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Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

  • 500 - 1,000 employees

Sean Dondas

During my studies, I worked in hospitality and at a university college and spent time volunteering at a youth cancer not-for-profit including as a board director.

I’m from Perth, and studied a double degree in Economics and Arts at the University of Western Australia, in
addition to a Diploma of Business at TAFE and Masters of International Affairs and Security at Murdoch University.

During my studies, I worked in hospitality and at a university college and spent time volunteering at a youth cancer not-for-profit including as a board director. In my studies, I completed a non-profit internship in Beijing, China and a parliamentary internship in WA.

As a graduate, you get the opportunity to participate in a range of interesting activities, from policy training to
“friendly” competitions against the SES such as bake-offs, ping pong and debating, where I enjoyed being part of the winning debate team with my fellow grads! In my first rotation, I provided relief work in the Minister’s Office, which gave me an insight into how the Department and the Office work together to achieve the Government’s priorities.

2019 was an exciting time to be a graduate as I attended my first budget night at Parliament House, and experienced my first election and subsequent Machinery of Government transfer from the Department of Jobs and Small Business to the Attorney-General’s Department. In my first rotation, I worked in the Operational Policy and Compliance section in the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner, Building Industry Branch. 

In a program-based role, I liaised with building and construction companies and Federal Safety Officers to set up audits. I prepared audit documents, briefings, database entries, report reviews and performed other administrative tasks. I also attended an actual audit as an observer to watch the audit process from a different perspective. This rotation was an excellent opportunity to learn about safety in the building industry. It was especially cool to walk past a construction site, knowing that I helped set up the audit for that site.

In my second rotation, I worked in the Framework Policy section in the Work Health and Safety Branch. In a policy-based role, I drafted briefs, ministerial submissions and ministerial correspondence; did media monitoring; prepared reports; analysed stakeholder submissions from an independent review, and performed secretarial tasks in the lead up to meetings with portfolio agencies. This rotation was an excellent opportunity to learn about how the Commonwealth, states and territories, regulators and other agencies play their roles in a constantly evolving WHS space.

In my spare time, I like to stay active so I have done some group dance classes such as hip-hop and ballet. I have been part of several grad social sports teams in netball and AFL. My fellow grads and I have watched international cricket and AFL games at Manuka Oval. Was pleasing to watch the mighty Freo Dockers get up against the Giants. Unfortunately, we missed the GWS Giant’s game where it actually snowed! We have also done picnics overlooking Lake Burley Griffin, lawn bowls, weekend trips to the coast, hikes, barbeques, market shopping and social balls.

The best piece of advice for moving to Canberra, sort out your accommodation early as every other graduate moving to Canberra will also be looking for places to live before their program starts.