2009 Graduate Program


I moved to Canberra in 2004 to start my Creative Writing degree at the university, and so by the time I started the Graduate Program, I had already been living here for five years, and considered myself a local. As such, the idea of living in Canberra didn't bother me in the slightest, as I already lived here, and loved it. I came from a small country town originally, so to me Canberra was the sort of 'big' city I wanted to live in. I was at uni for five years, after which time I came to see the reality that there wasn't exactly a stable or plentiful future in being a Writer. Having visions of myself living in the Bus Interchange and trying to sell passersby stories so I could buy food; I panicked and applied for every APS Graduate Program advertised (around 32 at the time). I was successful in gaining an interview for one of those.

I started with the Department as a Graduate in 2009. During the Graduate year I undertook rotations in the Graduate Management Team, The Australian Biological Resources Survey, and finally with the Indigenous Visual Arts section. I found the training throughout the year to be really helpful in my personal development, and the opportunities we were presented with as graduates still seem a little unbelievable to me, three years out from the program. I made a great group of friends and colleagues, and I learned a lot from these different areas. Ultimately, I found that I had a real passion and strength of Client Service roles and decided to pursue working in a client service area, and so at the completion of the program I negotiated a position with the Graduate Management Team, as the Graduate Support Officer.

I was with the Graduate management Team for just over a year, and was lucky enough to experience an entire Graduate Recruitment Round from start to finish in this time, which has given me a fantastic understanding of not just the Graduate Program, but also recruitment practices and processes across the Department. From here I moved into a six-month role with the Australian Government Land and Coasts (AGLC) Division, working on a selection of discrete projects in the People Services Team. After this, I returned to my old section, but in a new role in the Indigenous Employment and Development Team, where I have remained for six months. Recently I have been successful in a recruitment Process for a Communications Role with the AGLC, and so I will be returning there shortly.

I never had an exact idea of what I wanted to do within the APS – I'm not one of those people who came to this Department because I am passionate about saving the environment of anything. However, in the time that I have been here I have come to realise that I enjoy working with people, and I like working in an environment where I am free to do so while being myself. I think the ability for movement within the department, not to mention the culture, is the primary reason for my being so happy here. I like being able to move around and experience different areas of the department and the work that we do, and I like having the variety of work and culture to keep me interested.

I've never once had to try and sell my writing in a bus shelter either, so that's a plus.

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