Our 2015 Graduates
Where in Australia are you from?
I'm from Melbourne.
What did you study at University?
I studied Japanese and Politics in undergrad, and Honours in behavioural economics (University of Melbourne).
What made you decide to apply for the Infrastructure and Regional Development Graduate Development Program?
The Department first got on my radar while I was in Kenya. I spent six months volunteering in a Kenyan slum, and living/working in an area lacking in key infrastructure really hit home. I jumped on the Department's website and got reading. I was impressed by how diverse the Department's portfolio is. I could easily see myself working in a number of the Department's Divisions. Reading about the Graduate Development Program sealed the deal. I was keen to study throughout the graduate year, and loved the sound of the industry tour, where all graduates are given the opportunity to engage directly with Australian industries across the country, on site.
What do you think makes the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development Graduate Program different?
It's pretty rare to have a broad and diverse range of policy, regulatory and corporate areas of a government Department offering you three rotations. It's even rarer to be able to choose between them, knowing you'll have an ongoing role in the end! The Department's graduate program is filled with opportunities for graduates, ranging from experiencing very different areas of the Government's infrastructure and regional development portfolio, to studying, to training, to directly engaging with some of Australia's most important industries. The graduate program puts graduates in great stead for any future career path in government or the private sector, and you get to have a lot of fun with your graduate colleagues along the way.
What type of training and development opportunities were offered?
The Graduate Development Program offered many formal and informal training and development opportunities. Throughout the year we all completed training to set us in good stead for our long term careers. This training covered important areas like legislation, regulation, procurement and stakeholder engagement. We also completed a Graduate Certificate of Public Administration. The best bit was that all of our training became very relevant very quickly. One minute I was in stakeholder engagement training, and the next minute I was expected to engage with stakeholders in South-East Queensland!
What is an interesting piece of work that you have been involved with?
During my first graduate rotation in the Department, I worked across the Trade and Aviation Market Policy and Air Services Negotiations teams in the Aviation Division. I was given the opportunity to provide recommendations directly to the Deputy Prime Minister about the criteria the Department uses to determine international airport status for Australian airports. It was exciting to present a case to the Minister, and to analyse regulations and processes that contribute to businesses in Australia's aviation industry. It was really stimulating to be involved in something that affects the working lives of others, and that has an impact on our national aviation industry.
Tell us about one of your placements.
For one of my placements during the graduate program, I worked in the Communication and Commonwealth Service Delivery Team in the Norfolk Island Branch. I worked on communications materials to ensure the information accessible to residents on Norfolk Island best responds to their needs and questions during the Norfolk Island reforms process. I also worked with other Government agencies to source important information and discuss communications needs. In delivering a range of services and programs, I helped support the Norfolk Island community and businesses understand reforms on Norfolk Island. My job was challenging and rewarding: it involved dealing with a lot of diverse information, and prioritising the most important points to help others.
What are your future goals?
The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development's portfolio is so broad that over the next five years I'd like to experience more of the work functions of the Department. I would also love to use my Japanese language skills to contribute to the Department's international work. Going through the Department's Graduate Program has shown me how I can use my skills in different environments.