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Australian Capital Territory
Australian National University
Bachelor of Science (Forestry)
Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Political Science)
Heath was born in Melbourne, and was quickly indoctrinated into the football culture, being hoodwinked by some relatives into supporting the Melbourne Demons - an ongoing relationship with some ups and many downs.
The highlight of his younger years was a 13 month trip around Australia at the age of 5. Memories that remain from this epic trip include swimming with crocodiles, sleeping on dry creekbeds under the stars, flying over the Bungle Bungles, screaming at cane toads in toilet bowls, and many many more. This trip sparked his interest in all things natural and Australian.
At the age of 7, Heath moved with his family to the beautiful slopes of Canberra. This gave him a 16 year head start on the other grads at acclimatising (Heath is often overheard proclaiming the delightfulness of each of Canberra's seasons, particularly winter).
The other advantage of living in Canberra was the easy access to nature parks, reserves and national parks, where Heath did plenty of bike riding, bushwalking and exploring (only occasionally getting lost). He also dabbled in canoeing throughout his teenage years, spending a week each summer canoeing along either the Murray or Murrumbidgee rivers.
After finishing school, Heath decided to study forestry at uni, with some political science on the side. Forestry gave Heath the opportunity to further explore his interest in the environment, through countless practicals and field trips. It also gave him the opportunity for summer work experience, which involved fighting Tasmania's biggest bushfires in 40 years. The story of a flaming branch falling on Heath's head gets more dramatic with every retelling.
At the age of 20 Heath was invited to go on a short bushwalk with his father and grandfather through some small hills in Papua New Guinea. Only when arrived at the starting point did Heath realise he was actually going to be slipping and sliding along the Kokoda Trail. This was an excellent experience that taught Heath all about perseverance and why he never wanted to eat two-minute noodles again.
Nearing the completion of his time at university, Heath sought and was fortunate enough to gain a spot in the DEWHA Graduate Programme. Thus his story continues
For his first rotation, Heath landed in the NRM Future Directions team just as the cabinet submission on the Caring for our Country program was nearing its completion. He contributed to this process, particularly by working on the budgeting for the program.
Following the approval by cabinet of the Caring for our Country program, Heath was involved in assessing projects from across both DEWHA and DAFF which had previously received funding under the NHT, and were considered critical to continue to receive funding. This involved extensive liaison with areas across both departments, and ultimately making recommendations to the executive as to which projects had the highest priority.
Heath's second rotation was in the Solar Cities team, where he was lucky enough to work on the development of the Solar Cities database. This involved frequent consultation with key stakeholders in each of the seven Solar Cities, as well as management of the consultants who were building the database. As well, Heath gained experience in the art of procurement through the database development process.
Heath also assisted in managing the Alice (Springs) Solar City. This role primarily involved being a point-of-contact for, and engaging with, the Alice Solar City consortium. It also involved clearing media releases and other communication material, auditing previous communication material, and preparing documents for the annual review.
Heath's third rotation is in the Ports & Marine team, where his main role is supporting Australia's participation in the Consultative Meeting of the London Protocol, by assisting develop whole-of-government positions on agenda items, preparing briefings for the Australian delegates, and addressing follow-up actions from the meeting. This role will involve research on emerging technologies such as ocean fertilisation and carbon sequestration in sub-seabed geology.
Heath will also assess referrals under both the EPBC and Sea Dumping Acts, which will involve research and liaison with industry and other stakeholders.
Heath obtained a final placement in the WA and SA Section, where he conducts environmental assessments under the EPBC Act, and helps develop policies relating to the Western Ringtail Possum and the Development Award.
Currently the majority of Heath's time is spent assessing the numerous proposals relating to the Lower Lakes, however he also manages to find time to assess such varied proposals as residential developments, windfarms, highways and fire trails, to name but a few!
'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'