Third Secretary, Australian High Commission, Port Vila, Vanuatu
Other positions in DFAT
Public Diplomacy Section (2007 – Indigenous Cadet), Indonesia Bilateral Section (2008 – Indigenous Cadet), Indonesia Economic and Trade Section (2009 – Indigenous Graduate), Consular Information Section (2009 - Indigenous Graduate), Canada and Latin America Section (2009-10 – Indigenous Graduate), People Smuggling, Refugees and Immigration Section (2010-11 – Indigenous Graduate/Desk Officer).
Where did you live and what were you doing before joining DFAT?
Before I joined DFAT I was living in Canberra and studying at the Australian National University. I am originally from Cootamundra, NSW.
What qualifications do you have?
I studied a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) at the Australian National University, majoring in International Relations and Indonesian.
Have you used your qualifications/experience during your time in DFAT?
Yes. My background in international relations has proven very useful in forming my understanding of foreign policy. I have also used my Indonesian while working in the Indonesia Bilateral Section and in the People Smuggling, Refugees and Immigration Section.
Do you speak another language?
Yes. I speak Indonesian, French and Bislama.
Why did you apply to DFAT?
I applied to DFAT as I have a strong interest in international relations, current affairs, language and culture.
What was the most challenging aspect of the recruitment/selection process?
Being confident in myself, my qualifications and my motivation for a career in DFAT.
Do you have any tips for applicants on how to approach the selection process?
Be confident in your abilities and be clear about your ambitions. Do your homework on DFAT and its role. Keep up to date with current affairs.
Has the reality of working in DFAT differed from your perceptions of what it was going to be like?
The reality of working in DFAT has far exceeded my expectations. When I first started in DFAT, I was unaware of how much diversity was in the job. Throughout the course of five years, I have worked in six different sections on a range of issues, undergone French and Bislama language training and am now living in Vanuatu. The experience I have gained in such a short period of time is invaluable and has made me more adaptable to different work environments and equipped me with the skills to take on any role.
What has been the highlight of your career with DFAT so far?
To date, the number one highlight of my young career with DFAT is receiving my posting to work in the Australian High Commission in Port Vila, Vanuatu. But I have also enjoyed the travel opportunities, having visited Mexico, Indonesia and rural Australia within my first few years with DFAT.
How have you found the overseas posting experience?
I love living in Vanuatu. Not only has it been a great experience immersing myself in a different culture and language, but it is a real honour representing Australia as a diplomat overseas. I look forward to the rest of my time here and the highlights and challenges it may bring.
As an economist/accountant/lawyer etc, why would you recommend DFAT over other career options?
For someone with an international relations background, DFAT provides a wide range of opportunities to both pursue your personal interests in certain areas and exposes you to areas in which you don’t have experience to develop your skills.
How do you enjoy living in Canberra?
I really enjoyed living in Canberra. There are a lot of interesting places to visit, great restaurants and outdoor and sporting activities.
Have you any other insights for potential applicants?
Moving to a new city and starting a career in the public service can be a big change, but DFAT has really close-knit networks of cadets, graduates and mentors to help you through the transition.