine was the Humanitarian Advisory Group’s first intern, joining the team as the group formed in 2012. Catherine provided policy and research support across the Group’s thematic areas of expertise, including contributing to the co-authoring of a comparative study on humanitarian financing mechanisms; a report which was later disseminated globally and used for policy purposes by various sector actors.

A Canadian national, after two years in Australia Catherine returned to Canada taking up a position as a Policy Advisor in the International Operations department of the Canadian Red Cross. Catherine is currently a Project Manager with Precio Fishbone, providing project and grant management software solutions for international development and humanitarian NGOs. Catherine has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography, a Master of Arts in International Affairs and has varied experience across the sector having worked in a multilateral funding agency, government, NGOs and in the field.