I studied Engineering and Arts at the University of New South Wales, and always thought I’d end up doing engineering. Little did I know a year after graduating that I would be at DFAT and be an accomplished ‘pret-engineer’.
I was introduced to DFAT after being selected as a 2015 New Colombo Plan Scholar to China. I had also learned about the development work that DFAT is involved in through my university studies. These experiences, together with my work as a project assistant with a Chinese environmental NGO, a research assistant at uni, and even work on my honours thesis, put me on a collision course with DFAT.
I was very fortunate to be placed on a China desk in the North Asia Division. I’ve been able to get stuck into a diverse array of work, including management of the public submissions process for the establishment of the new National Foundation for Australia-China Relations, and data analysis of Chinese development aid flows. Add to this a great supervisor and supporting team, and I have to say this has been an amazing placement.
Outside of my placement, I’ve also had the opportunity to work on an inter-departmental working group, and be a part of the DFAT Social Club. These have greatly increased my planning and organisational skills, whilst also giving me links to other government agencies.
Moving to Canberra has been more seamless than expected. There is so much to do, with activities such as cycling around Lake Burley Griffin, trekking up Mount Ainslie, listening to concerts and talks at ANU, and my favourite: karaoke.
Canberra, and the DFAT graduate program, is what you make of it! I’m sure you’ll enjoy your time in the program, and in Canberra.