New South Wales
University of Newcastle
Bachelor of Economics (Hons) / Bachelor of Business
Whilst I'd always had a strong interest in environmental issues, doing an economics degree opened my eyes to the world of environmental policy. If you want to work on the big environmental issues and contribute to policy at the national level, DEWHA is the place to be. Fortunately, previous experience working for a state owned entity gave me a good grounding in the political and bureaucratic realities of being a public servant. Whilst it can be challenging at times, the opportunities are there if you want them!
Water Markets Section, Water Governance Division
This placement was an excellent fit, having just completed a thesis on the impact of water trading. The Water Markets Section consists of a small team of highly motivated, supportive and friendly people. The Section is tasked with progressing the implementation of the National Water Initiative, through the removal of barriers to water trade and the establishment of a sound institutional and regulatory framework for water markets. Whilst super busy and dealing with highly political issues, this rotation provided me with lots of exposure to important ministerial processes and was an excellent experience. In fact, I maintain that there is an extra litre of water flowing down the Murray as a result of my time in the Water Markets Section!
Biodiversity Taskforce, Policy Coordination Division
My second placement was with the Biodiversity Taskforce. The Taskforce was primarily concerned with the development of an Australian Government biodiversity strategy and subsequent reform agenda. In this role, I was involved in discussing, designing and drafting several high-level policy documents. The work involved working closely within a small, multi-disciplinary team to research, develop and refine ideas and strategies to further the case for biodiversity policy reform. This rotation was highly enjoyable and also challenging as I had no previous knowledge of ecology or environmental science. The Taskforce members were a great bunch of people to work with.
Energy Efficiency Futures Section, Renewables & Energy Efficiency Division
My third graduate rotation was with the Energy Efficiency Futures Section. The section provides policy research, development and advice to the Division on energy efficiency opportunities. As the section is quite small, I worked closely with the team on most aspects of the work program. This included providing comment on another Department's Green Paper, reviewing the sections work plan and initiating a research consultancy investigating the energy efficiency and carbon abatement impacts of various policy measures. Once again, the people in this section were great to work with.
Renewable Energy Policy & Partnerships, Renewables & Energy Efficiency Division
My final graduate placement was with the Renewable Energy Policy & Partnerships section. The section works on a range of renewable energy policy and program issues currently encompassing Asia Pacific Partnership projects, Remote Power Program and National Wind Farm Development Guidelines. In addition, the section administers the Renewable Remote Power Generation Program which provides subsidies to encourage the installation of renewable generation in remote parts of Australia that currently rely on diesel and other fossil fuels for electricity supply. While the section is larger than my previous ones, the people are similarly great to work with.
'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'