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Department of Education

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

Jessica Fenech

Everyone in the graduate program has such a different background and that’s what makes it great. We all bring something different to our teams and work really well together.

What's your job about?

I am a graduate at the Department of Education and Training. I did my first rotation in Major Compliance section in the Skills and Training cluster. I worked in the compliance space for VET Student Loans and VET FEE-HELP. This involed working closed with the legal team as well as external stakeholders and other areas within the cluster. This was a great opportunity to learn more about stakeholder management. I was also able to get a better understanding on the skills and training area.

In my second roration I was placed in the Legislation and Reform Funds section in the Schools and Youth Cluster. This was a very fast paced roation working with a small team. I got to work on legislation amendments to better align with the National Agreement which required me to talk to different teams. I was also able to delveop my programme management with the reform support fund.

There is also so many other opportunites through the graduate program. There is so much training provided and as graduates, we are always planning an event for the department. I have also been able to go to meetings that I wouldn’t normally get the chance to go to. There are also opportunities to go the ministers office.

What's your background?

I grew up in Brisbane and started university in 2012 at the Queensland Univerity of Techonology in a bachelor of laws. I started working as a legal and research assistant for barristers during my studies and volunteered in community legal centres as well . In 2016 I did short term exchange program in Germany where I studied peace and conflict studies as an elective. In 2017 I went to Bhutan under the New Colombo Plan where I delivered legal education programs to Bhutanane Youth alongside the Bhutan National Legal Institute. Later that year I went to Malaysia where I presented at a 6th Asia Pro Bono conference on an unmet legal need in the Asia Pacific.

When I graduted my undergradute in July 2017 I moved to Canberra for an internship at the Department of the Prime Minsiter and Cabinet before starting the graduate position at the Department of Education and Training in Feburary 2018.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Absolutely! Everyone in the graduate program has such a different background and that’s what makes it great. We all bring something different to our teams and work really well together. It is so great to have 30 different people across the department that you can talk to about different areas of work. The best thing you can do is be yourself, everyone is passionate about what they do and that’s what makes the people so great to work for. 

What's the coolest thing about your job?

As a graduate the best thing is the exposure of work we get. I’ve had the opportunity to draft senate estimate documents, ministerial submission and briefings, legislation bids as well as the opportunity to have my own project that I work on during my rotation.

We also get the opportunity to plan a trivia night for the department which is attended by over 300 staff! Its such a fantastic opportunity to work with the other graduates as well seeing the work that goes into planning a large scale event.

What are the limitations of your job?

The biggest limitation in this job is red tape. Things can move very slowly and can change very quickly. For some this may be frustrating but is the nature of the work

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

My biggest piece of advice is take any opportunity that you can! You will either get a chance to do something amazing or learn from the experience. Get involved in student life! This is your chance not to be bound to 9am – 5pm. Finally, don’t feel like you need to decide exactly what you are going to do, its okay to change your mind!