Narges - 2010 Graduate Program

Narges

Background

Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts, Juris Doctor in Law

I began my tertiary education with an Arts degree majoring in Political Science and Philosophy. Following this I spent a year travelling, volunteering, and working and then returned to University to complete a Juris Doctor in Law. During my degree I completed a year on exchange in Sweden at Lund University and Uppsala University. I was drawn to the Department for the variety and quality of opportunities it offers its Graduates, and to work on policy at a federal level.

Placements

First Placement: Indigenous Heritage West

During my first rotation I worked primarily on preparing a comparative analysis for Indigenous heritage assessment of the Kimberly in Western Australia, for possible inclusion on various heritage lists. My analysis required research of early Indigenous resistance in order to indentify heritage values. I also conducted background research for future assessments in the same subject area. I had the opportunity to work on the Indigenous Heritage Program, a grants program supporting the identification, conservation, and promotion of Indigenous heritage. I found this rotation offered a great insight into the heritage assessment process, Indigenous issues, and was interesting and rewarding work.

Second Placement: Legislation Policy Section, Business Systems and Governance Branch, Approvals and Wildlife Division (AWD)

My second placement was well suited to my legal skills and interest in environmental law. The Legislation Policy Section is responsible for policy development and legislative work associated with the overall interpretation, administration and further development of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). During this rotation I was fully engaged with the section’s work and on a range of matters including:

  • Providing advice to stakeholders about the operation of the EPBC Act including both legal and policy advice;
  • Development of policy papers, case notes and practice notes outlining the policy approaches to be taken on various issues under the EPBC Act;
  • Providing briefing to the senior executive or the Minister relating to matters dealt with my the section;
  • Liaising with a wide variety of stakeholders, both internal and external; and
  • Preparing ministerial correspondence

I found this rotation highly rewarding and valuable, as it gave me a thorough understanding of the EPBC Act, as well as gaining exposure and being involved to a variety of work of the section.

Third Placement: Budget Strategy Unit/Strategic Advice Branch/Policy Coordination Division

For my third rotation I chose the Budget Strategy Unit in order to gain a broad perspective on critical budget processes within the Department, develop a strategic understanding of budget issues and to gain more experience in strategic policy development and coordination. The work included:

  • Preparation of the annual Budget Letter;
  • Strategic engagement with election commitments and policy development for the incoming government in relation to the portfolio's budget;
  • Liaising and negotiation with the Department of Finance and Deregulation for preparation of the Portfolio Budget Statements;
  • Working with new policy proposals at the start of the budget process; and
  • Preparing for Senate Estimates

I found this rotation gave me an invaluable insight into the Budget process across the Department and an understanding of the Department's big picture policy issues.

Final Placement: Legislation Policy Section of the Approvals and Wildlife Division

For my final placement I returned to the Legislation Policy Section of the Approvals and Wildlife Division. I had thoroughly enjoyed the wide-ranging nature of the work during my graduate rotation and looked forward to returning to the helpful and supportive team. I have had the opportunity to work with EPBC Act and other Commonwealth and State legislation, work on legal interpretation and provide written and oral legal policy advice. I have also had the opportunity to liaise with a broad range of stakeholders across the division and the Department and also externally. The placement also allowed me to undertake other tasks such as ministerial correspondence, preparing briefs for the Minister and Senate Estimates, as well as experience in procurement and financial matters of the section.

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