Simon - Graduate profile

Year joined

2002 graduate intake.

Current position

First Secretary (Political), Australian Embassy Tokyo

Other key placements including overseas assignments

North Asia Investment and Services Branch, Free Trade Agreement Division; Posting to Taiwan (Australian Commerce and Industry Office), including long term Chinese (Mandarin) language training.

What qualifications do you have?

Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) (Economics major) / Bachelor of Arts (Japanese major).

What were you doing before you joined DFAT?

I joined the Department directly from university.

Why did you apply to DFAT?

I had a strong interest in other countries, especially North Asia, and spent several years in Japan as a student.  I was looking for a job where I could apply both my economic skills and my knowledge of Asia.

How have you used your economic training during your time at DFAT?

I have applied my economic training in a range of positions within the Department.  In my role in the Free Trade Agreement Division, I worked on services and investment issues in Australia's FTA negotiations with China, Japan and South Korea, including seeking better market access in areas of commercial interest to Australia.  My work during my posting to Taiwan included analysis of economic and trade issues between Australia and Taiwan.  As a graduate, my rotations included work on the international economy and Australia's bilateral trade relationship with China.

What has been the highlight of your career so far with DFAT?

The highlight of my career with DFAT so far has been my posting to Taiwan because of the broad range of interesting work I undertook during the posting, and because I had the opportunity to apply my economic skills in working on economic issues of interest to Australia.  My posting included approximately 10 months of intensive Chinese (Mandarin) language training in Taiwan, which I enjoyed a lot and found to be very useful in my work at Post.

As an economist, why would you recommend DFAT as a career?

I would recommend DFAT as a career to economists because of the variety of work in DFAT in which economic skills can be applied.  In my own experience to date this has ranged from work on Free Trade Agreements to work on economic and trade issues overseas to Canberra-based work on bilateral trade relations.  At the same time, my work in the Department has also allowed me to develop an understanding of issues outside economics, including political and multilateral issues.

Last Updated: 22 February 2013