Anna - 2010 Graduate Program

Anna
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Background

Home State: Victoria
Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Sociology)
Bachelor of Letters (History)
Master of Public History

Before joining the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) as a graduate I studied at Monash University for a number of years. I have prior work experience in the aged care industry, finance and retail. I also volunteered at the National Vietnam Veterans Museum on Phillip Island when completing my Masters.

Placements

First Placement: Smart Grid Initiative, Renewables and Energy Efficiency Division

In my first rotation I was working in the section responsible for administering the Smart Grid, Smart City program. When I joined the team they were in the early stages of the assessment process to select the best applicant to deliver the $100 million project. Toward the end of my rotation the successful applicant had been identified and contract negotiations were beginning.

I worked on application assessments, procurement for legal council, negotiations to set up a panel of experts and risk management. I also assisted with briefings, correspondence and other administrative tasks.

Second Placement: Collections Development, Culture Division

In my second rotation I worked on policy and governance issues relating to the collections sector in Australia. The Collections Development team were responsible for various tasks including supporting the National Museum of Australia and the Australian National Maritime Museum, administering the Return of Indigenous Cultural Property program, and addressing policy issues surrounding national collecting institutions and industry peak bodies. The team were incredibly supportive and I learnt a great deal during the placement.

One of my key tasks when working in this section was to assist with the development of a survey of national collecting organisations to determine the future role of the Commonwealth in assisting the collections sector. I worked on a variety of other tasks including assessing progress reports, contract management, briefings on the Collections Sector Working Group, and analysing reviews of the Return of Indigenous Cultural Property program.

Third Placement: Environmental Water Policy, Water Governance Division

In my third rotation I worked in the team that addresses policy issues related to environmental water. This team is located in the Environmental Water Branch which supports the work of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder to deliver water for environmental benefits.

I worked on three key tasks during this rotation:

  1. assisting with preparations for the development of an Environmental Asset Database;
  2. reviewing the process used to prioritise potential watering sites; and
  3. drafting the Outcomes Report which details the results of Commonwealth environmental watering events in 2009-10.

The work in this branch is extremely interesting and the people were very supportive and friendly.

Final Placement: Water Smart Australia, Water Governance Division

My final placement is as a program officer in the Water Smart Australia team. Water Smart Australia is a $1.6 billion program and is part of the Water for the Future initiative. The Water Smart Australia program is coming to an end during 2011, after which our team will become involved in storm water reuse projects. I manage eight projects which involve communicating with stakeholders, managing financial contracts, assessing milestone reports, organising payments, and other project management tasks. I will also assist with the closure of the program and the subsequent program evaluation and dissemination of lessons learnt.

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