Keely - 2010 Graduate Program

Keely

Background

I grew up in Melbourne and completed a Bachelor of Arts/Law at Monash University. Throughout my tertiary studies I worked in a number of casual jobs, which included a casual position with the Victorian State Government. At the end of my degree, I spent a great deal of time considering my career options and whether I should enter the public or private sector. Spending time with the Victorian public service helped inform my decision to apply for public service positions at both state and federal level. I was fortunate to be offered a graduate position with Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and made the move to Canberra at the start of 2010.

Placements

First Placement: Tropical West Marine Conservation Section, Marine Division

For my first rotation, I was placed in the Marine Division and spent my time with the Tropical West Marine Conservation Section. During my rotation I was able to experience what it was like to be a reserve manager for a marine protected area. My team was responsible for the management of Ningaloo, Mermaid Reef and Ashmore and Cartier Island. My day to day work included processing approvals, updating policy documents and assisting with the bioregional planning process.

Second Placement: Legal Section, Policy and Communications Division

I spent my second rotation with the Legal Section in the Policy and Communications Division. As a legal graduate, I was keen on gaining legal experience and to see what it was like to be a legal officer in the public service. The majority of my work involved giving legal advice to areas of the department on a variety of issues such as, procurement and grants. I was able to utilise the legal skills I had acquired during my studies and learn about the types of legal issues that arise within a government department.

Third Placement: Legislation Policy Section, Approvals and Wildlife Division

For my third rotation, I was placed in the Legislation Policy Section in the Approvals and Wildlife Division. During my studies I completed an Environmental Law elective, so I was extremely keen on learning about the practical application of the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act). During my rotation I gave legal policy advice on the EPBC Act to sections within the Division. This type of work required a lot of statutory interpretation and analysis.

At the end of the grad program, I was offered a position in the Arts Legal Section (which is now in the Office for the Arts, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) for my final placement. I was extremely happy to be offered a position in the section and rejoin some of my colleagues from my second rotation. In my position I work as a legal officer and give legal advice to the line areas within the Office. I hope I will be able to gain valuable legal experience and build on the skills and knowledge learned during my second rotation.

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