Day in the life profile—Matthew Richters

Matt Richters

Former Graduate (2020)
Road Safety Policy and Communications, Office of Road Safety Branch, Surface Transport Division

My alarm goes off and I usually answer any messages from friends or family I have received during the night. I hop out of bed and begin cooking breakfast for myself. Once I have eaten I get ready for work and leave my apartment. Fortunately commuting to work is fairly simple for me, I can either walk which takes roughly 25 minutes, or I can spend 5 minutes on the tram.

I arrive at work around 8.30 am, I prefer to arrive earlier. My first task for the day is unpacking my desk drawer, taking out my notebook and pen and any paperwork that I will need throughout the day. I then read through any emails that I have received since the day before and check my areas group email for any messages that I can address myself such as general road safety queries from the public or stakeholders asking for information about the National Road Safety Strategy or any Road Safety Programs. I also begin the day by writing a priority list, on my priority list for today is writing and completing a draft Senate Estimates brief, road safety ministerial placemats and ensuring that the group email box is organised and replies have been delegated to my colleagues who could best answer the query. For example, a question about a road safety program is best directed to the programs team. I also find it is more efficient to draft a response for that team to edit rather than for them to start from scratch.

matt richters

My director always welcomes the team for the day, and we often begin the day with a quick team meeting. This is a great opportunity to understand the priorities of the day and the capacity of the team. This also helps me understand how my work for The Office of Road Safety directly contributes to the team's strategic direction, and how the team progresses the department's broader objectives. After this I begin my work for the day, on this particular morning I have been helping someone that wrote to our inbox asking for information about the National Road Safety Strategy. 

Around 10.00 am I like to get myself a coffee and sometimes a blueberry muffin as a bit of an energy boost.

After my muffin and coffee break, I get back to work. On this particular day I am working on finalising a draft brief for Senate Estimates. This brief summarises the work of the Office of Road Safety, including all of our programs such as the Road Safety Innovation fund which supports road safety research and the development of new road safety technologies. The brief gives updates of how road safety programs are progressing and what is coming up in the Office of Road Safety. Senate Estimates is a key part of the annual budget cycle, this is an opportunity to present the operations of our area to Senators.

Thanks to the flexibility that my team gives me, I am able to have hour lunches because I usually start earlier than the rest of the team. This gives me a good chance to catch up with other graduates in my cohort and talk about our rotations, offer each other advice on our work and of course have some friendly banter.

Infrastructure House atrium

I'm usually back to my desk by 1.00 pm. I spend the early afternoon finishing off my brief before I send through to my supervisor and director for review and clearance. After I receive feedback from my director I am able to make minor changes, and submit to my Assistant Secretary for review. In the meantime I am able to answer any emails that me or the group email inbox has received.

While I wait I would usually review my priority list and move onto another task. This would usually include ministerial correspondence or road safety ministerial placemats which provide the ministers a 1 page summary of particular road safety facts. Additionally it is also my responsibility to complete the data analytic work which ultimately is used to update the data indicators on our National Road Safety Strategy website.

Once my Assistant Secretary returns their feedback I am able to make the changes they requested before submitting it to them again in the Parliamentary Document Management System (PDMS) for official clearance.

In the last half hour of work, I find it is polite to ask other members of my team if they need help with anything so we are all able to leave work on time.

At the end the day I like to pack up my desk completely, neatly putting all my things in my desk drawer to prepare myself for the following day. I say goodbye to my team, put my earphones in and begin walking home. Once home I get ready for social sports, it is a multi-sports league so the sport changes every week.