After completing a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma in Languages at the University of Melbourne and commencing a Master of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University, I was thrilled to be offered a place as a Generalist graduate at the Department of Defence.
I had an incredibly diverse graduate year, moving through three very different areas in Defence. I started in a corporate performance management role in Estate & Infrastructure Group, before moving to International Policy Division to work on Defence’s policy on the Middle East, and then a public affairs and communication role at Air Force Headquarters. Throughout this time I travelled to multiple Defence bases across Australia, attended various training around Canberra including at Parliament House, formed relationships around the Department, and was even one of the first civilians to fly on a RAAF C-27J Spartan aircraft.
Following the graduate program, I continued my professional development in a role liaising between Defence and Parliament House, before moving into Strategic Policy Division to work on Defence’s space and missile defence policy. I’ve also continued to balance work with part-time study and Army Reserve service, of which Defence has been very accommodating and supportive.
Defence is a truly unique place to work. The sheer size of the Department offers endlessly diverse career opportunities. The graduate program gives you the chance to experience a wide breadth of the work that occurs in the Department, while setting you up with a network of fellow graduates and mentors who will support you throughout your career.
If you’re from interstate and apprehensive about moving to Canberra, don’t be. As a big-city Melburnian who was initially uneasy about living in Canberra, I’ve found it to be a convenient and surprisingly vibrant place to live and work. The food, drink and cultural scene has been booming in recent years, it’s surrounded by great spots for outdoor activities, and a 20 minute stress-free commute to work is a welcome change from 1.5 hour commutes in Melbourne!