Day in the life profile—Lily Gelai

Graduate Indigenous Languages Taskforce


Wake up & walk my housemates dog

dog being taken for a walk

When I’m working from home, especially throughout lockdown, I like to begin my day by leaving the house and getting some fresh Canberra air. I generally either go for a run around the foothill of Mount Ainslie or take my housemates dog for a walk (as you can see on the left).


I make coffee and breakfast, and get ready for the day.

8:30 – 10:45am

To begin my work day, I will firstly check my emails to determine the structure of my day, i.e. see if there are any urgent tasks. Once I have responded to any pressing emails, I will read the daily media updates to check if there are any articles relevant to the Indigenous Languages Policy Taskforce.

After this, I firstly like to look at the work I have for the day and order it based on urgency. For example, if I have a briefing I will start by prioritising that. I usually create a list and rough timetable for the day of work, allocating times to tasks to ensure I tick off everything on the list.

Currently, I have an ongoing piece of work helping to develop a Communications Strategy for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032. This is the first time I’ve been tasked with communications work throughout my rotations. It’s a really interesting piece of work that has exposed me to the ways the Department engages with multiple stakeholders both internally and externally. 

10:45- 10:55am

Walk around the block

view of mount ainslie from work station

I found when I was working from home over lockdown it was easy to get into the trap of not taking breaks and going for a walk, as I would usually do in the office. So I made an effort, when I didn’t have meetings, to go for a ten minute walk.


Daily check-in with my Supervisor

I have a daily meeting scheduled with my supervisor to say hello, update them on the work I am doing and ask any questions I might have. I think a daily check-in is really helpful to ensure there are clear lines of communications and transparency on the work I am doing and ensuring I am on the right track.



Perks of working from home is making a yum lunch (per my picture)!

lunch while working from home


In the afternoon I have been allocating my time to creating a media tracker for the team in Excel. The purpose of this document is to have a living table, tracking relevant news articles for the team to refer back to. The way I'm structuring the tracker is by relevance to the programs our team works on. For example, if there is mention to Closing the Gap this column will be highlighted. I have also included a column on Indigenous languages / country the article might make reference to.


Log off

Before I log off the day, I like to make sure all my ends are tied, so I might send an email to my supervisor or team updating them on the stage work is at. I will also create a list of anything to do for the next day.


Gym + walk

To end the day, I often to go to the local HIIT class near my house. It's an intense workout but great after a day of sitting. I do this with one of my Grad friends. We like to cool down by going for a walk along Lake Burley Griffin (see below).

walking around lake burley griffin