What's your name and job title? What did you study? When did you graduate?
Alice Temblett – Forest management and roading graduate officer. I studied a Bachelor of Science majoring in Environmental Land Management and Climate Science at Macquarie University, Sydney and graduated in April 2018.
Where did you grow up? What were some important stages of your life in regards to your education, work experience and so forth?
I grew up in NSW on the Central Coast surrounded by lovely beaches and lush vegetation. I have always loved the outdoors and the environment so in school it was natural that I took up biology and geography and that they were my favourite subjects. These subjects gave me the skills and the passion to want to help make the world more sustainable and healthier. This only continued to grow throughout my life as I started volunteering at a marine discovery centre while studying a Bachelor of Science. University opened a lot of new avenues as it provided the chance to be able to study and learn specific topics that I was most passionate about. It also brought a lot of opportunities to gain practical experience in the work field and find more direction in what field I would want to work in.
How did you get to your current job position? For how long have you had it?
I applied for the DELWP Science Graduate Program and fortunately got accepted, which I was very excited about. After attending assessment centres and interviews I started the program on 29 January 2018 and have been at Knoxfield in the Assets and Values team working within Cultural Heritage for eight months now. I am currently on my second rotation in the lovely office of Powelltown working in the Roading and Forest Management team.
What does your employer do?
I am employed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), which is the state government department responsible for protecting the environment, management of natural resources and water resources, planning, local government, fire and emergency management and property and land.
What are your areas of responsibility?
The areas of responsibility within the Roading and Forest Management team are to manage and maintain all roads and tracks within the Yarra State Forest. These roads are normally relativity low standard and are mainly unsealed. We must also maintain recreational sites, run the district action plan and much more. At the moment I am working alongside my team and learning contractor management, maintenance of roads and project management of recreational sites. I have greatly enjoyed all the experiences I have had so far within the graduate program as it has broadened my skills and allowed me to learn a lot of new and interesting types of roles within the department.
Can you describe a typical work day?
A typical work day would include waking up at 5.30 am and heading to the gym for a class and swim, then driving to work and arriving around 8.00 am. From there I check all my emails and see what I have on for the day. I could be either driving through nice forests to check up on contractors, looking at culverts or working in the office. It’s great because not every day is the same and there’s a great balance of getting out in the field but also having time in the office.
Suppose a student was considering your career. What would you advise them to study? Are there any soft skills it would be beneficial for them to develop? Should they pursue any sort of work experience?
If you are considering this type of career, I would advise you to study any sort of science, environmental, conservation or marine agricultural degree that you are really interested in and passionate about. Skills that would be beneficial include time management and organisational skills, as these help you be able to do tasks and complete them in a timely matter. You would really want to work on your people and communication skills as these will be used daily throughout your career and you’ll most likely be working with many different people with all different types of personalities. Lastly, pursue any work experience opportunities as these will greatly expand your set of skills, help you gain new contacts and networks, but also allow you to realise what type of work you like and where you would want to work.
What sort of person succeeds in your career?
A person who has great people and communication skills and is always willing to learn on the go and adapt to new working environments would be well suited for this kind of career.
What do you love the most about your job? Which kind of task do you enjoy the most?
I love that my role now is stationed out of the Powelltown office, which is surrounded by the spectacular Yarra State Forest. My favourite part is getting out of the office and driving around to get to sites that we are working on.
What’s the biggest limitation of your job? Do you bear a lot of responsibility? Do you have to work on weekends? Is your job physically demanding?
I wouldn’t say it’s a limitation of my job, but one part of my job is having an emergency role of being a general firefighter, in which we respond to bushfire suppression and prevention activities including planned burning. This means that you might be working on weekends when you are on standby. It can be physically demanding but very rewarding as you get to see places you have never been and meet some great people along the way.
What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
If I wasn’t in the Science Graduate Program I would probably be travelling and working overseas or doing postgraduate studies.
What advice would you give to a current university student?
At university you’re surrounded by many opportunities and influential, intellectual people to learn from. Use these resources and gain as much experience as you can. From doing extra-curricular programs to undertaking internships, these experiences will help with gaining new practical skills that will help you prepare for gaining a job in your preferred field of work.