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Melbourne, Victoria


University of Melbourne


Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Diploma in Political Science


Camping trips with my family from a young age instilled me with a passion for the environment. After much angst I decided upon a Bachelor of Science under a National Undergraduate Scholarship at the University of Melbourne. I majored in zoology/marine biology and genetics. During my time at university I used the lengthy uni holidays to travel to Central America and South East Asia, where, as part of my travels, I volunteered at a number of conservation projects. I completed my Honours year in conjunction with Museum Victoria, examining the evolutionary development of limb length in agamid lizards. This project allowed me to undertake field work, a variety of different lab work techniques and animal husbandry.

After my Honours year I worked as a Project Leader for International Student Volunteers where I lived with North American university student volunteers in Tasmania and was responsible for the development and education components of the program and liased with Conservation Volunteers Australia. I then worked as a research assistant at Museum Victoria.

I decided to apply for the Graduate Program at DEWHA because I wanted to have a positive impact on Australia's environment and because I believe it to be an excellent opportunity to determine whether I enjoy working in the public service and where my skills are most useful.


First Placement

Ports and Marine Section, Approvals and Wildlife Division

The Ports and Marine Section is responsible for assessing actions that relate to ports and oil and gas activities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act). It is also responsible for administering the Sea Dumping Act which fulfils Australia's international obligations under the London Protocol.

In this rotation I:

Second Placement

Conservation Policy Section, Australian Government Land and Coasts

I worked in the Native Vegetation Framework (NVF) team within the section. The NVF is a whole of government document and therefore involved significant collaboration, negotiation and cooperation between the Australian Government and the state and territory governments. The NVF team performed secretariat duties to the NVF Task Group which consisted of state and territory government representatives.

In this rotation I was responsible for establishing the NVF Inter Departmental Committee (IDC) and coordinating DEWHA and the IDC's comments on the draft NVF. I was involved with the highly collaborative work of drafting the NVF and took the lead in drafting vegetation targets to put to the Task Group. I also gained experience performing secretariat duties such as writing minutes, agendas and correspondence to Task Group members. The rotation also offered broader public service skills experience such as drafting Question Time Briefs and Ministerials.

Third Placement

Water Smart Australia, Water Governance Division

In this rotation I gained skills in project management as I was responsible for managing six projects in rural NSW. This rotation offered the opportunity for travel and I was able to meet with project managers and committees 'on the ground' and see the funding at work. I was also responsible for commencing development of an evaluation strategy for the Water Smart program as a whole. A highlight was my involvement in the Department's successful property purchase of an area with important wetland conservation values.

Final Placement

Ports and Marine Section, Approvals and Wildlife Division

I am happy to have secured a final placement in the Ports and Marine section where I hope to build on the skills and knowledge gained in my first rotation and throughout the grad year.

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