What's your job about?
I work in the Media Team for the Department of Human Services, the government agency responsible for Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support. The team provides media services to the department and the Minister, including issues management and proactive publicity of its services. The work is account-based and during my graduate year I held the Magazine Columns account, where I wrote monthly columns for financial and community publications. I also held the state account for Tasmania, where I was the first point of call for local journalists and wrote a monthly radio script for a local station. Outside of accounts, the team is very collaborative and everyone has the opportunity to respond to journalist requests and prepare media responses and releases on a variety of interesting departmental topics.
What's your background?
I grew up in Brisbane and studied a double degree at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). During the final two years of my degree I undertook a cadetship program with the Australian Taxation Office where I completed rotations in their Public Relations and Corporate Communications areas. This was excellent experience, and the exposure I had working in government very much prepared me for my current role with the Department of Human Services.
In addition to this I completed five short-term internships during my degree in public relations agencies and not-for-profit organisations. I found real world experience highly beneficial for starting a career in communications and this would be my number one tip for anyone studying in this field.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
One of my favourite parts of the job is getting to write articles. I have a strong passion for writing and it’s incredibly satisfying to see your work published in a newspaper. The department’s spokesperson is also a regular on the national talkback radio circuit. During my graduate year I had the opportunity to attend one of his visits to regional NSW and was responsible for ensuring he was sufficiently briefed on what he was discussing and escorting him to the ABC’s studio. I got to sit in the studio while the interview was recorded, which was a lot of fun too.
What are the limitations of your job?
One downside to the job is the occasional early start! The Media Team is required to put together a media report of recent news coverage, which requires starting work early in the morning! Luckily, we share this task around on a rotating roster. One plus is getting to finish up early for the day, giving you a chance to get personal business done you might not usually be able to during business hours.