CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program (founded in 2010 by Michael Combs) is a national non-profit organisation that partners with Corporate Australia to provide life changing opportunities and pathways for Indigenous university students. CareerTrackers has offices in each Australian capital city and is staffed by Indigenous university graduates.
CareerTrackers internships are currently supported by nearly 100 companies across all industries. Students who complete their internships successfully maybe given the opportunity of full time employment after they finish their degree.
19 major companies (such as Lend Lease, QANTAS, ANZ and Westpac) have signed contracts committing to providing positions for Indigenous students for 10 years. 10 universities have agreed to work closely with CareerTrackers for 10 years with the mutual goal of improving the educational outcomes for Indigenous students.
As a student-driven organisation, CareerTrackers works with students to seek positions that align with their career aspirations. The aim is gaining full time employment with their sponsoring companies. Each student is assigned a personal advisor who works with the student to develop their professional leadership skills so that they can be successful in the workplace. CareerTrackers also provides companies with a structured program and training to ensure that the internship experience is a successful one.
The Girgensohn Foundation supports CareerTrackers establishing an Alumni Association. The aim is to create a community of Indigenous business professionals to serve as corporate and community role models, creating a stronger, more self-sustaining Indigenous community. Once students have completed their internships and graduate from university they enter into the CareerTrackers Alumni Association where they are given continued personal and professional support, such as executive mentoring and peer encouragement. Alumni are also engaged in supporting next generation interns.
In January 2014 the inaugural class of alumni established the vision and principles of the Association at its Sydney conference. In February 2017 there were 299 alumni and 186 joined during the year. CareerTrackers forecast more than 1000 alumni working throughout corporate Australia by 2020.
A key element of the alumni program focuses on supporting alumni to engage and be visible leaders within the community. A pilot program was launched in 2016 with 20 alumni engaging with schools and communities with focus on going on to higher education. 252 Indigenous students were engaged through the visits to remote and city based high schools. This program was expanded in 2017.
The Girgensohn Foundation is proud to have received the 2017 Chairman’s Award for showing commitment and leadership to fulfilling the vision of CareerTrackers.