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, La Trobe University, RMIT, Swedish Defence University, and Western Sydney University.

Find out more about how we support emerging practitioners here.

Current interns

王紫茜 Ivy Ziqian Wang

Ivy Ziqian Wang is completing her final year in her Masters of Public Policy and Management degree at the University of Melbourne. She is originally from China and did her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing in the State University of New York-Buffalo. Ivy moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after completing her Bachelor’s degree and worked in foreign aid mobilisation in the development sector. She has extensive business development experience working with a variety of organisations in Ethiopia and other East African countries in infrastructure development and policy interpretation. Ivy believes in the importance of private sectors’ involvement in the foreign aid and humanitarian aid sector. Ivy’s main humanitarian interests include the private sector’s participation in humanitarian aid and more innovative collaboration among government donors, private businesses, and recipients. As a HAG intern, Ivy hopes to gain more practical industry experience and further develop her research, report writing and project development skills.

Jessica McCommon

Jessica is currently completing the final semester of her Masters of International Relations at the University of Melbourne. She is originally from the United States, where she completed her Bachelors in Tourism Management before realising that a passion for travel and a will to see the world did not necessarily add up to a career in the tourism industry. However, the interest in tourism led her to an amazing internship with the Center for Responsible Travel, a policy-oriented research organisation based in Washington D.C. which works to increase the positive global impact of responsible tourism in vulnerable destinations. She worked specifically on support for various field projects and publications which focused on international development, capacity building and sustainability in local island communities. This led to her independent research and field study on sustainability and resilience in Cuba, and since moving to Australia she has interned for two organisations working to empower marginalised communities in Nepal. Within the humanitarian sector, she is interested in the localisation of response and how the growing emphasis on local and national actors in recovery can produce a more sustainable impact and build resilience among vulnerable populations. As a HAG intern, she looks forward to learning more about the industry and developing her practical experience and network. 

Gemma Turner

Gemma is currently completing her final semester in RMIT’s Master of International Development program as a means to best understand the complexities of humanitarian development. She has formerly completed a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Government & International Relations at Griffith University and now hopes to utilise both the knowledge she acquired in her studies and her strong partiality towards research to contribute to the betterment of development practices. Her primary focus at this time concerns research surrounding technological innovation in the humanitarian sector. Gemma’s interest in humanitarian assistance has been largely driven by a number of valuable volunteer roles, both locally and overseas, in areas such as humanitarian research, program management, event planning, fundraising campaigns, community engagement, mentoring and tutoring refugees, infrastructure construction, natural disaster reconstruction, community legal education, and numerous legal-aid positions.

Past interns

Henry Storey

Henry Storey is completing his final year in his Masters of Internationals degree at the University of Melbourne. Henry has experience volunteering, interning and working with a variety of organisations in Melbourne including Oaktree, Seven Women and First Nations Legal and Research Services. Henry is currently an Analyst at Foreign Brief and an Editor at Young Australians in International Affairs. Henry’s main humanitarian interests include the politics of humanitarian aid and the protection of civilians in conflict zones. As a HAG intern, Henry hopes to gain practical industry experience and further develop his research, writing and project development skills.

Agnieszka Zuchora

Agnieszka, originally from Vancouver, Canada, joins HAG for her final capstone for the Master of Environment at the University of Melbourne. She completed her BA with Honours in Political Science mainly studying politics and ethics, power and resistance, environmental policy, and globalization, with the intention of pursuing law school. After a month in Hawaii, completing her yoga teacher training, she realized her passion lies in environmental protection and working directly with communities which led her to discovering the Master of Environment. Since moving to Australia, Agnieszka has been volunteering with Climates, a local organization working on climate resilience in the Pacific. She has assisted in preparation of panel discussions and is currently supporting in the development of climate specific training modules for volunteers. While pursing her masters, she has studied adaptation to climate change; looking into the underlying causes of vulnerabilities and the ongoing process of determining the most effective options for adapting to climate change; as well as the political ecology of development, examining western normative assumptions about gender and gender empowerment. She is passionate about the localization of aid, and working directly with communities to elevate voices.

Indiah Money

Indiah Money is a 21 year old queer Wiradjuri woman, currently studying at Melbourne University completing Gender Studies & Australian Indigenous Studies. Indiah has written poetry from a young age with strong recurring themes including colonialism, assimilation, skin colour, gender, mental illness, sexuality, climate change, stolen generations, identity as well as critiquing the Eurocentric western idealised structure that each person in Australia is forced to maintain. She has had her work published in The Rabbit Journal and was privileged enough to give a reading at the launch of the journal. Indiah was also part of the Emerging Writers festival at the event for Afrika Speaks Back. She has hosted multiple events and Q and A sessions on a national scale. Indiah has had multiple pieces published in Under Bunjil which is the completely Indigenous run magazine at Melbourne Uni since 2016, for 4 of their editions thus far. This year, Indiah was part of the editing team for 2018’s Under Bunjil edition. As well as writing, Indiah paints and has had her work in the Koorie Heritage Trust in their annual show for three years running. Starting her career at Australia Post, Indiah worked on the Diversity and Inclusion team over a multitude of areas, focusing on the Indigenous, Gender and LGBTIQA+ portfolios. She has a strong passion for equity which is what pushes her to do the work she does.

Bridgette Hogan

Bridgette Hogan is a final year Master of International Development student at RMIT and joins Humanitarian Advisory Group for the purpose of completing her final research capstone project. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Melbourne majoring in Politics and International Studies and through her studies has examined the issues of climate change, regional insecurity, forced displacement and the refugee crisis in a globalised world. She is interested in relations between refugees and IDPs and the communities who host and share resources with them, often for a protracted period of time. Bridgette believes there needs to be more impactful coordination and burden-sharing between states in order to address forced displacement around the world, whether as a result of conflict, persecution or the effects of climate change. She admires the work of HAG in supporting women in leadership and the aid sector, while also promoting the need for agile and innovative thinking in confronting humanitarian crises around the world.

Eliza Clayton

Eliza Clayton is completing her Bachelor of Humanitarian and Development Studies at Western Sydney University, double majoring in Human Rights, Protection and Development and Humanitarian Preparedness and Response. She has studied Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. She also has a degree in Auslan, which has presented her with several volunteer opportunities with the Victorian Deaf Community. This includes the Australian Deaf Games and the Gaslight Festival. Awarded the 2017 New Colombo Plan Scholarship to Indonesia, Eliza engaged in understanding the humanitarian and development practices within Indonesia. Her main humanitarian interests are disaster risk reduction, preparedness and the impacts of disasters on vulnerable communities.

Jonathan Buckley

Jonathan Buckley is completing his final semester in his Masters of Development at the University of Melbourne. He has volunteered extensively in Victoria, working as a campus coordinator for the Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning Program and a school presenter for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. In the past year he has been employed as a Support Officer in the Australian Humanitarian Partnership Support Unit headed by The Whitelum Group. This role has included a three month secondment to the Australian Volunteers Program as a Monitoring and Evaluation officer. His main humanitarian interests include disaster risk management and reduction, though he is looking to expand his knowledge base into other areas. As a HAG intern, Jonathan hopes to improve his research skills, gain exposure to a wide variety of humanitarian programs and increase his professional networks.

Aga Macura

Aga, originally from Poland, joins us in her final semester of Master of International Relations at Melbourne University. She developed a strong interest for international affairs during her Bachelor in Japanese Studies, which she completed in France. During her last year of undergraduate studies, she also obtained Certificate in General International Studies from IHEI (Institut des Hautes Études Internationales) in Paris, where she wrote a paper on Japan’s political identity split between East and West. Currently, her main areas of interest focus on humanitarian aid, food security as well as humanitarian law. During her internship with HAG, Aga hopes to further enhance her knowledge as well as get exposure to the practical issues related to humanitarian and international affairs.

Fanny Berg

Fanny interned with Humanitarian Advisory Group during the final year of her Bachelor Program in Peace and Development Studies at Uppsala University. She contributed to various research projects during her internship, including the development of a discussion paper on Protection of Civilians (POC) and the authoring of a paper on diverse leadership in humanitarian action. She was also the lead author of an issue paper on the inclusion of disaster response in Australia’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. Fanny has previously been active within the Red Cross Youth Association as a project manager, and she has also assisted AMES Australia in providing settlement support to newly arrived migrants. Because of her great interest in gender issues in humanitarian action and peace-building, she completed her bachelor thesis on the role of social capital in reducing women’s vulnerability to disasters. Fanny is now working as a case officer for the Swedish Migration Agency.

David Ross

David is a retired Royal Canadian Air Force pilot who interned with HAG during his final year in the Master of Arts in Disaster and Emergency Management program at Victoria, British Columbia’s Royal Roads University. Although he joined HAG with UN and NATO civil-military cooperation experience gained in Afghanistan, he found the internship introduced him to a significantly wider range of issues than normally explored in CMCoord or disaster studies. His work in Melbourne touched on gender bias in the media, the challenges of integrating environmental considerations in emergency response, and the rapid advance of unmanned aerial vehicle technology in the humanitarian sector. Now back in Ottawa, he plans to pursue opportunities with rostering agencies RedR Australia, and CANADEM.

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 currently working as a journalist for a Greek Australian newspaper based in Melbourne. She joined HAG in 2017 while completing her final capstone project in a Master of International Development at RMIT University. During the internship, Zoe developed 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, she focused on participatory communication and intercultural practices and explored the nexus between humanitarian assistance and development as well as aspects of the program cycle in humanitarian response. Zoe is a committed supporter of the rights of people seeking asylum and has previously volunteered at the ASRC. Before arriving to Melbourne, she completed a Bachelor of Law and was admitted to practice in Greece.

Tissa Riani

Tissa is currently working as the Junior Programme Officer specialized in Sustainable Development Goals at the Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) in Indonesia. Her previous working experience includes working as researcher at The Development Cafe where she served as Co-Investigator in the BlockChain 4 Refugees research project “I AM” that aim to identify IT competencies and skill sets of refugee youth in Jakarta.  During her study at the University Melbourne funded by Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education, Tissa did an internship at Humanitarian Advisory Group and also served as the executive board for Graduate Organisation of Development Students (GOODS). Tissa is highly interested with monitoring and evaluation at the development sector and hopefully can excel a career as an M&E expert.

When she is not stuck in Jakarta’s traffic, Tissa enjoys reading non fiction books and watching documentary films to fulfil her curiosity for knowledge.

Monica Keily

Monica has experience across program coordination, policy and research in the humanitarian and human rights sectors. Much of her experience has involved engaging in feminist and critical research to interrogate topics such as gender-based violence in international contexts. Monica completed her joint internship with HAG and La Trobe University in December 2016 and has also conducted research for MonashGPS, the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction and Act for Peace. In 2018 Monica was deployed by Act for Peace to the occupied West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem as a Human Rights Observer. She has since been involved in the delivery and facilitation of Act For Peace’s Palestine/Israel pre-deployment training and programme fundraising. As a current International Relations student at La Trobe University, Monica remains a staunch advocate for peace in Palestine/Israel and has spoken publicly about her Observer experience and the human rights situation there, including at the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, the Melbourne Free University, on community radio and elsewhere. To inquire about booking her to speak at your event, please email:

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 analyst at the Swedish police department. Her previous experience includes working as an intelligence specialist at Pinkerton Global Risk Group and before that as an intelligence and investigations analyst at Pinkerton Nordic. She has also supported the United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group, evaluated disaster preparedness and response programmes in the north Pacific for the International Organization for Migration, as well as interned 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 thesis on the field in Vanuatu, studying women’s rights and gender issues.

Zoe Fawcett Enticott

Zoe has experience in social policy research, project management, monitoring and evaluation across the public and not-for-profit sectors. She is currently working as Senior Policy and Project Officer for Integration and Evidence with the Victorian Department of Education and Training, where she works with schools to generate and share a wide-range of evidence to strengthen policy implementation across the education system. Zoe has a background in community development in South Asia and has worked on the ground with local schools and NGOs to implement education programs and to evaluate policy reform initiatives and programs.

Zoe interned with HAG while completing the Master of International Development degree and worked with the team to conduct research, report findings and coordinate professional development events on behalf of the University of Melbourne. Learn more at

Alex Lia

Alex interned with Humanitarian Advisory Group for eight months in 2015 and later returned to work as a researcher in 2017-2018. Alex managed project implementation and provided research and policy advice across Humanitarian Advisory Group’s portfolio of work. Alex was the lead author in developing a Protection of Civilians (POC) Manual for the Australian Civil Military Centre. She was a member of the research team for the Humanitarian Horizons Research Programme, a partnership project with DFAT, and co-authored Intention to Impact: Measuring Localisation. Alex supported a range of other projects, including the Review of Australia’s Humanitarian Assistance to the Thai-Myanmar Border (DFAT 2017) and the Review of Australia and New Zealand’s Humanitarian Assistance for the Ambae Response (DFAT 2017). Alex has authored blogs on strengthening disability inclusion and the Sustainable Development Goals. Whilst interning with the Humanitarian Advisory Group in 2015, Alex contributed to the Interim Review of the Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. Alex is now a graduate at the Attorney-General’s Department and a member of the IHL Advisory Committee of the Australian Red Cross in the ACT.

Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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.

Humanitarian Advisory Group
ABN: 17 164 772 936
17/31 Queen Street
Melbourne VIC 3000