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University of Sydney
Exchange student at University of Copenhagen
Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
I have always been interested in the environment and in the possibility of working for an international regulatory body such as the UN. I thought that having legal skills underscored by sound scientific knowledge would be invaluable for such a career, so I enrolled in a Combined Science/Law Degree at the University of Sydney. In my Science degree I ended up majoring in Human Geography which developed my environmental interest and took me on a 5 week field-school around South-East Asia studying development in the Asia-Pacific region. I also completed an honours year where I undertook research into the influences of enduringly patriarchal social structures, feminism's emancipation of women into the public sphere, and place-specific factors upon the fertility rate through 40 qualitative interviews with professional women living in Sydney's inner-city.
After completing my Science degree I spent a year travelling throughout Asia and Europe before returning to continue my law degree. During my legal studies I undertook an elective in Environmental Law which helped me develop the view that having a healthy, liveable environment is fundamental to our human rights and strengthened my desire to work in the environmental field. I also had the opportunity in this time to participate in a 3 week winter school in Shanghai studying Chinese Law and Legal Systems and completed my degree with a 6 month exchange studying international law at the University of Copenhagen.
On completion of my studies I spent a year working as a legal researcher for Justice Lloyd at the NSW Land and Environment Court which honed my skills in environmental law. Following this, I accepted a job with the Department of the Environment and Water Resources motivated by my belief that the serious environmental issues that Australia and the world faces are best addressed at a national level.
Approvals and Wildlife Division, Policy and Compliance Branch, Environmental Investigation Unit (EIU)
My role was within the Border Operations Team. I assisted them with the investigation and prosecution of exotic bird smugglers in implementation of Australia's obligations under the CITIES Convention. I undertook a project utilising my legal skills to redraft the Inspectors Letters and Post Inspection Reports used by the EIU to comply with the newly amended Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the address needs of all stakeholders. This placement gave me an insight into the unique and important enforcement role the Department plays in the prosecution of environmental crime.
Policy Co-ordination Division, Communications and International Branch, International Section
In this placement I was able to further my interest in working in an international arena. The International Section coordinates the Department's international relations and engagement. I had the opportunity to work on the co-ordination of Australia's response to the OECD Environmental Performance Review of Australia and in preparation of the brief for the delegation visit to the OECD in Paris. Other regular section work involved assisting with the management of Australia's bilateral relationships, writing ministerial briefs and ministerial letters and addressing cabinet submissions.
Australian Greenhouse Office, International, Land and Analysis Division, Emissions Reporting and Analysis Branch, Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Taskforce
In this placement I got the opportunity to utilise my legal training. The Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Taskforce (GERT) are working on the implementation of an Emissions Reporting Scheme. I had the opportunity to witness the passage of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 through the House of Representatives and the Senate. Once this Act became law I was involved in preparing drafting instructions so that regulations could be drafted to implement the Act. I was also involved in State information and consultation sessions and the collation of stakeholder feedback on the Act and Regulations.
International Section, Communications and International Branch, Policy Coordination Division
In this position I will assist in developing Australia's position on the reform of international environmental governance through the United Nations Environment Program, as well as assisting with the domestic processes necessary to amend an international treaty. I have the responsibility of organising Minister Garrett's International Travel during the first half of 2008. Further, I assist the department in the management of bilateral engagements with a number of foreign countries.
'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'