What's your job about?
The Clean Energy Regulator administers schemes that aim to accelerate carbon abatement for Australia. I am currently working in the Land and Forest team, which works to administer one of those schemes, the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).
A typical day for me is assessing applications to register, vary or credit ERF projects, mapping project areas on GIS and speaking with clients to answer any enquiries they have about their projects.
The graduate program has given me the opportunity to get involved in more than just business-as-usual jobs, and tackle some really interesting projects happening throughout the agency. I have worked on developing a compliance plan for the ERF teams, a risk-matrix for the Audit team and developed some recommendations for ways the agency can share information more effectively with other regulators.
What's your background?
I grew up in Perth, Australia and studied a Bachelor of Science the University of Western Australia. While most of my undergraduate degree was focussed on complex details of biology and geology, I was really interested in higher level processes such as the climate system and Australia’s climate change policies. So, after finishing my undergraduate degree, I decided to do a Master’s degree specialising in Environmental Management. This also gave me an extra year and a half to continue living a student lifestyle, working part time in a medical science laboratory to fund sporadic holidays and attempt to secure an internship before graduating (which I did, just in time).
Being from Perth, and in the Environment sector, I had always considered getting a job in the mining sector. However, when I saw the role at the Clean Energy Regulator advertised I realised it was pretty spot on for what I am passionate about.
Finding a graduate position, let alone one in an area your passionate about, is pretty tough. The skill set of graduates is ever increasing and at times it can be quite stressful. Be confident in the skills you have developed throughout university, apply for internships, volunteer, tutor students, coach a sport team. Use your undergraduate and post graduate years to develop your skills in a range of areas, don’t be afraid to branch out into something unrelated to your degree. Having a range of interest and skills is a valuable asset and will make you stand out (not to mention just making you a well-rounded person).
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes! All the graduates this year have totally different backgrounds and I love it. We all approach our work differently and it’s been great to see how our working styles work in different contexts. Each of us have different skills, and it’s because of that, that we can work efficiently across the agency.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
My biggest fear about the public sector was the stereotypes that people often assume of all public sector roles. The Clean Energy Regulator is quite a technical agency, it requires a deep understanding of the legislation, schemes and clients. Climate change policy is a relatively new area, and I love that the work we are doing today is contributing to towards reducing Australia’s impact on climate change. Also I can’t work in the public sector without mentioning work-life balance. Although my work day is often busy and filled with challenges, I get plenty of time to get outdoors and explore Canberra’s awesome scenery!
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...