Department of the Environment

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Publications archive

Disclaimer

Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Leisa

Leisa

Home State

NSW

University

Macquarie University
University of Sydney (current)

Degree/s

Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Laws
Masters of Environmental Law (current)
Diploma of Legal Practice (current)

Background

I grew up in the largely unexciting suburbs of western Sydney, with one year spent living on a small farm when my parents temporarily decided to leave the suburbs. At the age of 17 I escaped the suburbs for an exchange year in northern Germany. Inspired by this experience, I decided to combine my love of languages with a more "practical" vocation-law- at university. Two years into my degree, I spent another year on exchange in Germany, this time in the south where I studied European Union Law, German and the fine art of German beer-drinking. I also spent some time studying International Trade Law in Hamburg.

Upon finishing my degree I took some time off to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. My travels took me to Germany once again where I taught English for a year. I also spent some time travelling through Europe working on organic farms in Spain and Switzerland. Not wanting to return to Australia, I went over to the UK and was working for a legal recruitment firm with the intention of saving money to return to do my Masters in Germany.

Whilst on holiday back in Australia (Cairns) my plans to return to the UK and resume my job there changed when I witnessed first hand the bleaching of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef. From that time on I decided that I wanted to focus on the environment. I quit my travels to return to Australia to work on securing a job related to the environment. Working towards this I tutored at university, was a research assistant, as well as doing volunteer positions that were environment-related. I also began a Diploma in Legal Practice as well as a Masters in Environmental Law tempered with some time travelling in south-east Asia.

My experience as a graduate in the Department of the Environment and Water Resources has been amazing to date. I have worked behind the scenes on a variety of topical issues, some of which have been headline news. I have travelled to amazing places to witness the work of the government and best of all I have also worked with a great bunch of people, and enjoyed all the social benefits that being in a group of like-minded graduates brings.

First Placement

Hazardous Waste, Environment Protection Branch

In this rotation I was working on a variety of issues, the most notable being the application by a large chemical company that was applying to have a stockpile of its hazardous waste sent to Germany. I was involved in translating correspondence from German into English, from concerned citizens in Germany to German state governments. I was delighted to be able to use both my German and legal skills in this rotation.

I was also involved in the review and rewriting of the information papers that Hazardous Waste provides to stakeholders and the general public. I was also responsible for preparing a paper on electronic waste which was presented at an international conference in Asia.

Second Placement

Bilateral Climate Change Partnerships Team, International Climate Change Branch

Initially I was tasked with helping to prepare for a visit of delegates from South Africa as well as watching developments and writing reports on various countries such as the UK, New Zealand and the European Union in relation to climate change issues. I also researched and wrote a paper on clean coal technology which involved meeting with various industry groups and liaising with other government departments. Towards the middle of my rotation my focus shifted to China where I helped organise the sending of an Australian delegation to meet with Chinese National Government senior officials. I also was able to take over the management of two projects; one aimed at encouraging energy efficient buildings in China, and the other at promoting Australian technology to other countries.

Third Placement

Legal Section, Policy Development Branch

My work here involved reviewing a variety of contracts ranging from contracts for the Australian Antarctic Division to water contracts. This involves liaison with other areas of the Department and provided access to a broad range of people and issues which I would not normally encounter in any other section. I have also been involved in Indigenous Australian cases as well as being able to watch the various water agreements unfold. This rotation also involves going to Parliament House to watch Bills being debated and witnessing the goings-on of Parliament from behind the scenes.

Permanent Position

International Climate Change Partnerships Team, Program Officer

Assist in the development of Programs and policies related to Australia's bilateral partnership with South Africa and other partnership countries.

'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'