My alarm goes off and straight away I’m into my morning routine. Over breakfast, I quickly review my favourite set of news outlets and bookmark all articles that may be of work interest – these will fill in time on the bus trip to the city. Working in a government portfolio as large as Home Affairs means there is almost certainly relevant news every day. I’m out the door by 7.00 am and just in time to catch an express bus. The public transport system is great in Canberra and no matter which office I’m working out of for the day I’m never more than 20 minutes away.
I arrive in the city and grab a quick takeaway coffee on my walk to work. I log on, check emails and corporate bulletins. Working in government, a lot can change from the moment you leave the office to the second you walk in the door the next morning. I check my calendar and see that a team meeting has been scheduled for 9.00 AM to discuss the status of our ongoing projects. I am expected to provide a brief presentation for a policy initiative I’ve been working on over the last two months. I quickly start work on a slideshow and begin writing my presentation notes.
The meeting begins and I’m the first cab off the rank. I provide a detailed progress report on the project’s key deliverables that we have met so far. We are on track and anticipate final sign-off well and truly before the due date in a few months’ time. These meetings are fantastic opportunities to stay up to date on projects from other teams and perhaps even identify any scope crossover to create efficiencies.
It’s lunchtime for most of the office so I use this opportunity to catch up with some of the other Home Affairs graduates working in different business line areas. We’re all scattered across multiple branches of the Department and have broad exposure to the portfolio’s functions. It's great sharing our experiences with each other.
As part of the Department’s Graduate Development Program, we have the opportunity to work towards a nationally recognised qualification throughout the year. Our workplace supervisors are very accommodating of our studies and are more than happy for us to study at work for a few hours a week. I’ve got an event on in an hour so I take this time to finish off an assignment on client service delivery in the Australian Public Service.
I head off to an exciting event held by the Australian Public Service Commission for graduates from various public service departments. Home Affairs graduates attend several of these sessions throughout the year and each event is a highly valuable opportunity to network with graduates from other government departments. Today’s session features several members of the Senior Executive Service, from various departments, discussing an array of contemporary topics in the government realm from cybersecurity, industry procurement, government policy and public health. Our speakers deliver in-depth presentations to a captivated audience of graduates, each sharing their own professional insights based many upon years of experience working in government and private industry.
I pack up my desk for the day and head into town to catch the afternoon bus home. The ride home provides the perfect time for personal reflection on my day. It’s been jam-packed with meetings, presentations, networking and an offsite event with graduates from other agencies. All this and it’s only 4.00 PM – what a day! My journey home takes me past some of the country’s most significant landmarks including the High Court and Parliament House. Over Lake Burley Griffin I see the Australian War Memorial at one end of Anzac Parade and Parliament House from the other. It dawns on me that many of these institutions, in some way or another, are influenced by the important work we do at Home Affairs. Our work influences the lives of all Australians, permanent residents, international travellers and visitors to our country.
Just like my morning, I have an evening routine consisting of gym, dinner and usually some study – although I think I may give myself a break after today!