Updating Results

Australian Bureau Of Statistics (ABS)

  • #4 in Government & public services
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Frances Gamble

6.45 AM

Wake up. Get dressed. Pack away my laptop and work accessories from my desk at home (where I worked yesterday) and put them into my bag. Have breakfast and head to the bus stop.

7.45 AM

Sit on the bus, listen to a podcast (My current favourites are Chat 10 Looks 3, Strong Songs or something true crime) and answer a few messages and personal emails on my commute.

8.15 AM

Arrive at the office, swipe my pass on the way in and head to my floor. The ABS don’t have assigned desks, so I choose my desk for the day and set up my work station. Lucky I’ve got lots of options because I’ve arrived early. I chat with my colleagues who are also in the office today and we catch up on the last few days as I log on and the system loads.


Once I’m in, I handle my emails, plan my work for the day and chat with my supervisor via skype. I get started on a small task before I get the very important skype from a fellow grad, asking me to grab a quick coffee.

9.00 AM

I head downstairs to meet my friend, and we head across the road to pick up our coffee. It’s a great chance to catch up as well as find out what type of things that other grads are working on.


9.20 AM

Arrive back at my desk and start on my next task – reviewing some feedback I’d received on a report I built. Working in Census data assurance, these reports help me analyse the data and identify anything irregular or suspicious. I’m like a detective, but my subject is Census data, and instead of interviewing suspects, I’m using Power BI reports! I’m still learning the process so it’s a good thing we’re using test data - but we’ll be well prepared for the main event later this year.

10.00 AM

Team “stand-up”, via video conference. We don’t really ‘stand’, but it is a quick meeting. Everyone gives an update of what we’re working on for the day, and any issues we’re facing, as a team we try to help each other come up with solutions. Once we’re done, we’re back to work.

11.15 AM

Having finished building a report, I move on to investigating the suspect – I mean – analysing and writing up the report findings. Our section is one of the last lines of defence before the data is cleared for release. Even though we won’t deliver any meaningful findings using this test data, going through the process helps us prepare for main event, to understand how well the reports we’ve built suit our purpose. Once the real data comes in, we won’t have time to build new reports, so we need to learn all we can now, while we have time to improve them.

12.30 PM

It’s lunchtime. I head up to the balcony for lunch with my fellow grads. We’re lucky it’s still warm enough to have lunch up here – it won’t be that way in the middle of Canberra winter!

1.15 PM

Back from lunch, and back to work.

2.00 PM

Meeting with some people from another section who we’re working closely with. We make sure to understand what they need from us, and vice versa.

3.00 PM

Weekly catch-up with my supervisor via video conference. My supervisor is based in another state - we haven’t even met in person before! But we chat about the meeting we just had, talk through some of the current work challenges, and we chat about other general life/work stuff.

Video conference

4.15 PM

My chat with my supervisor runs a little overtime because we talk a lot, and there was a bit to debrief from that last meeting, so there’s not much time left before I head out. I tie up a quick task from our check-in, reply to an email and plan my work for the next day.

4.30 PM

I farewell my in-office colleagues and it’s time to head back to the bus!

5.10 PM

Arrive home and chat with my housemates about our days.

6.00 PM

I jump on a zoom call for my volunteer role with Out for Australia, a not-for-profit that empowers LGBTQIA+ young people to be their authentic selves at work. I’m grateful that my work at the ABS allows me the time and flexibility to sustain a volunteer leadership role. The meeting finishes and I send off a few emails.

7.30 PM

Jump on the treadmill for a quick jog to wind down, while watching a new show on Netflix. Do some weights exercises. Then shower.

8.30 PM

Dinner time, I grab some leftovers that I’d made from the night before – it’s too late to cook tonight! I sit on the couch and relax into a video game or tv show.

10.30 PM

Time to head to bed!