Sarah D - 2010 Graduate Program

Sarah D


Home State: Australian Capital Territory
University: Australian National University
Qualifications:Bachelor of Music (Performance)
Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)

Growing up in a musical family, it was a natural progression for me to undertake a performance degree in classical violin after many years of music lessons and Saturday morning orchestra rehearsals. I also enrolled in a commerce degree along the way to broaden my horizons and widen my job prospects.

With my violin over my shoulder and my commerce degree in hand I ventured overseas and spent the next few years traveling and working for a development bank in London. On my return to Canberra, I started to investigate career opportunities in the Arts and came across the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts graduate program.


First Placement: Solar Cities, Community and Industry Partnerships Branch, Renewables and Energy Efficiency Division

During my time in Solar Cities, I was involved in the ongoing management of Alice Solar City (ASC) and Central Victoria Solar City. This involved working on a variety of project management tasks including the progression of negotiations for the ASC Uterne Solar Power Station project and the Alice Springs Aquatic Centre project. I was also fortunate to travel to Alice Springs to meet a range of the ASC stakeholders.

It was during my first rotation that I experienced my first Machinery of Government (MoG) change with the Renewables and Energy Efficiency Division moving to the newly created Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.

Second Placement: Arts Support, Arts Policy and Access Branch, Arts Division

My second placement provided the opportunity to work on contemporary music policy and program. My role included provision of policy advice to Government on issues surrounding the contemporary music industry, and contribution to the organisation of events. I was also involved in the ongoing management of the Breakthrough Program, which supports indigenous contemporary musicians, and provided analysis and policy recommendations to further develop the program guidelines.

Third Placement: Film Incentives and International, Film Literature and Creative Industries Branch, Culture Division

My final placement is in the Culture Division working on International film co-production agreements and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. My role includes a variety of tasks including contribution to the development of policy and assistance with negotiations of co-production agreements.

I am also experiencing my second MoG change this year with the move of Arts and Culture to the Office for the Arts, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as a result of ministerial changes following the August 2010 election.

Throughout the year all of my supervisors and colleagues have been very supportive and I have immensely enjoyed my time as a graduate working for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, and the Department of the Prime Minster and Cabinet. I look forward to further developing my skills and knowledge as I continue my career in the Australian Public Service.

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