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University of Ballarat


Bachelor of Education (Honours)


I spent my primary and high school years in a small rural town called Horsham in Victoria. When I had completed year 12, I deferred my studies for one year in order to support the costs of attending university. I chose teaching because it was a 'safe option'. I felt I would be suited to the course work and I liked the idea of a reliable income and job security. However, early on in my studies, I realised that teaching was not where I saw myself after finishing my degree; it would not broaden my level of knowledge or extend my abilities in the areas for which I had an interest. During my Honours year, I became interested in the nature of Government and in particular the role of the public service at a federal level. So, I decided to apply for as many graduate positions as possible. I felt my chances of success for the DEWHA graduate program would be low. Other than my general interest in some environmental issues - namely water and sustainability - my entire work experience involved working full time at a petrol station throughout my tertiary studies and as a farmhand. I had not travelled extensively and I was not specialised in any scientific area. Obviously, my doubts were clearly unfounded! When I was accepted into the DEWHA graduate program, I felt it was important that I 'have a go' rather than going for 'safer' options in other departments. I have not regretted my choice. DEWHA recognises and values diversity in all areas of the department and it is a pleasure to be working here.


First Placement

Water Efficiency Opportunities and Green Precincts, Urban Water Security, Water Governance

The Water Group advises on, develops and secures the integrated implementation of policies, programmes and legislation for the conservation and sustainable use of water resources. The Green Precincts Fund supports large demonstration water and energy efficiency projects combined with an education and community engagement process. Water Efficiency Opportunities is aimed at encouraging industry and business to become more efficient in the use of water. During this rotation, I was able to work on a range of interesting and challenging tasks. I was able to gain an understanding of specific aspects of program development including research, stakeholder engagement and making program recommendations to the Minister. I was also exposed to the processes involved in funding rounds including evaluating applications and adhering to the probity requirements of government. This rotation also gave me invaluable experiences in tasks relevant to all areas of the department including writing ministerial briefs and correspondences. I also worked on a speech which was to be presented by the Minister at a public event.

Second Placement

Environmental Quality Division, Environment Standards Branch, Sustainability Education and Environment Councils Section

This rotation involved coordinating the reports for all Commonwealth agencies who triggered National Environment Protection Measures (NEPMs) related to: ambient air quality; ambient marine, estuarine and fresh water quality; site contamination; hazardous wastes; the re-use and recycling of used materials; and motor vehicle noise and emissions. I also worked with the National Council on Education for Sustainability (a non-statutory body) to provide advice to the Minister on the needs and priorities of education for sustainability activities and issues in Australia.

Third Placement

Policy Coordination Division, Strategic Advice Branch, Economic and Strategic Policy Section

In this rotation I worked on coordinating the department's input into Australia's Fifth National Communication on Climate Change: A Report under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. I also worked with two other splendid graduates on Climate Change Adaptation policy. Finally, I was fortunate to be involved in the Corporate Review, currently being undertaken within the department.

I am now permanently located in this Section.

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