Fair Work… two words that can put fear into the heart of most Australian professionals! Fear not, Australian Internships is here to assist with a few easy ways to interpret and understand the Fair Work Act when it comes to interns in the workplace. Firstly… great news, all Australian Internships interns are 100% compliant with the Fair Work Australia guidelines. We maintain regular communication with Fair Work Australia regarding quality internship options for students and young professionals and ensure to adapt our program accordingly. So what are the points that you need to know when it comes to interns and the Fair Work Act…

What is unpaid work?

Unpaid work can take on different forms - including vocational placements, unpaid internships, unpaid work experience and unpaid trials. Unpaid work arrangements can be entered into for a number of reasons.

These include:

  • To give a person experience in a job or industry
  • To test a person's job skills
  • To volunteer time and effort to a not-for-profit organisation.

These arrangements can be initiated by employers, the person wanting the work or experience, or education/training institutions.

An unpaid work experience arrangement or unpaid internship can be lawful under the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) if it is a vocational placement or if there is no employment relationship found to exist.

What does this mean?

Basically, unpaid internships are definitely legal, as long as they offer structured training and skill development for professionals in the workplace! We will work with you to structure a program that is 100% compliant should you elect to have an intern on a non paid basis.

Vocational Placements

A vocational placement is a formal work experience arrangement that is part of an education or training course.

Vocational placements can give students important skills to help them transition successfully from study to work, while giving industry and business the opportunity to enrich student learning experiences and increase the number of work-ready graduates.

Vocational placements that meet the definition under the FW Act are lawfully unpaid, regardless of whether an employment relationship exists or not.

For more information, including the criteria that an arrangement must meet to be a vocational placement under the FW Act, see our Vocational Placements Fact Sheet.

No Employment Relationship

A work experience arrangement or internship is when a person works for a business to gain experience in a particular occupation or industry. These arrangements can be a valuable way for prospective employees to make the transition from study to work or explore a new career path. Sometimes these arrangements span several months and can lead to ongoing employment.

  • The person must not be doing “productive” work
  • The main benefit of the arrangement should be to the person doing the placement, and
  • It must be clear that the person is receiving a meaningful learning experience, training or skill development.

State Library of Queensland (SLQ) is a vital and innovative community resource — a physical and virtual space for sharing, learning, collaborating and creating. This vibrant 21st century library is an inclusive and welcoming place for all, a trusted source for information, a place for intellectual freedom and creativity, and the primary custodian of Queensland’s memory.

Its main campus at Brisbane’s South Bank incorporates Asia Pacific Design Library (APDL), Australian Library of Art, The Corner, The Edge, John Oxley Library (JOL), kuril dhagun and the new Business Studio. This is complemented by an office in Cannon Hill, a Cairns regional office and an ever-expanding online offer.

SLQ serves regional Queensland by providing direct funding and support to a network of more than 320 public libraries and IKCs, and state-wide electronic access to a wide range of information resources, including a rapidly growing range of digitised unique Queensland material.

SLQ’s administration staff supports this work.  The People & Planning team, who Cherlyne ably assisted, look after Human Resources enquiries, training and strategic planning.

Cherlyne was an excellent addition to the team, impressing them with her commitment, motivation and independence. Her technical skills in administrative tasks are exceptional, and she completed any task that was given to her efficiently and promptly. She was professional and courteous at all times, and instantly built rapport with her colleagues.  Her supervisor was especially taken by Cherlyne’s ability to adapt to an Australian Workplace Culture and her work ethic. In short, she was a joy to have in the team.

On her own time, Cherlyene explored Brisbane. It was her first visit to Australia, and she made a particular effort to see our unique wildlife. 


Australian Internships are pleased to present our ‘Intern of the Month’ Yan Jun

Jun has completed a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Geotechnical Engineering) from the University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia as well as a Master in Engineering Science (Geotechnical Engineering)from  Hohai University, China.

  • Nationality: Australian 
  • Field: Engineering ( Civil) 
  • Duration: 12 week unpaid internship  
  • Start Date: 16th of January 2017 – 07th of April 2017 – available to commence immediately if better suited  
  • Internship Location: Flexible in location  and currently in Sydney 

Jun would like to gain exposure  within Civil Engineering or structural engineering . He has knowledge in both soil mechanics and soil testing and is wanting to gain practical experience to complement his studies. He is open to all internship opportunities.



  • Completed  Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Geotechnical Engineering) University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia
  • Graduate member of Engineers Australia as well as Student member of American Society of Civil Engineers 
  • Fantastic  work experience working as a Research Associate (Geotechnical Engineering) Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 
  • Recipient of “Qian Jia-Huan” Geotechnical Engineering Scholarship, 2010 as well as Awarded the Outstanding Graduate of Hohai University, 2011
  • Yan Jun is living in Sydney but ifs flexible with a internship location
  • Available for a immediate phone or skype interview, or face to face interview in Sydney 

Please contact Keli McKenzie  directly to arrange a personal interview at your earliest convenience.

According to the Austrade website, there are some excellent benefits from expanding your business by exporting.

‘Exporting can be a profitable way of expanding your business, spreading your risks and reducing your dependence on the local market.

Austrade research shows that, on average, exporting companies are more profitable than their non-exporting counterparts. Exporting exposes you to new ideas, management practices, marketing techniques, and ways of competing that you wouldn’t have experienced by staying at home. All this considerably improves your ability to compete in the domestic market as well. By going overseas, you can become more efficient and increase your productivity. Exporting companies have better growth prospects, highly skilled, highly productive staff and tend to adapt technology and best practice techniques faster.

Even if you have a limited domestic market, you should think about exporting - around a quarter of new exporters are born globals. Global brands can be built from small local companies – especially in rural and regional Australia’.

Australian Internships: One of the ways that hosting an intern can help to support your business during this expansion period is to provide you with an ‘in-road’ into a whole new network of potential clients and partners. Once you have trained an intern and given them the necessary skills to officially enter industry, there is then the potential for that individual to start developing business opportunities within their home countries. They can take their recently acquired skills and knowledge and access the market that you are looking at expanding into and as they have the native language skills, it provides your business with a competitive edge.


Bruno arrived in Australia on Jan. 11, 2006. One of his first tasks during the six-month internship at NOJA Power was to translate the man-machine interface strings from English to Portuguese, along with the translation of manuals and other documents. In addition, he assembled reclosers, manufactured cables and tested communications between modules. Kimura also provided technical support to Festimport.

“Two months before the end of my internship, I was asked to design a new low-voltage test bench and a 20-kV high-voltage test source, I not only had to design the equipment, but also build it and train the staff, going through the stages of selecting and ordering the parts as well as writing the suitable documentation. It was exciting to be able to construct real equipment, for a real purpose and with a real budget.”  

Not long after graduating, Festimport offered the new engineer a job, which he gladly accepted. “I’m excited to get my hands on work, as I see my country seeking better and more reliable solutions for protection of the electricity distribution network,” Kimura said.


Bruno reflects on his journey from Intern to Managing Director  “When I decided to apply for an internship in Australia my intention was to test and develop my English skills as well as to have the first professional experience as a yet to be electrical engineer.

Australian Internships put me in contact with NOJA Power where I was fortunate to be involved with real and relevant activities to my professional field. It would be difficult to describe here all activities, knowledge acquired and the professional growth as result.

After the internship, return to Brazil and graduation completion, I was invited to work for NOJA Power´s Distributor in Brazil where I took different positions along the years, from Application Engineer to Engineering Manager, and then on to Operations Director. Today I'm the Managing Director of the Brazilian operation.

To undertake a quality internship is to invest in a solid and successful professional future. With no doubt I recommend this experience to everyone.”

Bruno Kimura, Managing Director




Friday 4 November to Sunday 13 November

The Fishers Ghost Carnival is back again this year! Head to the Bradbury Oval on the weekends to enjoy the rides, food, entertainment and more! An extra bonus…if you go on either Saturday 5 November or Saturday 12 November, you’ll be able to see the fireworks at 9pm. Don’t miss out on this fun event if you’re in the area!

Find more information here.







Sunday 13 November

Head to Federation Square on the 13th of November to take part in this years Polish festival. There will be live music, dancers, art and of course, food! Indulge in the tasty food being offered such as pierogis, bigos, and kielbasa, among many others!

You can find more information about this free event here.




Head to the Gabba this month to cheer on the Queensland Bulls as they play for the Sheffield Shield! The free games coming up this month are on the 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28, 29 of November. Come out for one game or them all, it’s sure to be a great time!

You can find more information about these events on the Bulls website.






10 November 5 – 9 pm

This is the last Night Market before this year’s Christmas Carnival! Head down with friends to enjoy food from one of the many vendors or just enjoy the music on the lawn. This free event will be at Todd Mall on 10 November from 5 – 9 pm, don’t miss it!

You can find more details about this event here.




Thank you for reading, we’d love to hear what you want to read in this newsletter, so feel free to give us some suggestions on what to include next time!