2008 Graduate Program


Degree: Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Honours)


I was born and raised in the small rural town of Ardrossan in South Australia. At 15, I expanded my horizons by travelling on a student exchange to Missouri, USA. While I always had an interest in the environment, the different plants, landscapes and wildlife of Midwest USA sparked my interest in the environment as an area for future study.

After completing Year 12, I moved to Adelaide where I completed my degree in Environmental Studies, while continuing the university tradition of working as a part-time waiter. I studied a range of areas in my degree, but majored in geography and environmental management, particularly relating to biodiversity conservation, wetland and water management, and Quaternary environmental history. In 2007, I completed my Honours dissertation, using pollen analysis to infer vegetation and climate change in the Coorong region over the past 6000 years. I applied to the DEWHA graduate program midway through my Honours year with a desire to become involved in government policy and decision making processes.

One of the most valuable aspects of working in the environment department is the sheer variety of interesting work areas. I find that I am well placed to take advantage of the amazing opportunities that are frequently on offer due to the networks I developed and the experience I gained during the graduate year.

In late 2009 I was offered the opportunity to work as a departmental liaison officer (DLO) in the office of the Hon Peter Garrett AM MP. This role provided me with a broad overview of the work of the department and an invaluable understanding of parliamentary processes and the inner workings of a Minister's office. After completing my 12 month term in the Minister's office, I returned to the department as an Assistant Director to work on the development of the Government's product stewardship legislation and National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme. Now that the legislation and Scheme are in place, I am about to commence a new job in the department's Great Barrier Reef Taskforce. This will involve work on strategic assessments of the management of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and adjacent coastal zone, and developing regional sustainability plans in key development areas on the Queensland coast.

I look forward to continuing my career in the environment department and have no hesitation in recommending the graduate program as one of the best ways to enter the department.