The Lachlan Macquarie Internship is the Institute's core program designed to develop public Christian leaders. It is a live-in intensive which runs for a period of 14 weeks and is offered twice a year commencing in February and August. It is a formational course which develops a wide range of attributes around faith and policy including academia, community, work experience, mentoring, public skills, and networking - all of which are described in further detail below.
A key aspect of leadership is understanding your worldview and its foundation, but also understanding the worldviews and ideologies of others. To this end the program consists of visiting academics who live amongst the community for a period to teach and tutor in a range of disciplines including theology, philosophy, history, law, media, political thought, social policy, and cultural engagement. The study involves mainly original texts and it requires about 100 pages of reading per day. Seminars run for 3 hours in the mornings (a mixture of lecturing and socratic-style dialogue), with time set apart for reading and reflection in the afternoons. Our core lecturers can be found on our staff page, and the curriculum page lays out the content in greater detail.
The internship is held on a 250 acre property 40 minutes outside Canberra. The intention is that formation be achieved through close community living. Interns 'do life together' through studying, cooking, working, travelling, playing, debating and praying. This model of life creates a deeper learning environment, but most significantly community living develops the relational and emotional skills essential for effective public leadership. This form of learning has its roots in the Christian monastic tradition, and is a central aspect of the Internship. You can read more about this experience on the testimonials page.
Click on the location page for a glimpse of the LMI Homestead.
Part of this wonderful experience is the opportunity to work in Federal Parliament for a week, as well as doing a two-week placement after the completion of the course with an organisation involved in your area of interest. The week in Parliament takes place in the last third of the internship, and allows you to understudy a Federal Member or Senator from either the Government or the Opposition in order to gain a greater understanding of the system as well as what is required in such positions of leadership.
Part of this LMI experience is the chance to reflect and discuss personal visions, challenges, directions and passions. Over the program there will be several mentoring opportunities available including by previous alumni, lecturers, pastoral care, and professional feedback. One of the main and most exciting aspects of this is the opportunity to dine with a wide range of prestigious Christians in order to hear their experience and wisdom around leadership in public life. Click here to have a look at some of our previous dinner guests.
Academic understanding alone is not enough for leadership. One also needs the necessary skills to be effective and communicate clearly. The curriculum therefore includes focussed workshops for building the skills most needed in public life, including strategy, media skills, writing, engagement, public speaking and debate, leadership, and developing evidence-based policy.
There are many opportunities for networking during the program, which is a key aspect of moving into public policy areas. During the course we visit a range of different policy related organisations, as well as attending numerous events, debates and conferences. As mentioned above, after the course we help organise an optional two-week placement, where we help connect you with a group or organisation which will give you the opportunity to experience and build connections in the area you seek to make the focus of your career.