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The University of Melbourne
Bachelor of Science
After finishing high school I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to do with myself. I had always been a science-oriented person, so I decided to enrol in a Bachelor of Science degree which allowed me to pursue a range of academic interests in human biology (anatomy and physiology), earth/environmental studies, and philosophy.
After completing my degree in 2001 I chose to pursue my interests in the field of anatomy and physiology, completing a Dip Health Science (Remedial Massage). This, coupled with a love of sport, is what brought me to Canberra when I was awarded a post-graduate scholarship in soft tissue therapy at the Australian Institute of Sport in 2003. After working at the AIS and in private practice for 4 years I decided to move into a more regular 9-5 job and took up a position as a workers compensation case manager.
I have always taken an interest in environmental issues, but aside from taking part in a few Junior Ranger programs on the beach as a child I had never really been actively involved in any environmental work. But after moving to Canberra I started to get involved in some conservation work through Greening Australia, and realised that work relating to environmental issues was what I wanted to do. I saw the graduate program with DEWHA as a unique opportunity to be able to do this and a great introduction to a career in the public service.
My first rotation was in the Web and Intranet Management Section. Thankfully it was not a technical role, but focused on information management both within the Department via the intranet, and information for the public through Departmental websites. This was an excellent first rotation as it gave me a very good overview of the structure of the Department and various projects and developments that were going on. This was a very good insight to have when considering subsequent rotation preferences. I also had the opportunity to learn about procurement processes when I was asked to put together the initial requests for contractors to do work for the department.
I began this rotation 3 weeks prior to the annual IWC meeting, and so my first few weeks were a rapid introduction to all things whaling. Given the international profile of the issue of whales and whaling, I was able to gain a good insight into inter-departmental coordination on tasks.
This rotation also gave me a range of learning experiences, including:
I chose this as my third rotation for two reasons: firstly, the subject of water and water management interests me, and secondly, I wanted to get some good program management experience. The Urban Water Security Branch manages urban water programs, including Water Smart Australia, National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns, and the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan. My role is predominantly a project management role, assisting in the management of a portfolio of projects in Western Australia that come under these programs. I have also had the opportunity to contribute to some policy development work under these programs.
'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'