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New South Wales
University of Technology, Sydney
Manchester Metropolitan University
University of Sydney
Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology
Graduate Certificate in Legal Practice
Master of Laws
I grew up in Sydney and developed a passion for environmental issues during my high school years. I went straight into university and studied law and science, majoring in environmental biology. During my undergraduate degree I had the chance to study in the UK, where I gained an appreciation of how international law works in the global context, and subsequently majored in international law in my law degree.
After being admitted as a practicing solicitor in New South Wales I worked in a commercial law firm, before returning to university to gain a deeper understanding of the international environmental regime. Completing a Master of Laws gave me the opportunity to focus my studies on areas I am passionate about, including World Heritage and Antarctic Law. I've always felt that Governments are the only body capable of achieving significant environmental reform, so I applied for the DEWHA graduate program to be part of that process.
The water legislation section is responsible for administering and implementing the Water Act 2007. The team's work includes developing answers to policy questions surrounding implementation of the Act, coordinating and overseeing development of Regulations and providing internal and external stakeholders with advice on provisions of the Act.
In my rotation I conducted legal research into issues relating to the implementation of the Water Act, which included liaison with Commonwealth and State agencies. I also managed the Department's legal services contracts with the Australian Government Solicitor, and assisted in the section's general work including drafting of briefs and ministerial correspondence.
During my rotation the section became part of the Murray-Darling Basin Taskforce which was established to implement elements of the Memorandum of Understanding agreed by COAG on 26 March 2008 and develop an Intergovernmental Agreement. I assisted in Secretariat functions to the Murray-Darling Basin Steering Committee, which comprised of representatives from all Basin States.
The Heritage Policy Section is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic policy directions. Australia was elected to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for a four year term in 2008, and the International Team in the Section manages the planning and preparation for the Committee meetings, develops policy positions on World Heritage issues, and works on building World Heritage capacity in the Pacific.
During my rotation I assisted in the preparations for the 32nd meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Quebec City. This included conducting research into World Heritage issues, and writing briefs on the decisions of the World Heritage Committee (including sites nominated for inclusion on the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger) for use by the Australian Delegation. I also assisted in the broader work of the section, including drafting of an Australian Heritage Council paper on the heritage economics work of the Division, and Ministerial correspondence on the Australian World Heritage tentative list process.
The Antarctic Territories, Environment and Policy Section provides policy and legal support to government on national and international obligations, including Antarctic Treaty matters and administration of Australian Antarctic and subantarctic territories.
I worked with the CCAMLR Team, which is responsible for developing and implementing policy to protect and conserve Antarctic marine living resources through the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.
As the annual CCAMLR meeting fell during my rotation, my main project was to assist in the preparation of the Australian delegation brief, which included liaising with other government agencies including AFMA, DAFF, and DFAT. I attended the CCAMLR meeting as a member of the Australian delegation, and contributed to post meeting activities, such as writing the meeting report.
My final placement is with the same team as my second rotation in the Heritage Division. I am working on policy to achieve Australia's World Heritage Committee objectives, as well as coordinating the Heritage Division input to the independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'