Department of the Environment

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Publications archive

Disclaimer

Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Melissa

Melissa

Home State

Shanxi, China

University

Northwest University, Xin, China
China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China
University of New South Wales, Sydney

Degree/s

Bachelor of Science (Petroleum Geology)
Master of Engineering (Geoscience)
Master in Commerce

Background

After having studied petroleum geology for seven years and worked in a geological research institute in China for eight years, I came to Australia as a skilled migrant with my husband and our lovely daughter. In Sydney I started a new chapter of my life in terms of both environment and my profession. It was both challenging and inspiring, and tells the best stories of my life. Our son was born in 2002. While looking after our two children, I studied English, and worked on a temporary basis in the private sector. One position, in a life insurance company, sparked my interest in commerce, and as a result, I completed a Masters degree in Commerce at the University of New South Wales in 2005. In 2006 my husband accepted a position in the ACT and our family moved to Canberra.

I joined the department in January 2007 on a non-ongoing basis to work on sea dumping permit applications and referral assessments under the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act at Ports and Marine Section, Approvals and Wildlife Division - a job I eventually won permanently in October 2007, and was accepted into the 2008 Graduate Program as an internal.

First Placement

Budget Strategy Unit, Policy Coordination Division

This placement was a great opportunity to learn about the Department's structure and responsibilities, and gain an understanding of the Australian Government budget process.

My role was to assist in developing and producing the Portfolio Budget documents, e.g. the Portfolio Budget Statements and Environment Budget Overview. I drafted part of the content for the Environment Budget Overview, proof read the Portfolio Budget Statements, and coordinated the printing and distribution. I was also involved in coordinating the Budget Finance Strategy Committee meeting (BFSC), including collating papers, distributing folders, drafting minutes and clearing them through appropriate SES officers.

Some skills I obtained through this placement were effective prioritisation and time management, attention to detail, networking, and understanding of the Australian Government Budget process.

Highlights for this placement were attending Senate Estimates in the Parliament House, and other high level meetings, e.g. meeting with the Department of Finance and Deregulation, and BFSC meeting.

Second Placement

Plurilateral and Bilateral Partnerships Section, International Division, Department of Climate Change

It was an eye opening experience to work at a newly established department on the cutting edge issue - climate change, the most complex and controversial topic of the century. Dealing with the impact of climate change involves every aspect that one can image, science, economics and social justice; responsibility sharing and global negotiations, and risks and uncertainty......

During this rotation, I reviewed and evaluated the final project reports, drafted new project appraisal reports and Ministerial submissions for approval of grants, and managed a currently delayed project and negotiated revised milestones. I also drafted the Australia-New Zealand and Australia-EU Climate Change Partnerships website update, provided support for the Australia-EU Forum on Climate Change and Energy Security, and drafted briefing requests from PM&C and Ministerial correspondences as requested.

Some skills I obtained through this placement were project management, dealing with change and uncertainty, attention to detail, and stakeholder engagement.

Highlights of this placement were enjoying various points of view on the issue of Climate Change, and sharing the excitement and frustration.

Third Placement

Strategic Budget Section, Water Governance Division

Having been on this rotation for three weeks, I have developed a working plan to "Document the processes involved in purchasing water entitlements", which is to review the water entitlement purchasing process for the Australian Government $3.1 billion investment over ten years in purchasing water entitlements under the Restoring the Balance in the Murray Darling Basin initiative.

I have also had the opportunity to become familiar with the DEWHA Financial Management Information Systems (FMIS), e.g. one day training with the Supplier Relation Management (SRM) system, and updating the staff profiles for the Water Reform Division with SAP.

Having a finance background, I expect to make best use of my knowledge, skills, and experience in this area during this rotation.....

'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'