- Study at Deakin
- Campus life
- Industry and community
- About Deakin
All my life, I have enjoyed the outdoors and wondered at the natural environment. When enrolling for my first graduate course (Bachelor of Applied Science – Environmental Management) I did so because I wanted to work as a park ranger or something similar – something that removed me from the confines of a desk.
Although not the most committed student and still lacking some direction, I finished my course. I also set about learning and gaining certificates in ‘practical’ skills that I thought might be appealing for future employment. This saw me undertake a wide range of jobs, from driving forklifts through to working as a high ropes instructor.
I was lucky enough to be employed through a corporate placement with Parks Victoria in conjunction with Four Wheel Drive Victoria. This had a profound affect on my career direction, my desire to be a park ranger disappeared, as I realised that sound policy and management of our resources requires seats behind desks in a corporate environment. I also was intrigued with the development of policy and became aware of how powerful good public policy is.
I am currently working for the Department of Sustainability and Environment as a Senior Policy Officer with the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services division. I am positioned in the Wildlife Conservation and Management group which is responsible for the policy and management of the state’s wildlife. This includes a range of areas such as wildlife rehabilitation, interactions and management, sustainable consumptive use and the administration of statutory obligations. The unit has very close connections with regional field and compliance staff – allowing me to get out from behind the desk on the odd occasion.
I thoroughly love the opportunity to not only engage with community and stakeholders but also experts in natural resource management and science, both nationally and internationally. Understanding and assessing this engagement is essential when undertaking or influencing environmental programs at a state level.
I enjoy policy as it is the melting pot between sound science, public expectations and political will. I also enjoy the contentious nature and often disparate issues we deal with. As such, one of my most interesting experiences was a short secondment to Office of the Minister for Environment and Climate Change.
My course at Deakin didn’t provide me with all the skills necessary for my job. However, it undoubtedly provided a broad understanding of relevant issues and created a sound platform from which to build skill sets and gain relevant acumen.
I have two pieces of advice for prospective graduates. Always ensure that you optimise opportunities for relational networking with people. You never know when and how they may assist you. My current employment was the result of a fellow graduate from Deakin bringing the opportunity to my attention.
The second is to never limit yourself to a specific niche; unless you are one-hundred percent sure it’s where you want to go. I am a firm believer in ‘seasonal’ niches. Be good at something for awhile ‘own’ your position, but don’t hesitate to try something different.
There are always different industries that deal with similar subject matter. If bureaucratic process or legislative frameworks don’t ring your bell, than there are myriad non-government, not-for profit, and private organisations out there. I personally would like to further my experience in some of these sectors.