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Paul Mariager - a white male in a wheelchair in front of an empty construction site

Imagine starting your career working on some of Victoria’s most high-profile, complex and innovative projects like the development of the Docklands precinct, the state-of-the-art Bendigo GovHub, or even creating a vibrant new neighbourhood as part of Fitzroy Gasworks. Our intern program provides students with an interest in property development, real estate, planning and construction the opportunity to work on these state-shaping projects alongside experienced project and development managers. 

We are proud to support a diverse and inclusive workplace at Development Victoria, and recognise that different perspectives and voices are needed across our projects - including those of our interns. 

Meet Paul Mariager, one of our 2020-21 interns. Paul was studying urban planning during his time in the program, and was able to bring his formal education and his perspective and experience as a C5-6 quadriplegic, to our projects - contributing to real change for others with disabilities in our community.

We chatted to Paul, about his experience of the intern program over the past two years.

How would describe your average day as a Development Coordinator?

Average day? I don’t think there has been such a thing during my time as an intern. I’ve been introduced to such a variety of work.

The common thing each day is the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the projects I am working on. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to use my life experience, as a person with a disability, to impact real outcomes and change on our projects.

What have you found to be the best part of the Intern Program?

The variety of work I’ve been exposed to as a new starter in the development industry has been great. Also, the opportunity to build relationships with different people from across the business - there’s a lot of talent and expertise here, which has been great to tap into particularly as a mature-age new starter. I imagine developing these relationships and experiences may have taken me years and years, had I entered the industry elsewhere.

How would you describe the culture at Development Victoria?

The culture is great - it’s a work environment where I’ve been both supported to learn, and empowered to contribute in a meaningful way. I can tell that people want the best for me. It’s very humbling to have this level of support and encouragement – from the top down.

What would you say to students considering Development Victoria for their internship?

I can’t imagine any other developer being able to match Development Victoria for the variety of projects available – nor the amount of support and encouragement, that is given by all the staff here. 

Do you have any other advice for students considering applying for the 2022-23 program?

Make sure your application is a true reflection of who you are, and what your aspirations are – not what you think others want to hear. 

Applications for our 2022-23 intern program will be opening on Tuesday, 14 September. The two-year program engages interns for 22.8 hours a week and provides the opportunity to rotate through the different areas of our business. To learn more, check out our intern program page: https://www.development.vic.gov.au/careers/intern-program