Nygarie - 2010 Graduate Program

Nygarie

Background

Home State: Australian Capital Territory
University: University of Sydney
University of Newcastle
Qualifications: Bachelor of Veterinary Science
Masters of Environment Management (on-going)

I was born in Canberra and grew up with a love of animals - always trying to convince my mum that home was a good place for stray cats or that I actually needed more animals and that I would look after them all by myself. I would often come back from holidays with a new cat (surprise!) and then proceeded to 'miss school' so I could nurse my 4 week old cats to solid foods. I was also known to try and break up fights between the neighbours cats and dogs - often resulting in pretty nasty injuries. So let's just say - I love cats and always wanted to work with animals.

By the end of my veterinary degree I had a large amount of practical experience and had experienced first hand what the Veterinary Industry (as a practitioner) had to offer. At the same time, I developed an interest in the environment (and of course the animals in it) and by my 3rd year of Uni I decided I wanted to work for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Well, the rest is history - the planets aligned and by sheer luck (and perhaps fate) here I am at Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities as a graduate.

Placements

First Placement: Western Australia South Australia Section, Approvals and Wildlife Division

The Environment Assessment Branches are responsible for assessing development proposals under the EPBC Act to protect matters of national environmental significance such as nationally threatened species and ecological communities, wetlands of international importance, world and natural heritage areas.

In my second week of my rotation, I was lucky enough to go on a field trip to Western Australia and see stakeholder engagement (and the natural environment) first hand. I soon had ownership of environmental assessments under the EPBC Act - which involved preparing briefing material for the delegate and regular stakeholder engagement with proponets.

Second Placement: Biotechnology Section, Environment Quality Division

This section works on managing the environmental risks associated with biotechnology and nanotechnology, both through policy development and input into statutory assessments.

My time was spent involved with both of these aspects, but with a major focus on project management and procurement procedures. I was the project manager for a tender process for the development of a biological risk assessment framework. This rotation allowed to me to develop important APS skills and exposed me to the wonderful world of procurement.

Third Placement: Conservation Policy Section, Australian Government Land and Coasts Division

The National Biodiversity Strategy team within the Conservation Policy section leads the Department's policy work on national biodiversity conservation and Natural Resource Management policies and programs, including: review of the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity (National Biodiversity Strategy) and Australian Government biodiversity policy and planning.

My time was spent working on the review and future release/implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategy. This gave me a great overview of the policy world and reiterated my love for the environment. I was lucky enough to work on core issues and concepts such as: 'mainstreaming' biodiversity; International biodiversity targets; and biodiversity activities currently underway in Australia. I also gained experience in preparing ministerials, briefs and coords on issues focusing on Australia's biodiversity and the National Biodiversity Strategy.

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