Publications archive

Kate D

Kate D

Home State

Australian Capital Territory


Australian National University


Bachelor of Science - Majoring in Environmental Science
Bachelor of Arts - Majoring in Arabic Language


The day that I discovered the term 'environmental scientist' I realised that my dream of becoming a Planeteer and working with Captain Planet hadn't just been a childhood fancy (for the most part..). It was true, these wonderful people whose passion for sound environmental stewardship did exist, and from that moment onwards I knew I wanted to be one of them.

My interest in environmental science was furthered by my attendance at the National Youth Science Forum and London International Youth Science Forum during my final year of high school in 2004. These forums taught me that science is not all about sitting behind test tubes in a lab, rather that scientists are keenly involved in management and policy development all over the world. I learned that Planeteers are also the people sitting behind desks, developing policies and programs and negotiating with national, state and local governments to get the best outcomes for the major environmental challenges facing Australia and the world today. I joined DEWHA because it offers me the opportunity to do just that.



First Placement

NSW Regional Section - Irrigation Efficiency Northern Branch - Water Efficiency Division

The NSW Regional Section has responsibility for NSW election commitments including Nyngan, Lithgow and Oberon, as well as the department's policy and program interests in Menindee Lakes. They are also responsible for the roll-out of the Irrigation Modernisation Planning Assistance program that works towards modernising the infrastructure of irrigation water providers to provide water efficiency gains.

My role involved

Second Placement

Queensland Section - Environment Assessment Branch 2 - Approvals and Wildlife Division

The Section undertakes environment assessments for proposed works in the state of Queensland. It assesses proposed actions for their potential significant impact on matters of national environmental significance, as mandated by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

My role involved:

Third Placement

Fuel and Used Oil Policy Section - Environment Standards Branch - Environment Quality Division

This Section is responsible for administering the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 and coordinating the department's input into the Energy Green Paper process. It is also responsible for the development of new and emerging fuel policies to meet the Government's multiple transport energy related objectives.

My work involved the development of a new policy proposal to ensure the sustainability of the emerging bioenergy industry. This involved extensive research into the sustainability issues surrounding bioenergy and consultation with several government departments.

Final Placement

Water Recovery Policy Section - Water Recovery Branch - Water Efficiency Division

The section is responsible for the conveyancing procedures, communications and reporting for the Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin program. It liaises with the National Water Commission and Murray-Darling Basin Authority about water markets and other issues. The Section also drives purchase policy and strategies.

My role will involve:

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