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Victoria University
Deakin University


Bachelor of Business - Hotel Management
Master of International and Community Development


I grew up on a farm in Western Victoria. Not sure what direction to take after High School I moved to Melbourne and completed a business degree, majoring in hotel management. I believed that such a broad degree would be practical and allow me to travel. Subsequently I have worked in the hospitality industry, in many different roles, and lived, worked and travelled extensively overseas.

Whilst travelling I visited many developing nations and experienced a great diversity of culture and landscapes. I also witnessed first hand the impacts of poverty, globalisation and resource mismanagement on people and the environment. My interest in both local and global humanitarian and conservation issues led me to study international development to Masters level in Melbourne.

After completing my Masters I applied to work at the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) due to the diversity of work offered. The opportunity to work on matters related to sustainable development, cultural diversity and conservation at both a national and international level was too great to resist.

Since moving to Canberra I have found DEWHA's values and work on environmental issues and preservation of cultural and natural heritage to be a great fit that aligns my personal interests and education with an interesting career.

I would recommend the graduate program to anyone wanting to contribute to these issues at a local or global level. The program offers many unique opportunities to graduates, not least of these being the opportunity to make a difference. DEWHA is full of very committed, hard working and passionate individuals that are a pleasure to work with and learn from.


First Placement

Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (Renewables and Energy Efficiency Division)

The APP brings together seven major Asia-Pacific countries-Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea and the United States-that collectively account for more than half of the world's economy, population and energy use. These countries are cooperating in an effort to address increased energy needs and the associated issues of air pollution, energy security and climate change. My work in this rotation involved assisting the section with international and domestic committee work, project and program management, progress reporting, the preparation of briefs and correspondence appropriate to specific forums and high level international meeting preparation (including formulation of business papers), for a task force meeting in Delhi, India. Some of the projects I worked on involved the retrofitting of buildings in India to make them more energy efficient and working with Indian utilities to implement smart metering systems. This rotation gave me valuable experience liasing with project managers within the branch, task force managers within the division and across departments within the Australian Government as well as private industry and international delegates. It also gave me an opportunity to work closely with international colleagues in the secretariat in Korea leading up to the international meeting in Delhi.

Second Placement

Victoria/Tasmania Section, Environment Assessment Branch, Approvals and Wildlife Division

The Vic/Tas Section assesses development proposals under the Environment Protection and Conservation Act (EPBC Act) to protect matters of national environmental significance (NES) such as nationally threatened species and ecological communites, wetlands of international importance and world and natural heritage areas. The Vic/Tas section has recently worked on a variety of high profile and controversial projects including the Victorian Desalination Plant, the Sugarloaf Pipeline, the Tarkine Road and the Lauderdale Quays development, some of which I assisted in. My work in this rotation included assessing referral project documentation and recommending the likely impact on matters of NES, liaising with proponents and other stakeholders, consolidating advice from different sections of the department and preparing administrative law requirements such as Freedom of Information and Statement of Reasons documentation. I also reviewed the impact of wind farm projects on EPBC listed species and organised meetings across the department to discuss these issues. This rotation has been invaluable in introducing me to the department's central piece of environmental legislation and in understanding the challenges of sustainable development, especially in regard to environmental and conservation issues.

Third Placement

Maritime Heritage Section, Historic Heritage Branch, Heritage Division

The Maritime Heritage Section administers the Historic Shipwreck Act (HS Act), which protects Australia's shipwrecks and their associated relics that are older than 75 years and applies to Australian waters that extend from the low tide mark to the end of the continental shelf. The HS Act is delivered through the Historic Shipwreck Program the objective of which is to research, explore, document and protect Australia's historic shipwreck heritage. Besides emotional/family associations, historical, academic and community interest shipwrecks are also of financial benefit to Australia's dive tourism industry and associated shipwreck relics are attractions in many museums and keeping places. Without the continuing administration of the HS Act and day to day management the potential for rapid loss of our underwater cultural heritage is significant. My work in this rotation included working with the Compliance Support Unit to authorise and appoint Historic Shipwreck Inspectors around Australia, liaising with State and Territory delegates, assisting in the development and promotion of a shipwreck photography competition, creating a survey for divers and exploring tourism opportunites for diving on historic shipwrecks. My major policy work within the section was analysis of public submissions for the review of the HS Act, assessing what legislative changes are required to meet current heritage management practices and the analysis of what issues would arise if Australia was to ratify the UNESCO 2001 Convention for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage. This rotation was a unique opportunity to contribute to the preservation of Australia's historic shipwrecks and a fascinating insight into the world of maritime archaeology. It has also reinforced the importance of educating and encouraging the public, including divers such as myself, to participate in the monitoring and protection of shipwrecks and the community ownership of local shipwreck resources.

Final Placement

Victoria/Tasmania Section, Environment Assessment Branch, Approvals and Wildlife Division

At the end of the graduate year I returned to the Victoria/Tasmania Environment Assesment team. I am enjoying contributing to sustainable development and environmental outcomes in my home state of Victoria and the challenges involved in protecting Australia's matters of NES.  I look forward to contributing to the work of the department in the future.

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