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Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

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

Georgia Larsen

Georgia studied Bachelor of Design at Australian National University and is now working as a Graduate Officer – Design stream at Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

6:00 AM

My alarm goes off early on days where I work in the office and not from home. Restrictions have eased a bit in Canberra, meaning that we can come into the office some days. I have breakfast (vegemite on toast of course), get ready, pack my lunch and make my way into the office. I have to get there early if I’d like a park close by.

8:30 AM

I make my way up to level 6 and log onto my computer. While everything loads, I put my lunch in the fridge and fill my water bottle. The first thing I do on the computer is go through my emails and plan my day. A lot of my colleagues start work later in the morning, so I use this time to reply to emails, prepare for meetings and get some work done.

Day in the life Georgia of ATO

9:00 AM

I am in the second rotation of my graduate year and I work in ATO Design. This branch works in domains but is very flexible, so I can work on projects with people outside of my own. This morning I am doing some concept and experience testing with people from the Staff domain. As everyone involved with the session is in Canberra, we can do this in person. In the first session I take notes as the project lead asks the participant questions about their thoughts on a possible way to deal with resourcing in short-term tasks.

10:00 AM

We have a quick break after the session to stretch our legs and get some water before we start another. For this one, the project lead and I swap. I facilitate the session while they take notes. We use a script and prototypes to guide the discussion. The prepared script helps us focus on the intent of the session and stay on track. I do have to pay attention to the discussion despite the script to make sure I follow up on things that the participant says to get more clarity and detail from them where necessary.

11:00 AM

As a lot of my domain works on different projects with stakeholders outside of ATO Design, we have our bi-weekly stand up a little later in the morning to make sure people have time to catch up with their project teams at the start of the day. We share what we are working on, ask questions if we need help and do a round of trivia at the end.

12:00 PM

It’s time for lunch! I eat with other graduates in the kitchen overlooking Mt Ainslie. I have the zucchini slice that I made last night with the zucchinis from our vegetable garden.

Day in the life Georgia of ATO

1:00 PM

After lunch, I do some information design work on a PowerPoint presentation that shows the findings of a survey and ideation workshop of staff experience during the COVID-19 Pop Up Call Centre. It is important to make sure we learn from this experience so we can be better prepared for any future adversities.

2:00 PM

This afternoon I have a progress meeting with my graduate program manager and rotation manager. We discuss my goals for this rotation and what training/learning opportunities are available to develop my design and workplace skills.

Day in the life Georgia of ATO

3:00 PM

The ATO is currently working on and delivering the JobMaker Hiring Credit stimulus package. Today we have an online core design team meeting where all the stakeholders involved in helping with this work come to share updates and discuss issues that need to be decided. As a design graduate, I take notes of what is said and use them to update our high-level design and decision register documents. These help to keep everyone across the complexity of the project.

5:00 PM

It’s time to finish the day. I do one final check of my emails, update my timesheet and head home.

6:00 PM

Time to cook a quick dinner before getting ready to head out for hockey.

7:00 PM

I play hockey all year round, and this time it is the summer social competition with friends. After the game, we get food and drinks together.

9:00 PM

Once I’m home after hockey, I have a quick shower and read before bed.

10:00 PM

Time for bed! Tomorrow I’ll be working from home, so I’m looking forward to the extra hour of sleep in the morning.