Joe - 2010 Graduate Program



Home State: Australian Capital Territory
University: Australian National University (ANU)
Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (Policy Studies)

Before joining the department's graduate program, and while I was study at the ANU, I was employed in the Australian Public Service at the Workplace Authority before moving to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. My background is in political science (with some economics) and my interest in sustainability and the environment is a result of my research project on population and climate change, undertaken while I interned in an Member of Parliament's office at Parliament House.


First Placement: Economics and Strategic Policy Section, Policy Coordination Division

My placement within the Strategic Policy Section afforded me the opportunity to work across a range of different areas. My key tasks during this rotation were to work as part of the secretariat of the Executive Management Group and to update the department's Heritage Strategy. The work of the section is highly varied and therefore I was also engaged in areas such as the department's incoming government brief, senate estimates responses, caretaker conventions and the Indigenous Expenditure Review. The rotation provided me with a valuable insight into the broad nature of the department's work and the work of the senior executive.

Second Placement: Victorian State Team, Land and Coasts Division

My placement within the Land and Coasts Division, helping to manage the Caring for our Country program within Victoria, provided me with experience in program management and cross-departmental programs. During this rotation I also participated in the Secretary's innovation working groups and was the project manager for the graduate field trip to Tasmania. My section work consisted primarily of assisting in the administration of the Caring for our Country and Bushfire Recovery programs in Victoria. Specific tasks included creating funding analyses for bushfire recovery grants, preparing website summaries for natural resource management regions, drafting Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement (MERI) plans, preparing variations to contracts and liaising with State government bodies. Therefore my time spent within the section allowed me to gain a wide range of experiences related to stakeholder engagement, innovation efforts across the department and project management.

Third Placement: Water Holdings and Portfolio Management, Water Governance Division

My third rotation was a good opportunity to experience the work of water group and in particular the work of a statutory body - the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder. During this placement I gained experience related to the management of the Commonwealth's environmental water portfolio, particularly of issues such as water trading, water shepherding, carryover of water allocations between years and the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Final Placement: Water Holdings and Portfolio Management, Water Governance Division

I enjoyed the work of my third placement so much that I chose to stay within the Portfolio Management team at the end of the year. The work is diverse and challenging and the team fantastic to be a part of. The work of the Water Group is also currently quite high profile, due to the release of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, and the ability to work in this area is another strong motivation for staying.

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