Elizabeth - 2010 Graduate Program

Elizabeth

Background

University: University of Sydney
Qualifications: PhD (in progress), Art History and Film Studies
Flinders University of South Australia - Masters of Arts (by research), Screen Studies
Flinders University of South Australia - Bachelor of Arts (First class Hons), included study at the University of California, Berkeley
University of South Australia - Diploma in Arts (Aboriginal Community Administration)

I was initially drawn to the department for the possibilities of working in the arts sector but after closer inspection the appeal was in the opportunities to explore a number of different working areas.

In the last few years the main positions I held were largely academic work. I lectured, tutored (both online and face-to-face) and coordinated courses in a range of undergraduate topics in communications and media. Some of my other experiences included working as an artist's assistant, library assistant and an internship at the Pacific Film Archive at the Berkeley Art Museum.

I have found that I enjoy exploring new ideas and communicating them in an engaging way. The Graduate program provided a particularly dynamic platform to continue to do this.

Placements

First Placement: Compliance Section, Approvals and Wildlife Division

My first rotation was with the Compliance Section in the Approvals and Wildlife Division. The section is responsible for enforcing Australia's national environmental law, the EPBC Act, and investigating cases where a breach may have occurred. Often this will be proponents (e.g. developers, mining or construction companies, or local governments) clearing land which contains threatened flora and fauna species, but the full range of cases is very diverse. I was also fortunate enough to do some field work with the Environmental Investigations Unit in Perth. There I helped the team to execute a search warrant looking for illegally imported items in a suburban house, and a monitoring warrant mapping illegally cleared areas on a remote farm.

Second Placement: Water Regulation Section, Water Reform Division

My second rotation was with the Water Regulation Section in the Water Reform Division. In short, this section deals with legal matters related to the Water Act. While I was working there I was directly involved in developing regulations under the Act, as well as developing a national framework for dealing with water theft. This was very interesting as it gave me exposure to an extremely high profile issue, as well as experience in high level government processes, including how the Commonwealth works with states and territories on matters.

Third Placement: Air Quality Section, Environment Quality Division

My third rotation was with the Air Quality Section in the Environment Quality Division. This section works on strategies to protect and improve urban air quality. The project I was most closely involved with aimed at reducing pollutant emissions from small engines such as those found in gardening equipment and marine outboards. I was directly involved in developing the final regulation impact statement, as well as related project management.

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