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University of Queensland


BE (Manufacturing & Materials) / BA (Japanese Language & Culture)


I started my career as a graduate engineer working in the manufacturing sector and soon found myself travelling extensively throughout Asia and other parts of the world in engineering and technical sales roles. This was followed by living in Singapore and then the United Kingdom for a few years. While my appetite for travel was fed and work was plentiful, I felt the need to develop a better and more general understanding of some of the environmental and social issues that I came across both in Australia and during my travels. I also felt that I would like to steer my career to work with some of these issues I felt passionate about.

In 2008 I applied to join the Department and, as luck would have it, was accepted into the DEWHA graduate program for 2009.

Moving into government after working in private industry has been an eye-opening experience and a steep learning curve. It has been fascinating to begin to consider why government decisions are made and how government policies and programs are developed and implemented.


First Placement

Mining Section/Environmental Assessments Branch/Approvals and Wildlife Division

This placement was a great opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of the Department and application of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, commonly known as the EPBC Act. During the placement I gained a working knowledge of the Government's environmental assessment process in relation to a number of mining project proposals. This included working closely with key stakeholders such as: state governments, organisations providing specialist scientific advice and with companies making the proposals.

Second Placement

Urban Water Policy Section/Urban Water Security Branch/Water Governance Division

This placement provided an opportunity to learn about policy work relating to implementation of the National Water Initiative (NWI) urban water agenda including urban water pricing, water restrictions and also to support the Council of Australian Government's (COAG) work in urban water issues.

During this placement I worked on the topic of water restrictions as part of COAG's urban water reform agenda. This included reviewing a consultant's report and producing Terms of Reference for a contact group. I was also involved in day to day work of the section such as writing ministerial correspondence, briefs, talking points and responding to questions on notice.

Third Placement

On Farm Irrigation Efficiency Section/Basin Communities and On Farm Branch/Water Efficiency Division

In my third placement I joined a small team responsible to implement and administer the Australian Government's On Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program in the southern Murray-Darling Basin. The program's purpose is to provide funding to upgrade on farm irrigation infrastructure and improve water use efficiency in return for transferring a portion of the resulting water savings to the environment.

Specifically I was able to learn about how the Australian Government allocates public money through its programs and become involved in developing an assessment process that would deliver the program goals.

As the first funding round of the program was announced during my placement I had the opportunity to liaise with and meet with a large number of irrigation groups and potential applicants to the program which also involved some travel in the southern Murray-Darling basin.

Final Placement

On Farm Irrigation Efficiency Section/Basin Communities and On Farm Branch/Water Efficiency Division

In my final placement I am continuing to work with the On Farm Irrigation Efficiency Section. I am now involved in evaluating applications to the program and the contracting of services to support this work.

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