Work Experience and Internships

Work Experience and Internships

Expression of interest

2x Youth representatives, climate action committee


Orygen has established the Climate Action Committee to proactively respond to the current climate emergency. The Orygen Climate Action Committee accepts that human-made climate change is real and that anxiety about climate change is also real. Young people have identified mental health and the environment as two of the biggest issues in Australia today (Mission Australia Youth Survey Report 2019). In A Global Framework for Youth Mental Health: Investing in Future Mental Capital for Individuals, Communities and Economies (Orygen and the World Economic Forum May 2020), climate anxiety was one of three issues consistently raised by young people, who contributed to the framework from around the world, and is identified as one of “several pertinent environmental factors that increase the risk of stress and the development of mental ill-health”. As a committee, we aim to:

  1. make sustainable living an everyday reality for Orygen staff, the young people using the services and their families;
  2. highlight the link between youth mental health issues and climate change, and support and advocate for immediate climate action; and
  3. organise events and produce resources to raise awareness on climate change and its effects on youth mental health among clinicians, researchers, trainers, and more broadly among the general public.

We believe we have a responsibility to the mental and physical wellbeing of young people and their families, and to First Nations people, to act on the current climate emergency. The security of their future must include a planet that is safe from the negative impact of climate change. We aim to be informed about climate issues, advocate and drive change within the organisation and with our stakeholders where appropriate, and minimise the organisation’s impact on the environment.

what is the opportunity?

We are looking for two youth representatives that are passionate and enthusiastic about addressing climate change to join the Climate Action Committee for a minimum of 12 months.

As part of the committee, you will play an equal role in supporting the operational plan and contributing to future events and activities, as well as advocating for climate action both internally within Orygen and to external stakeholders. Although you won’t be expected to share your personal experiences during your involvement, you are welcome to if you feel comfortable. If you do decide to share, you would have complete choice and control over how your experience is represented.

what does this involve?

Your role would involve participating in one-hour meetings, which are currently held at 9am on the last Wednesday of every month, with reimbursement of $30 per hour spent in attendance. Meeting times are flexible and we may be able to accommodate for specific availabilities. There may also be the opportunity for additional voluntary and/or paid work outside of meeting times if interested and available. The meetings are occurring via Zoom currently but may transition to in-person depending on changes in COVID-19 restrictions. Any changes to meeting times and location will be discussed and agreed upon as a Committee.

am i eligible?

To be eligible to apply, you will be:

  • passionate and enthusiastic about addressing climate change;
  • between 16–25 years old;
  • based in Australia;
  • available to attend one-hour monthly meetings, currently at 9am on the last Wednesday of every month.
  • Young people with current or past lived experience of mental ill-health and/or using mental health services are encouraged to apply.
  • One of the positions will be reserved for a young person with lived experience of mental ill-health and who has accessed Orygen’s clinical services (including Orygen’s headspace centres). Orygen operates headspace centres at Craigieburn, Glenroy, Melton, Sunshine, and Werribee.
what might be some outcomes of my involvement?

By getting involved, you will be helping us to highlight the impact that the climate change crisis is having on young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and advocate for systemic change to address the climate emergency. There will be opportunities to learn more about climate change and youth mental health, and to develop leadership and administrative skills, including chairing meetings, minute-taking, report writing, event planning, and project coordination. All contributions will be fully credited.


To make sure you feel comfortable participating, we are happy to provide supports such as pre- and de-briefings. We can also provide wellbeing support with a clinician that is also a member of the committee as well as with the youth participation team. Additionally, we can provide some skills support, including tips and advice on advocacy. We may also be able to provide some technical support, such as if you are having trouble accessing the internet.

how can i get involved?

To express your interest in this opportunity, we’d like you to get in touch and let us know why climate action is an area of interest for you, what you would like to contribute to the committee, and what you hope to get out of being involved. You can do this through a written statement (up to 300 words) or an alternate format, such as a short video, creative piece, or audio recording. Whatever works best for you!

If we receive more applications than places available, we may preference young people with lived experience of mental ill-health and/or who have had less opportunity to be involved with Orygen in the past.

Please send your expression of interest to Sasha Malignaggi at by 9am AEDT on Monday, 14 December 2020 to be considered for the opportunity. We will be in touch within a month after the closing date to let you know of the next steps.


If you would like more information, or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sasha Malignaggi at or +61 448 091 990.

If you would like additional support regarding your participation in this project, you can contact Tharindu Jayadeva, Youth Participation Program Manager, at

Summer Experience Program - Applications closed

Orygen’s Summer Experience Program involves a two week placement (three days a week) with research teams, key policy and advocacy staff, clinical specialists and workforce trainers who all have extensive experience working in the field of youth mental health. The program aims to provide an opportunity for young people aged 17-25 to learn more about the divisions that make up the National Centre of Excellence. 

Orygen Internship Program - Applications closed

Orygen coordinates a 12-week intern program to support the career development of young people with a passion for youth mental health.

Interns are remunerated at the national adult minimum wage plus loading in line with Fair Work Australia guidelines. As these intern positions are paid roles and cannot be completed as part of tertiary student placements or university internships.

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