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Patrick - Staff profile - Accountant

Patrick

Year joined

I joined the department in 2004 as a specialist accountant

Current position

Director, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Financial Management Section

Other key placements including overseas assignments

Aside from my current position, I have held three other positions in the department: Australian Passports Office Accountant/Divisional Coordinator, Divisional Coordinator for the Office of Trade Negotiations and Senior Administration Officer and Consul in Brazil.

What were you doing before you joined DFAT?

Prior to joining the department, and while finishing my Commerce degree, I worked in financial accounting positions in Defence and the Australian Electoral Commission.

Why did you apply to DFAT?

In 2002, I worked at DFAT as a non-ongoing officer in the financial reporting section of the Corporate Management Division which exposed me to the financial and corporate management areas of the department. Compared with other positions I have held in the public sector, I found this role to be consistently challenging, interesting and rewarding. I was also attracted to the opportunity of working overseas in a management position. As such, I applied for a permanent position in DFAT at the next opportunity.

How have you used your previous experience during your time at DFAT?

During my time at DFAT, I have used my accounting training in a range of different ways. In my role with the passports area I worked as a management accountant and contributed to a range of interesting and important projects such as the introduction of the ePassport, Passports Act 2005 and passport interview system. In Brazil, I managed the Embassy’s budget and financial accounting area as well as having responsibility for a range of other functions such as HR, consular and passports, property and security. Currently, I am responsible for managing the large and complex budget of the IT Division which is providing me with a good opportunity to learn about IT systems, project management and IT asset accounting.

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

During my posting in Brazil, and as part of my consular responsibilities, I travelled in a police helicopter over the city and coastline of Rio de Janeiro to attend to a consular case. This was an exhilarating experience and not an opportunity I ever imagined I would have prior to joining DFAT.

As an Accountant/financial officer, why would you recommend DFAT as a career?

Importantly, DFAT offers you a career and not just a job. It is also a great place to work with highly skilled and experienced colleagues on varied and complex issues to achieve significant outcomes. While I entered the department as a specialist accountant, through my experiences, challenges and the opportunities provided by DFAT, I have broadened my skills and abilities and I am ready for the next challenge.