New South Wales
Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws
I was brought up in Sydney but always had an appreciation for the Australian landscape beyond the big smoke. Being a keen horse rider I spent a lot of time outdoors and most weekends involved traversing the country side with my mum and horse in tow to local and rural competitions.
I became interested in the environment while at uni after I began volunteering with green groups. As part of my legal studies I took various environmental law and public interest law courses and became interested in how resources are managed and allocated. I also became involved at the Centre for Environmental Law as a research assistant.
My volunteer activities with the green movement led to part time work while I finished uni. I began working for an environmental consultant and became involved with the campaigns and activities of various environment groups. I felt that I wanted to be involved in work that recognised the environment as an integral concern to all aspects of business.
After uni I worked at the Environmental Defenders Office, a not-for-profit community legal centre specialising in public interest environmental law. I worked in both the legal and policy areas for 5 months before embarking on a 3 month backpacking caper around Europe prior to commencing work at the Department.
Having grown up in Sydney, the congested urban landscape was starting to lose its appeal and after finishing uni I was looking to move interstate for work. The experience I gained from work and study, and my interest in public and environmental advocacy, led me to pursue a role with the Department.
Fuel and Used Oil Policy Section, Environment Quality Division
This section is responsible for developing and implementing fuel quality standards under the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000. This responsibility includes among other things, close liaison with the fuels industry, academia and other Government agencies to develop and set policy on fuel standards, and managing issues which arise in relation to current fuel standards including petrol, automotive diesel, biodiesel and autogas.
My role within the team was to progress the development of the Transport Energy Road Map. This project was to support the development of alternative transport fuel policy by the Department of Energy, Tourism and Resources.
During my rotation I had the opportunity to:
- contribute to the development of emerging fuel policies, involving the provision of research and technical advice to the Fuel Policy team, to inform the Australian Government's transport energy related objectives,
- play a leading role as a member of the Intradepartmental Biofuels Group, involving the performance of Secretariat duties for the development and distribution of meeting papers, post liaison, and feedback to the Fuel Policy team,
- prepare an assessment of the feasibility for the development and expansion of alternate transport fuels in Australia, and an analysis of established and future requirements for regulation and policy for developing sustainability criteria for biofuels.
Antarctic Territories, Environment and Treaty Section, Australian Antarctic Division
I was very fortunate to be sent to the AAD in Tasmania for my second rotation. Australia's Antarctic environmental policies and practices are underpinned by a complex framework of legislative and administrative requirements, principally led by programs conducted by the AAD.
My responsibilities at the Antarctic Territories, Environment and Treaty Section included:
- progressing the domestic implementation of a number of internally agreed measures to the key environment treaty instruments for the Antarctic,
- commencing the domestic implementation process for amendments to legislation to reflect internationally agreed amendments to the Annex for conservation of Antarctic fauna and flora,
- contributing to the design, development, and evaluation of the strategic policy settings on World Heritage listing of Antarctica, and future policy objectives relating to the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals.
Through this work I gained experience in the legal obligations and policy procedures for drafting legislative instruments, and broadened my internal and external network of working relationships.
Compliance Section, Approvals and Wildlife Division
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Compliance Sections are responsible for compliance and enforcement matters relating to matters of national environmental significance. The framework for protection under the Act includes a broad range of enforcement mechanisms for managing suspected or identified instances of non-compliance and for reviewing the compliance of referred projects.
My rotation was in Compliance Section 2 which deals with matters arising in New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory, and External Territories. My responsibilities involved:
- preparing written correspondence and referral advice to external stakeholders advising of the operation and obligations under the Act,
- contributing towards strategic projects, involving a comparative legislative analysis of State environmental compliance tools against Commonwealth tools under the Act.
This rotation provided the opportunity to represent the work area and engage directly with stakeholders. In particular I participated in site inspections to assist with investigations for potential contraventions of the Act.
Legal Section, Strategic Advice Branch, Policy Coordination Division
'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'