Economists in DFAT

Economists in DFAT video script

[Pictures: photo montage]: music

CHRIS HALFORD, 2009 GRADUATE: I think the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is a wonderful destination for economics graduates. It's the chance to work on very real and very current issues.

[Pictures: more international meetings]

LAUREN O'NEIL, 2009 GRADUATE: I think if you're coming into the department with an economics degree you should be expecting to take the way of thinking like an economist and thinking about the world and using that on a variety of issues, complex demanding issues, where you really feel like you're making a difference.

BRENDAN BERNE, 2000 ECONOMICS SPECIALIST: DFAT's mission within government is to promote Australia's foreign interests and they include economic and trade interests. Australia is an open economy and so understanding the global economy and the opportunities for Australia's exporters and investors abroad is key to promoting our national interests.

[Pictures: international meetings]

JACK YUAN, 2010 GRADUATE: One of the real drawcards of DFAT is the work that you do at the department is almost always high profile. A lot of issues that Australia deals with like energy security have a very important economic aspect to them so to understand the new world order you really have to understand international economics.

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NAOMI VICCARS, 2002 GRADUATE: DFAT's a good destination for economics graduates who would like to work on Australia's trade agenda both in terms of the multilateral trade arrangements in the WTO, there's a chance to work on some very interesting issues that confront the multilateral trading regime. DFAT takes the lead on free trade negotiations and DFAT does a lot of work with Australian businesses to try and help them to sell their products and services to overseas markets.

[Pictures: Stephen Scott giving a consular briefing]

STEPHEN SCOTT, 1994 ECONOMICS SPECIALIST: As I've progressed I've been able to do different things. You're never in the one job for more than 2 or 3 years. The work is so diverse across the department, you never get stale.

BRENDAN BERNE: I've worked in trade and economic areas as a specialist and as a generalist for 10 years including at our delegation to the OECD in Paris where I helped shape Australia's views on key matters of international policy setting, and more recently in APEC where Australia focuses on getting the most out of our region through trade and investment links.

[Pictures: Simon in a meeting]

SIMON CLAYTON, 2002 GRADUATE: I currently work in the Free Trade agreement Division and am working on the free trade agreement negotiations with China, Japan and South Korea. We're currently undertaking those three as well as some others I only work on those three. Each free trade agreement is different, each has its own issues and that makes each particular negotiation very interesting.

[Pictures: photo montage]

CHRIS HALFORD: I did a six month rotation on the China Economic and Trade Desk in the North Asia Division and what we were doing was looking at the Chinese economy and developments in Australia's bilateral trade with China, looking at the direction of those things and seeing how they would influence our foreign and trade policy objectives.

[Pictures: photos of Jan Hutton at Post]

Via Skype - JAN HUTTON, 1998 GRADUATE: I'm the Congressional Liaison Officer in Washington DC so what that means is I run the Congressional Liaison Office in the Embassy. It just so happens that I'm here at a time or in the wake of the global financial crisis. The US Congress is considering a whole range of measures to try to stimulate the economy and create jobs so it's very valuable for me in analysing these proposals, having that base economics background.

BRENDAN BERNE: Economics Graduates will play a key role at Australia's posts. Australia's engagement with the world is increasingly through trade and investment and it's important that Australia and the Government understands the economic conditions within a particular economy, how those conditions impact on traders and investors, but also more broadly how Australia can work more co-operatively with that country in promoting our economic interests internationally.

[Pictures: photo montage]

STEPHEN SCOTT: I was our Second Secretary, Economic, in Malaysia and I was there just before and during the Asian economic crisis back in 1997, 98 and that had a huge impact on the Malaysian economy and then in turn obviously on Australia. Malaysia was one of our top ten trading partners at the time and there was a need to provide real time and very quick analysis back to Australia that could inform our Ministers and the Government on the implications for us of what was happening in Asia.

JACK YUAN: As economic issues become more and more intertwined with national security and foreign policy issues, I've felt there has been a real demand in the department for somebody with economic acumen and a financial understanding.

[Pictures: DFAT logo]: Music

Last Updated: 22 February 2013