Want to be an Intern at Attunga?
Our reason why...
The word ‘Intern’ can mean many things. In some organisations it means come and do all the odd jobs that our staff are too busy to do, help out, etc.
At Attunga we see this very differently.
Feeding into and discipling the Interns is our ministry. Camps and other things Attunga does is an out flow of that. So we feed into the Interns and they feed into the campers, guests, etc.
Rather than help out other staff, they essentially are the staff team and each incoming group of interns steps up under the mantle of responsibility for this ministry, taking the place of the interns that have gone before them.
They serve as the front line in every aspect of operations and ministry at Attunga including cleaning, housekeeping and food preparation.
The interns learn to plan and run small group activities or devotions for church youth and schools as well as an outreach ministry to overseas backpackers for up to 12 weeks a year, scripture in schools, our Taste of Australia tour and they are an integral part of the ministry program for some regular church and rehabilitation support groups.
" For many this is a journey of healing, wholeness & restoration "
For others it's a time to put life as they know it on hold and give everything to God to shape and mould them as He wills, to break up the hard ground of their hearts or turn lukewarmness into a passionate, reverent love for the things of God.
In every relationship, one is the source of influence and the other the one being influenced, for good or for bad. Our interns typically leave with a deep sense of who they are in God and go back into those key relationships as a powerful influence, rather than drifting in and out of negative influences and being drawn to compromise to stay popular, most often from a lack of really knowing and owning their identity in Christ.
A little about Attunga
We're a non-profit interdenominational Christian camp located at Canyonleigh in the beautiful Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia. Much of the 300 acre property is natural bushland with spectacular views, cliffs, valleys and lots of native wildlife that also call Attunga home. Our site is also surrounded by 20,000 acres of national park, so the setting and situation makes a really effective training ground for shaping young hearts and lives.
We have been here for almost 30 years and running these internships for over 10 years and the site was first opened and dedicated to the glory of God in 1982.
We run camps for schools, churches, families, community and corporate groups as well as holiday camps themed around horses, dirt bikes, etc but our primary focus and reason for being is discipling and equipping young people from all over the world through this intern program.
For a statement of faith and values click here
be still & know...
" learning prayer, fasting and Bible study habits that last a lifetime "
Most of the pictures in this guide are actual views from Attunga or easy walking distance nearby. There’s something amazing about coming away and seeking God in a place like this, looking into the clear night sky at millions of stars or sitting on a rock and looking out over the hills and mountains in the distance.
If you’ve never spent regular time away from everyday life to seek God with all your heart, you’re in for a life-changing experience. Living at Attunga means you don’t need to travel to get away to an isolated place - you’re living in one. There are lots of quiet scenic places to get alone with God. He will honour your commitment to time spent seeking after Him. During the internship you’ll build habits that will deepen your intimacy with the Lord and build your faith as you see God answering your prayers and changing lives around you.
“Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God” - Luke 6:12
Again and again in the Bible we see that Jesus set himself apart and spent extended time with God in prayer. If Jesus really needed this how much more do we?
" read through the Bible completely in a few months "
Interns are personally mentored towards maturity in their relationship with the Lord and are encouraged to develop a strong, consistent prayer life and personal devotional habits that will change their heart and affect many lives around them back home after the internship.
The academic aspect of the internship includes two great subjects that focus on the Old Testament and New Testament in line with our devotionals throughout the semester as well as practical units that can count towards a Cert IV in Christian Ministry and Theology.
A Statement of Attainment will be issued for successfully completed units at graduation.
We partner with an online bible college as our RTO. They are an excellent distance education provider and provide our education framework and course material. Workbooks and other course materials are provided as part of the internship, including the subsequent assessment process for completed units.
Interns have the option to complete their Cert IV in Christian Ministry and Theology after the semester by registering directly with our provider and completing the remaining units.
Senior interns are expected to graduate with the full Cert IV in Christian Ministry and Theology award having completed all the required units over two semesters.
The Certificate IV is is a nationally recognised qualification in Australia and the equivalent of one year’s full-time study. It is designed to be taught using experiential learning methods, and the unique setting of Attunga provides a very effective learning environment.
Learning to be a blessing to others through practical service is a core foundation of our internship program.
" Building a servants heart through practical service "
Interns will be trained to be capable and effective in each of the following areas. Serving in these areas also allows us to significantly reduce the internship program fees, keeping them well below what would be expected for any full-board accredited course of study.
Training for food preparation begins with safe food handling and storage training, followed by practical training sessions with our chef.
Interns use these skills to assist in the preparation of camp and team meals.
Cooking & Food Service
Whether you like to cook or have never tried it, you’ll be very capable in the kitchen by the end of the internship, which is a valuable life skill for your future. Interns will be trained to prepare and serve meals, and will occasionally share the cooking responsibility for some intern team meals when no camps are in, as well as cook breakfast or supper for some camps.
Kitchen Clean Up
After camp meals are prepared or served, a small teams of interns will be responsible to operate the dishwasher, wash pots and clean the kitchen.
Cleaning Cabins & Bathrooms
Interns are trained in general cleaning to a commercial standard, safe use of chemicals and safe handling of waste materials. Interns work in small teams to clean the cabins, bathrooms and common areas after each camp.
Pools & Spa
The pools and spa at Attunga are heated and need to be regularly vacuumed and cleaned and the pool areas swept to keep them in perfect condition all year round.
Life skills build relationships of trust and demonstrate God’s love for campers and guests through practical service
Local Schools Ministry
Our local community is a rural area called Canyonleigh, which is home to over 200 families but has no town centre or village infrastructure, just one small General Store. It’s almost 100km round trip to the nearest church or town which is called Moss Vale, NSW.
Our interns have the unique opportunity to work with students in Moss Vale High School every two weeks or so, assisting a local pastor to share their faith with year 8 and 9 students in a public, secular high school.
Our horse program is directed by horse master and classical riding trainer Mr Frank Calleja. Originally from Malta, Frank has spent his life training and managing horses in Europe and Australia. His passion for horses and care for their comfort and well being are exemplary, following the best natural horsemanship methods. Definitely no spurs and brute force methods at Attunga.
We are truly blessed to have a program leader of his calibre. The horse program is a certificate program and students will be taught and mentored by Frank personally with signifiant one on one training time.
Attunga has a great herd of riding horses as well as miniature donkeys and other animals. Each intern in the horse program is assigned a horse to personally train throughout the semester. Our horses need to be worked and trained almost every day to significantly develop their skills and keep them in great condition.
Franks sessions teach the interns how to interact with their horse and train them in the best possible way to get the ultimate performance from them. Through time, commitment and perseverance he can take a complete beginner and have them training and riding a horse like they would have never imagined possible, in just a few months.
Regardless of your level of experience or prior knowledge, even if you've never been on a horse but you’d really love to learn, this is a very special opportunity.
Interns with musical abilities are encouraged to form a worship band during their internship and to sing or play during camps and ministry events, at local churches or as a form of evangelical outreach.
Elective time is used to prepare and practice a number of songs which can be used whenever the opportunity is given.
As an example, the Salvation Army have a live-in addiction recovery centre called William Booth House in the inner city of Sydney. Twice a year a large group of those adults in addiction recovery come out to Attunga for several days. Our interns have the opportunity to sing, share their testimonies and do life with these awesome people who are in a challenging stage of their life. God has used this opportunity to powerfully impact many lives in past semesters.
This elective & the Creative Arts one below are based on using the gifts you already have in new and creative ways, rather than learning a new instrument or skill for the first time
Creative & Performing Arts
Skills in creative or performing arts areas such as painting, drama and dance can be used to develop and perform a variety of thought-provoking art works, skits and performances that can be a very effective and contemporary to way to share a message of hope through faith in Jesus. .
Outdoor site development projects are always happening at Attunga. Project examples include designing and clearing new bush walking tracks, making log seats, helping to build an outdoor chapel or developing new activities.
Most of the 300 acre site is undeveloped natural bush land and is largely unexplored so there’s lots of opportunity to work in this area and make a lasting contribution.
who, when, for how long, etc
Applications are open to anyone age 18 to 30 from any country world wide. Good health and reasonable physical fitness is a necessity as the internships are physically demanding.
When do the semesters start & end?
Our semesters start in January and August each year. Semester 1 includes the Hillsong Women's Colour Conference for our female interns while the guys spend time away on a fishing trip.
Semester 1 starts early am Sunday January 24th through to graduation on May 16th. Interns can depart Sydney airport anytime from May 17th in the afternoon.
Semester 2 starts early am Sunday August 29th through to graduation on December 5th. Interns can depart Sydney airport anytime from December 6th in the afternoon. (Applications Close March 31st 2021)
Semester 1 starts early am Sunday January 23rd through to graduation on May 15th. Interns can depart Sydney airport anytime from May 16th in the afternoon.
Semester 2 starts early am Sunday September 4th through to graduation on December 10th. Interns can depart Sydney airport anytime from December 11th in the afternoon. (Applications Close March 31st 2022)
Can I do more than one semester?
Both semesters are very similar so are designed to be done only once.
There is a limited Senior Internship program that graduates can apply for. Senior interns serve as mentors & leaders in training to the new interns of that semester. They also complete the remaining subjects to graduate with their Cert IV in Christian Ministry & Theology.
We typically only take 8 interns each semester and we carefully pray about each applicant before making a placement offer. Keeping the number of interns small allows us to mentor and disciple more thoroughly and to feed into the life of each intern more personally.
Where do we live?
Interns all live on site in comfortable staff housing, typically with two or more interns sharing each room. Separate accommodation is provided for male and female interns. We may have some limited facilities available for young married couples.
Food is a signature item at Attunga. Everything is prepared fresh from scratch with generous portions and lots of healthy choices. We have recently built a new organic garden so we plan to use some fresh organic produce in our cooking from spring 2014.
When camps are in, the Interns eat with the campers and staff in the main dining room. There are always lots of leftovers after camps too.
When no camps are in, breakfast and lunch are typically self serve. Dinner is cooked by our chef for interns and staff with the interns helping as needed.
We eat dinner together every night around a big communal meal table with interns, staff and any guests that may be visiting.
What's available to do in our free time?
Living at Attunga is like living in a national park, surrounded by tens of thousands of acres of national park with lots of native animals and birds all around.
There are over 10kms of hiking trails on our property and much more in the adjacent Bangadilly National Park. It's a short 20 minute walk through the national park to the summit of Mt Penang, the highest point in our area with spectacular sunrise views. The camp also has lots of recreational facilities which our interns are welcome to use.
There are two swimming pools, a heated outdoor hot tub, cosy coffee shop with a great selection of books to read plus a Powerfan, flying fox (zipline), archery, sports courts for basketball, volleyball, tetherball and football, archery canoes and stand up paddle boards.
Our meeting room & fireside lounge is equipped with great music equipment, yamaha keyboard, roland electric drum kit and a selection of guitars that the interns are welcome to use.
We also have a well equipped new gym and workout facility with high quality commercial equipment and a large stretching area. It's a great opportunity to get fit and stay healthy during your internship, building those habits as well.
We raise funds through our camping ministry and the interns hard work throughout the year to subsidise the intern cost. Our strategic intent is to keep fees as affordable a possible without sacrificing the high quality and impact the program continues to have.
" Internship cost is just $2,950. Around $30 per day all-inclusive "
Prices are in Australian dollars and include all meals, accommodation, transport including transfers from and to Sydney International airport, utilities, tuition and course materials.
Extra costs not included in the Intern Fee:
* $695 contribution to your place on the 'Taste of Australia' tour. Semester 1 female interns can add the awesome Hillsong Colour women's conference in Sydney to their Taste of Australia tour for just an additional $300. Includes conference fees & 2 extra nights accommodation in Sydney (strictly limited availability)
* $75 credit card fee
* $150 (or a little more if you are willing) contribution to the Intern Sponsorship Fund
Plus you need to budget for:
* Airfare to/from Sydney International Airport (if you live elsewhere in Australia or overseas)
* some spending money for personal items, souvenirs, etc
International interns please see the section below for a few other items you should budget for
'Pay as you go' option
The internship fees above are assuming payment in full prior to the start of your semester.
There is an option to pay as you go (subject to approval of a mutually agreed payment plan) for an extra 12% (so $3,300 instead of $2,950). Payment plans would typically break up the amount due into equal monthly payments throughout the semester. Anyone who has selected 'Pay Upfront' with unpaid fees once the semester has started will be automatically transferred over to the PAYG option.
Government Funding Assistance
If you are an Australian, the Attunga Internship is accredited and you may apply for Youth Allowance or Austudy if eligible. Centrelink payments are typically sufficient to cover the Internship (pay as you go + plus extra subjects to meet requirements) cost with a small amount left over. Please contact us to discuss your eligibility if it would be beneficial.
Some limited sponsorship funds may be available to assist those families with severe financial difficulties, after fundraising is done through their local church and family members.
Candidates who believe they really need to be here as an Intern may apply as a faith step, regardless of their financial situation or the affordability of fees. In that case, please indicate on the application form that you are yet to raise funds and may not be able to immediately accept a position if one is offered.
for International Interns
Over 70% percent of all past interns have come to Attunga from outside Australia. We consistently see the extra benefits of cross-cultural ministry training and warmly welcome applicants from other countries.
International interns also need to budget $600 to $800 for :
* Australian visa application fees (typically in the AUD $200 to $300 range).
* travel and emergency medical insurance (typically under AUD $400 to $500 to cover your trip and stay in Australia).
The Internship Fees per semester (paid up front) is $2,950 Australian Dollars.
Click here to calculate that in your currency.
Australian working holiday Visas
Since the Internship is a few months, international applicants here for only one semester may come to Australia for the internship on a Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417) if they are from Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan or the United Kingdom.
Applicants from the USA may come to Australia on a Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) and do an internship semester provided they are over 18 at the time of application.
This visa allows interns to remain in Australia for up to 12 months from the date of first entry so it is possible to travel throughout Australia and to work as needed after the internship.
For residents of New Zealand, a suitable visa is readily available.
Our own Special Programs Visa
Applicants with passports from countries other than those listed above may still apply and come to Attunga easily. We have been granted Special Programs Visa status by the Australian government for our Internship program, so we can approve a Special Programs visa as needed for applicants from other countries if needed. Cost is similar to the other visa's above.
Taste of Australia
As an intern you'll also be part of the Taste of Australia tour in your semester so you'll get to see and experience all the best tourist spots and breathtaking scenery in this part of Australia. Many young people travel across the world each year just to spend 11 days with us on a Taste of Australia tour so this will be a great experience and especially meaningful for international interns.
Total Cost Example in US dollars
As an example, here are the various costs totalled in Australian dollars, then converted to US dollars at the end
* $2,950 internship fees
* $695 Taste of Australia contribution
* $150 Sponsorship fund contribution
* $200 Australian Visa (could be another $100 or more depending on specifics)
* $400 Travel and Emergency medical insurance (could be up to $200 more or less depending on your insurer and what coverage you choose)
The total amount in Australian dollars would be around 4,000 Australian Dollars, which is roughly USD $2,900 (US Dollars), plus your return air fare to Sydney Australia, plus a little spending money for personal items, souvenirs, etc.
Click here for latest current exchange rates from US and other currencies
The Internship cost is ALL INCLUSIVE so basically you just need to get here and we'll pick you up and return you to the airport, covering pretty much all typical costs in between like food, accommodation, transport, course fees, entry fees, etc.
Never the same
If you're considering applying for an Attunga internship please start by praying seriously and consistently about it (and invite your parents and a church leader to pray along with you).
" Pray, pray and pray some more "
In may ways it will be one of the hardest things you'll do in your life but if you give it everything, it will be that time you look back on as the most formative and significant in shaping who you are (not just what you end up doing) in the years ahead.
It's always easy to put on a mask and a smile but often not so easy to open up and deal with things that are needed. When you're ready our mentors will journey with you and the sensitive stuff will be handled with dignity and respect.
It's taking a step to say "God, everything for you....teach me...mould me...break me a little if you need to, but don't leave me the same as when I started"
For some of you that's mostly about your past, dealing once and for all with brokenness that's a result of your decisions or someone else's that have affected you, often in ways you may not fully understand but you know something's not right.
For others it's about going deeper with God, getting past any lukewarmness and apathy and holding nothing back.
For others it's about practical skills, training and an amazing adventure making deep, new friendships with others from all over the world who will stay in your life (and you in theirs) no matter what.