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Volunteer spotlight: Sophie Gardner (First Peoples Program)

Oxfam Trainee Sophie Gardner

Sophie Gardner is completing an internship through the CareerTrackers program in the First Peoples Program at Oxfam Australia.

Hi Sophie! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and why you chose to complete your internship at Oxfam Australia?

I am from country Victoria, I’m a Yorta Yorta woman and grew up along the Murray River. I’m studying a Bachelor of International Studies at RMIT. I chose this degree because it covers all my interests, such as languages, international relations or intercultural communication. I love to travel to explore different places and would love to experience many different cultures by travelling around the world.

I chose to complete an internship at Oxfam Australia because I’m very interested in all the work Oxfam does. A job interest of mine is helping people overcome inequalities and an internship at Oxfam allowed me to experience what a job in this field would be like. The work I’ve done at Oxfam also compliments my degree really well and I feel what I have learned during my internship will help me throughout the rest of my degree.

When did you start your internship placement and what does your role involve?

I started my internship placement in the last week of November 2020 and my role involves working on two different projects, the alumni database and a global scope. The first project was working on scoping paper for taking the Straight Talk program international. For this I researched into other programmes that focus on gender justice and encourages women political participation. These would be programmes that could be possible partnerships when taking Straight Talk international.

For the second project I worked, along with two other volunteers Phoebe and Amelia, on entering past Straight Talk alumni into Salesforce, Oxfam’s CRM database. This was a big task and took a lot of organising and sorting through documents.

What has been your best experience as an intern so far?

I think the best experience for me has been meeting and working with many influential, inspiring people. It has been great working alongside and learning from these people. I also have been able to put some of what I have learnt so far in my degree to use and start to develop my professional skills. It has been great to see the work Oxfam does and discover many great work and programmes, such as the Straight Talk program.

What do you like to do when you are not tackling poverty with Oxfam?

When not tackling poverty with Oxfam I like to either go on little adventures, such as hiking with my dog, or curl up in bed and read a good book. I’m a very creative and active person, so I love to be out and about doing fun activities with friends and family.

Any final thoughts on your time at Oxfam Australia?

My time at Oxfam has been amazing and everything I hoped for. It has long been a goal of mine to work for an organisation like Oxfam, a goal I was never sure I would achieve. Now I have achieved this goal and I loved every bit of it, I hope to do more work like this in the future. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at Oxfam. I’m so appreciative and thankful to Worrin for taking me on board to work with her and giving me such a great opportunity. Thank you!