Dee - 2010 Graduate Program

Dee

Background

Home State: New South Wales
University: University of Sydney, Flinders University
Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies, Government and International Relations)
Bachelor of Environmental Management (Environmental Studies, Geography)

I suffer from a disease that involves being interested in too many things, as they all seem to relate in some way to each other. This has shaped my life, and led me to have been involved in a range of different things from radio broadcasting, researching agricultural agreements, to selling second hand Danish furniture. I felt satisfied when I found out that there was an actually a collective name for all my interests called 'environmental management.' The graduate program seemed a good step following formal studies as it helps develop a stronger understanding of how government policies and programs that lead to large scale changes are developed and delivered.

Placements

First rotation: Indigenous Broadcasting and Content Section, Culture Division

Having previously worked on an Indigenous Community Radio Project, and in other community broadcasting this area seemed like the perfect place to begin wading into the broad pool of the department. Shortly after commencing, as part of the 2010-11 Budget the Government announced a review into its investment in the Indigenous broadcasting and media sector. I worked on a discussion paper that informed the terms of reference for the review, and researched the contribution of Indigenous broadcasting to positive outcomes for social and emotional wellbeing. Other work in the section included processing and assessing funding applications for the Indigenous broadcasting program.

Second rotation: Environment Research and Information Network (ERIN) Landscape Analysis and Ecology Section, Environment Research and Information Branch, Information Management Division

After previously spending countless hours manipulating pixels and teasing my brain over Geographic Information Systems, I thought I should have a better look at what happens in ERIN, the spatial warehouse of the department. Similarly, this was an interesting time to land in a section as ERIN was eagerly awaiting their merge into the Information Management Division, and implementation of recommendations from a number of relevant reviews undertaken by the Department. I developed a project plan for the integration of place based conservation datasets managed by ERIN for different divisions, and used by a range of stakeholders.

Third rotation: Natural and Cultural Programs Section, Kakadu National Park, Parks Australia Divison

For my last rotation I was greatly privileged to work within the Natural and Cultural Programs Section in Kakadu National Park. My main project involved engaging with all staff and regional stakeholders to develop a waste management policy and strategy for the Park. This process was very satisfying, as it improved my understanding of the scale of issues facing managers of parks and protected areas.

Final rotation: Chemical Partnerships Section, Environmental Protection Branch, Environmental Quality Division

I successfully landed in the area of the department concerned with waste management and chemical regulation. The Chemical Partnerships Section has responsibility for international and domestic issues related to the environmental aspects of heavy metals (such as mercury, lead and cadmium), particularly current international developments regarding mercury through the United Nations Environment Programme. Negotiations commenced last year on a new international treaty to manage mercury as a global issue. As a member of the Chemical Partnerships Section, I am part of a small project team managing Australia's participation in the negotiations, and have discovered that addressing mercury across its full lifecycle (from its production, its intentional use and unintentional emissions to end-of-life considerations such as waste and long term storage) is a challenging, stimulating and diverse issue.

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