Elle - 2012 Graduate Program

Home state

  • New South Wales

Universities

  • University of Technology Sydney
  • Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication
  • Bachelors of Arts in International Studies (Mexico)

Background

After five years at uni, including one year in Mexico, I had plenty of time to mull over my career options. I was sure I wanted to work in communications but I also wanted to learn new things and gain different skills. I knew DSEWPaC was managing some unique communication challenges and felt that the graduate program would give me the opportunity to pursue my interest in communication while learning on the job.

The graduate program enabled me to gain a good understanding of the public service, develop an invaluable professional and social network and undertake essential training such as a Certificate IV in Project Management, which included a field trip to Tasmania.

Placements

First Placement—Strategic Policy Section, Policy and Communications Division

During my rotation with the Strategic Policy team I was involved with developing a methodology to undertake future scanning for the department, reporting on the department’s major projects, managing cabinet submissions and providing coordination support. This rotation gave me a solid understanding of the breadth of issues the department has responsibility for as well as government processes, such as cabinet liaison and reporting.

Second Placement—Stakeholder Engagement Section, Commonwealth Environmental Water Office

During my time in the Stakeholder Engagement team I undertook an individual project to review the communication materials of the CEWO and make recommendations for the potential use of social media by the CEWO. This gave me a good opportunity to draw on the knowledge I had learned at university and put my newly acquired project management skills into practice. I was also fortunate to have been able to attend a stakeholder reference panel meeting, providing an interesting insight into the interactions between the department and its stakeholders.

Third Placement—Communication and Visitor Services and Australian Seed Bank Partnership, Australian National Botanic Gardens

Working at the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) for my third rotation provided an insight into a really different area of the department’s responsibility. For the first half of this rotation, I worked on developing communication materials and providing secretariat support for the Australian Seed Bank Partnership. This provided an opportunity to develop skills in communication strategy development, core departmental processes such as procurement and stakeholder engagement as well as conference organisation and administration.

In the second half of the rotation, I was responsible for the development of signage and other interpretive material for the soon to be installed Aboriginal Plant Use Trail at the Gardens. This involved engagement with the Indigenous community as well as community groups such as the Friends of the ANBG. I was also able to assist with event planning for the annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony in the Gardens, including liaison with Senator Kate Lundy’s office and external service providers.

Final Placement—Public Affairs, Policy and Communications Division

For my final placement, I was fortunate to secure a position in public affairs and am currently working with the marine team to provide communication support to the Marine Division. Public affairs is responsible for communication strategies, media and issues management, advertising, publication development, multimedia and social media, to name a few.