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New South Wales
University of Technology, Sydney
Bachelor of Arts in Communications (Honours)
I grew up in Sydney's south west. I spent three years of my degree majoring in writing and cultural studies. In my Honours year I was researching fundamentalist religious movements and I wrote my Honours thesis on the emergence of an Australian 'Civil Religion'.
During my time at university I volunteered at Greenpeace; worked in a sports research and reporting office; published a short story and was paid handsomely for it; played 'Sales Assistant #2' in a student film and undertook fieldwork in a Messianic Jewish congregation - though not necessarily all at the same time.
I applied for the graduate program during my Honours year, believing that the ability to instigate real change lay within government. I chose this department because of the opportunity I could have to work in a diverse range of areas.
During this placement, my project was to examine ways of improving internal communications in the Water Group. This involved
The subsequent report that I wrote provided an analysis of major themes affecting internal communications and practical recommendations for enhancing communications to improve the linkages within the Group and across the Department. The report and its recommendations were well received by the Water Group, including its Senior Executive and was used in the 2008 Water Group planning day.
My other work in this placement included assisting in meeting my section's secretariat duties for the COAG processes. This was a fantastic opportunity to see first hand the complexity and machinations of intergovernmental interaction.
The Literature and Lending Rights section is a program area responsible for implementing much of the government's support of Australian literature including the Lending Rights Program, Books Alive and the Prime Minister's Literary Awards. In this placement I was involved in the planning and implementation of the inaugural Prime Minister's Literary Awards.
I was able to read a number of the books that had been entered into the Awards and I attended the short list event in Sydney where Minister Garrett announced the 14 short listed books of the 2008 Prime Minister's Literary Awards.
My third placement in Kakadu National Park was a great opportunity to see first hand the work of the Department in Australia's most famous and world heritage listed park. My project during this placement was to draft a report prioritising the Park's management of 145 historic cultural sites.
In addition to this I was also involved in crocodile surveys in the Wildman River and recording oral history at historic sites.
The Budget Strategy Unit is responsible for managing the development of new policy proposals and budget policy. This includes negotiating with the Department of Finance and Deregulation in agreeing costing of proposals and responsibility for the compilation of the annual external budget documents, including the Portfolio Budget Statements.
The section deals with many interesting issues and is the ideal place to develop a sound knowledge of cross-portfolio issues in the budget context.
'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'