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The University of Queensland
Bachelor of Science (Chemistry and Ecology)
Bachelor of Law (Honours)
I'm nuts about being outside. I was fortunate to have an outdoor childhood first in New Zealand then in the beautiful south-east Queensland. I'm a bit of a risk-taker so when it came time to go to uni I left the big decisions to a coin toss. Up came Science/Law and off I went to UQ. Through my undergraduate years I was fortunate enough to be exposed to everything from dissecting my first cadaver in the anatomy labs, visiting an explosives plant in Newcastle, studying human rights and sustainable development law at the University of British Columbia to watching a roo-shooter gut and skin a roo in the outback.
I'm a self-confessed legislation nerd but can't contemplate doing just law: the rest of life is far too exciting! Working at DEWHA lets me work with legislation and policy on real issues and problems. I'm glad I tossed that 20 cent piece: it has thrown some really juicy challenges my way.
I worked on component failure in air conditioning systems with a view to providing advice on the amendment of manufacture standards. I was able to check out the inner workings of an air conditioner, develop, draft and release an industry survey in order to assess component failure, work with the ABS on survey design, met some passionate "fridgies" through an industry consultation road show and draft the supporting documents for some minor regulation amendments.
With the support of the team I have also attended Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing and Risk Management training days.
For my second rotation I was fortunate enough to work at the Australian Antarctic Division. My primary responsibility was drafting the Mawson Station Heritage Management Plan. Working on heritage at the AAD provided a great opportunity to take the lead on an interesting and challenging issue. Antarctic heritage sits in a complex legal framework at a national and international level. Mawson station is also a working station and needs to be managed to ensure the safety and productivity of expeditioners. Threaded through these frameworks, limitations and sometimes conflicting considerations sits the management plan that aims to protect an important part of Australia's heritage.
I was also able to participate more generally in regular training activities including a crisis response simulation and expeditioner training. Probably the most exciting extra was a tour of the Aurora Australis.
With the support of my supervisor, I also attended Antarctic science seminars and training days on stakeholder engagement methods and sustainability education.
My final placement was in the Forest Policy Section. I am working on a research and analysis project which will enable the team and to develop possible strategic directions for Australia's forest policy. My role also involves updating the section's website and responding to briefs and ministerials.
At the end of the graduate year I returned to the Ozone and Synthetic Gas team. I now work in the international and policy development sub-team. My work is divided between working on Australia's Montreal Protocol meeting commitments and developing domestic policy to implement our obligations. I thoroughly enjoy the mixture of work passed my way. I look forward to further contributing to the work of the department in this area.
'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'