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La Trobe University
Bachelor of Archaeology (hons)
The path that brought me to the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts was a lot less deliberate than many people, with my life taking many twists and turns since completing my year 12 in Melbourne in 1999. After years in the (metaphoric) wilderness, I learnt that I could actually fulfil my childhood dream of being Indiana Jones by studying a Bachelor of Archaeology. This love for playing in the dirt evolved into an interest in human evolution-with my sub-thesis dealing with the evolutionary implications of right-handedness-and subsequently an interest in Australian Indigenous archaeology. I worked on pre-historical, classical and historical excavations/projects in Victoria, South Australia and Israel before deciding that I wanted to make a difference in the field of heritage on a broader level and applying for the DEWHA graduate program in 2007. Whilst I initially applied for the Department with the intention of dealing with indigenous heritage matters, I've found that the many opportunities the department presents are varied and incredibly interesting. I am certainly willing to tackle any opportunity that presents itself, both within and outside of my comfort zone.
My first rotation saw me submerged in very unfamiliar territory - dealing with investments in regional irrigation systems and progressing the Australian Government's election promise of up to $140 million towards modernising irrigation in Tasmania. I had a wonderful introduction to the politics of stakeholder engagement and had the opportunity to work with ministerials and briefs. Working in this section was very rewarding, due largely to the opportunity to learn new things and the topical nature of the work.
Craving an opportunity to apply the skills I gained during my studies to the work of the Department, I packed my bags I spent my second rotation in the Natural and Cultural Programs section of Kakadu National Park. During this rotation I was required to produce a scope for the development of a new cultural information management system in the Park. This involved liaising with archaeological consultants, traditional owners, technical specialists and the wider community at a national indigenous information management workshop, hosted by DEWHA in Cairns. In addition to this work, I produced a database for Board of Management decisions and spent a lot of time out in the Park at many of the rock art sites. Working and living in Kakadu was an excellent opportunity to see the work of the Department at ground level and see how government policy affects the community.
Waltzing into the complete unknown, I put my hand up to spend my final rotation in Remuneration and Conditions, working on the development of the Department's new Collective Agreement (the guidelines that set out the working conditions and remuneration for DEWHA employees, including Parks Australia and the Australian Antarctic Division). Not surprisingly, this rotation has exposed me to many different areas within the Department and the Australian Public Service as a whole. I anticipate the rest of my time spent in the People Management Branch will allow me to develop skills that are paramount to a successful career in the Australian Public Service.
I've stayed on in the Collective Agreement Team within the People Management Branch in order to see out the development of the new Collective Agreement. The exposure to the whole of the Department, the opportunity to work directly with senior management and the skills I have developed in the People Management Branch were more than enough to convince me to stay on in my final rotation.
'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'