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Published on March 20th, 2024

DEIA at DT Global: Working at DT Global Through a CareerTrackers First Nations Internship

Steven Baker (left), Practice Leader Commercial Advisory, stands with Jeremy Last (right), a DT Global intern through CareerTrackers.

CareerTrackers is an Australian organisation that supports First Nations university students and links them with employers to participate in multi-year paid internships throughout their degree studies, with the aim of accelerating their professional development. CareerTrackers partners with employers like DT Global to focus on student success in university, work, and community. To date, DT Global has mentored five First Nations interns through the CareerTrackers program.

My name is Jeremy Last. I am a proud First Nations Ngaanyatjarra & Pitjantjatjara man living on Kaurna country, Adelaide, and I’m currently studying for a double bachelor’s degree in international relations and arts majoring in Indigenous Knowledges and Society at the University of Adelaide. Since December 2022, I’ve been able to undertake an internship with DT Global sponsored by CareerTrackers.

Before working at DT Global I had little exposure to the international development industry and knowledge of the sector. It has been a great learning opportunity for me to see how things work in the sector and the development challenges faced by businesses, donors, and communities.

One of the first tasks I had at DT Global was to contribute to proposals and research, including a proposal for the PNG Ports Corporation. For the proposal development I researched the current state of the wharves, other maritime projects in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific, disaster resilient construction methods (especially in the Pacific context), women’s and minority group participation in the construction sector, and possible social and environmental impacts resulting from the project. DT Global was subsequently awarded a contract for Project Management and Supervision Consultancy Services for Port Construction and Rehabilitation Works.

Currently I am working under the guidance of Steven Baker in DT Global’s Commercial Advisory business where I am learning about how private companies and our corporate clients are looking at sustainability issues and developing the local economies and communities in which they operate. I have been able to complete a number of research tasks in areas such as community engagement practices by Australian minerals companies in the Bowen Basin area in Queensland, waste management in the energy sector, and education partnerships in green hydrogen technologies in East Africa.

In my time working at DT Global I have had a variety of opportunities. I have been put in contact with David Poulton, one of the founding members of the Association of First Nations in Development (AFNAD). AFNAD is a great place to network and be able to have mentoring opportunities with other First Nations people who already work in the international development sector.

I am also a member of the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) team at DT Global, providing me with greater understanding of how RAPs work on a corporate level and why they are beneficial to an organization. Unfortunately, RAPs can be seen as a box ticking exercise, but they are very important instruments for change. They help support First Nations self-determination, and more importantly enable organisations to foster their relationships with community, pursue First Nations engagement, and move beyond tokenistic gestures.

We know that the current Australian government has committed to embedding First Nations perspectives in its international development endeavors, which I believe is a step in the right direction for developing stronger relationships between our Pacific neighbours. Therefore, it is crucial for international development companies to implement effective RAPs and follow them.

The past year has been a challenging time for First Nations peoples with the Voice referendum. As a member of the RAP team, I had the opportunity to discuss the essence of the Voice with my colleagues. Looking ahead, my aspiration is to witness full reconciliation in Australia within my lifetime, accompanied by the active integration of First Nations culture and history into educational curricula and workplace environments.

As a result of my internship opportunity, it has crystalized for me that I would like to pursue a career in international development and specialise in a particular area of development, potentially in agricultural development and environmental management. Like most twenty something year olds, ideas and future plans can change, and I am not 100% sure where I see myself in the future, but as long as it involves helping people in communities across Australia and the world, I will be happy.