Rebecca G - 2010 Graduate Program

Background

Home State:Queensland
University: University of Queensland and University of Canberra
Qualifications: Bachelor of Environmental Management with honours (sustainable development) and Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education

After finishing my environmental management degree in 2007, I worked as a sustainability researcher for a green architect in Brisbane for a year, before following my partner to chilly Canberra. In 2009 I completed a high-school teaching diploma. I volunteered at a primary school in Nepal for several months before revisiting my interest in the environment by joining the DSEWPaC graduate program in 2010. It's been a fabulous year which I have absolutely adored. I consider myself very lucky for the opportunities I've had and for the wonderful supervisors and mentors who have taught me many things along the way.

Placements

First Placement: Environmental Performance Team, People Management Branch, Corporate Strategies Division

This team is focussed on reducing the department's environmental footprint and raising awareness about ways in which staff can adopt behaviours to minimise their environmental impacts. My tasks included providing secretariat support to a newly-formed senior departmental environmental performance committee whose objective is to provide a whole-of-department approach to environmental performance and management. I helped to draft a whole-of-department environmental policy statement, and I attended and participated in meetings about co-locating Canberra-based staff in a highly rated ecologically sustainable development (ESD) building.

Second Placement: Protected Area Policy and Biodiversity, Parks and Protected Areas Programs Branch, Parks Australia Division

DHere I organised the logistics of a delegation from New Zealand, including senior Māori and Department of Conservation staff, to visit Kakadu National Park and two Indigenous Protected Areas in Arnhem Land. In the company of Peter Cochrane and Anna Morgan (and lucky me) the delegates learnt about conservation on indigenous lands through discussing different models of management with traditional owners and parks staff. This experience was very special, and I witnessed some significant dialogues around place (its management and cultural significance) in stunning natural settings. I also assisted in various tasks related to the preparation of the Director of National Parks (DNP) annual report including managing the timeline and drafting the director's review.

Third Placement: Marine Protected Area Futures, Temperate Marine Conservation Branch, Marine Division (Hobart)

For my third rotation I joined the newly formed Marine Protected Area Futures team in Hobart. This team has been formed to develop an overarching policy, regulatory and operational framework for the management of Commonwealth marine reserves. A key task I undertook during this rotation was a review of current Interim Management Arrangements for the South-east Commonwealth marine reserve network which are in place during the development of the management plan. And I can't complain about having my performance reviewed on the beach!.

Final Placement: Strategic Policy & Planning, People and Policy Branch, Australian Government Land and Coasts

For my final placement I came back to Canberra and joined the strategic policy and planning team, helping to prepare the annual Caring for our Country business plan.