Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.
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Australian National University
Exchange Student at the University of Freiburg, Germany
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Laws
I've always loved the outdoors and nice scenery but I hadn't thought about working in an environment-related field until I undertook a university exchange in Germany in 2005. The town I lived in was very environmentally conscious and I became more aware of environmental issues as a result. When I returned, I did an environmental law course which furthered my interest in this area. I also became interested in family law, and wasn't sure which pathway to pursue. Fortunately, in 2006 I participated in Greensteps, an environmental consultancy training program run by Monash University, which helped me to decide. The course involved a placement at the then Department of Environment and Heritage. From this experience I gained a favourable view of working in the Department - it has a very friendly culture and undertakes interesting, meaningful work - and this led me to apply for the 2008 Graduate Program.
The International Section coordinates the Department's international relations and engagement. My main role was to assist with preparations for the 16th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development which met in New York in May 2008. This involved work such as producing a series of fact sheets outlining sustainable development projects the Australian Government is involved in for distribution at the meeting, and other tasks such as drafting Australia's opening statement for the meeting. I was also involved with compiling briefing for bilateral meetings with Indonesia and other section work such as writing ministerial briefs and correspondence.
The Genetic Resources Management Policy section regulates access to biological resources found on Commonwealth land, and, where necessary, establishes benefit-sharing arrangements with the researchers accessing them. The section also works to develop an internationally and nationally consistent approach to access and benefit-sharing, and to promote Australia as a biodiscovery destination. During this rotation I learnt a great deal about fascinating research that I was previously unaware of, for example, anti-cancer drug discovery from microbes in sponges in the deep sea. My main project was to compile profiles of biodiscovery researchers and research occurring in Australia, based on a series of interviews. I was also involved in the day-to-day work of the section such as assessing permit applications, developing the section's Communications Strategy, and secretariat work for a Biodiscovery Working Group meeting (involving State and Federal Governments) in Darwin in late August.
The Irrigation Delivery Systems section seeks to improve the efficiency of irrigation systems in getting water from the river to the farm (the delivery system). In line with this objective, the section administers two programs which assist irrigation water providers: one enables them to asses the nature, location and extent of water losses in their irrigation infrastructure, and the other assists them to plan for its modernisation.
My role is to establish and manage contracts under these programs for an irrigation scheme in the Murray Darling Basin. There is also the opportunity to attend seminars each week to learn more about water issues, for example, the water market and the effective management of wetlands to protect ecosystems. Other section work I am assisting with includes research projects, ministerials and organising contract management training for the team.
'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'