Why the interest in NIAA?
NIAA works on a broad range of issues that affects First Nations Australians. I was interested in the range of work that the NIAA offers, as well as the opportunity to work in a Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio agency.
How does the grad program work?
The NIAA works on a 12-month graduate program. I commenced on the program working in the Compliance Operations Section, and then completed a regional rotation in the Katherine Office of the Network.
Best aspects of the program thus far?
Being able to work in the network, seeing real-time impacts that Canberra policies have on lives was challenging, but also extremely eye-opening.
NIAA graduates are also highly valued and provided with challenging work. During my time with the Agency thus far, I had worked in multiple different areas, including on the Incoming Government Brief. I have felt valued, challenged, but also supported during each of these roles.
What has been most challenging?
The most challenging part of the year to date has been learning how the Government works and how the work that we do fits into the whole picture. There are so many different areas whose work fits together to create policy.
Deciding where you want to go on your next rotation is also challenging. There are so many interesting areas with different opportunities!
The most surprising part?
The most surprising part is how much you can learn in a short amount of time, and how much I feel like I’ve made a contribution in the short time I’ve been in the NIAA.
What did you do between studying and full-time work?
I completed my thesis in November and commenced full-time work with the NIAA in February the following year. During the three months between university and work, I traveled around Europe.
Advice to current students?
Take opportunities, and believe in yourself. If you’re unsure, just give it a go! You never know where opportunities can take you, and how much you may enjoy something once you’ve tried it!
It’s also very important to believe in yourself, especially if you’re looking to work for the Public Service. It is so easy to think you’re not good enough, but the Government looks for a wide variety of different skills – and you might not even know what you have to offer!