After resisting the 7.00 am an alarm, finally, I manage to get out of bed 30 minutes later. Fortunately, my apartment opening to a big balcony often filled with a lot of sunshine to keep me motivated. Then it is breakfast, get my lunch box and everything else ready for work while half-listening to the news on T.V.
Waiting at the bus stop. At this time the bus can be pretty full but I can still get a place. As a person with a disability, I am very glad to find Canberra quite accessible. My workplace, in particular, has made a lot of effort to make the office accessible and comfortable for me.
Arrive at work, my first rotation is with the Legal Services – which is at the top of the building, taking the lift up there is actually a fun time to say hi to a lot of colleagues from different floors!
Once I get to the top, I can put my lunch box in the fridge, fill in my water bottle, get to my desk and open my computer.
Check out emails and organise my tasks for the day. There does not seem to be anything urgent (yet), so I spend some minutes checking the Agency’s Daily Media Summary – this is a good way to stay on top of the development in the climate change and renewable energy spaces.
The first task is to prepare legal advice to clarify some points in the legislation pertaining to the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) scheme. I have spent the previous two days carrying out legal research, so it is time to draft the advice. The matter seems complex (to me), but I really enjoy the process – it is a great feeling when after a few hours, everything starts to clear up and finally I can say (to myself only): Aha, I know what it is about now!
Weekly meeting with my supervisor. We go through what I have done in the last week and the plan for this week. My supervisor also gives me some tips on where to find things, who to speak to and what to do to keep my legal knowledge and skill updated.
Lunch time! Bringing my lunch down to share with my “buddy” (i.e. a previous year grad assigned to me by the Agency, but has now become my friend). She is always happy to answer any and all of my (sometimes silly) questions. We have a lovely time.
On some other days, I also go out with the other grads and my team members for lunch. Those are good opportunities to sample the restaurants around our office (there are plenty around).
The team and I have been working on an Agency’s legislative development plan for a few weeks, and now the time has come to present the plan to the Strategic Leadership Team of the Agency. 1.5 hour is spent printing documents, reading and re-reading them, and generally being nervous (and excited). Most of the (15 minutes) presentation and Q&A thereafter is actually carried out by the General Counsel and my supervisor, but it is really nice to hear your name mentioned by the VIP people.
Coffee break with fellow grads! The 6 of us try get together at least once per week somewhere outside the office to tell each other about what is happening in our work and personal life. 5 of us (including me) from outside Canberra so we still have a lot to learn about the city.
Grad project time! Fresh from all that caffeine, we grads now get back to our office and start our weekly meeting on our graduate project.
All the Agency’s grads take part in the APSC’s Graduate Development Program, in which we attend various workshops and other activities with the grads from other APS departments and agencies. We are also assigned a major project to work on during the whole of our graduate program. Our project is about improving collaboration between our Agency and other government agencies. We are having a lot of fun exploring the options (and enjoying all the attentions of other staff at the Agency!).
Back to my desk and trying to finish my draft advice from the morning. I also discuss the draft with a team member with experience in this area, who gives me very useful advice and feedback (plus some compliments!). I manage, at the end of the work day, to finalise the advice and send off to my supervisor for review & final approval.
Some admin works – lodging my timesheet, accepting meeting invites etc. Get to the bus stop (5 minutes from the office) just in time to catch a bus home.
On the way home I change my mind and instead going 3 more stops pass my house to get to the shopping centre (one of the biggest in Canberra) for some additional grocery. A bit of shopping therapy at the end of the day.
Get home, have dinner while chatting with my sister and then a friend on the phone, while again half-listening to the news on T.V.
Watch a bit of Netflix and read some pages of the book chosen by my book club (not my favourite book this time, still I am fully committed to finish it).
Going to bed, but as usual I will likely check Facebook and send out some emails before actually falling asleep.