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Queensland University of Technology
Jade studied Bachelor of Public Health at Queensland University of Technology
What's your job about?
The Department of Health is looking to create better health and wellbeing for all Australians, now and for future generations. During the Graduate Program I have rotated through three distinct work areas and have just recently rotated to the Department’s Queensland State Office. This office is responsible for engaging with local stakeholders and managing a number of Grants at a local level.
I am working within the Primary Health team and am assisting with the assessment and management of grants amongst Queensland’s seven Primary Health Networks (PHNs). The PHNs hold an extremely important and valuable role in the delivery of services and health care for the Australian population. As the PHNs are located across Australia, I have assisted with coordinating meetings on a National level to ensure staff across all State Offices are connected and are able to work as One Health.
On a day to day basis I might attend meetings alongside members of my team with other areas of the Department or external stakeholders, respond to emails, record meeting notes and minutes, assist with the assessment of PHN activity reports, assist with developing documentation for any variations to existing grant contracts and work collaboratively with my team to assist with various tasks on an ad hoc basis.
What's your background?
I was born in Brisbane and until this year have lived there all my life. I studied Public Health at QUT and would use Uni holidays to travel and experience different cultures around the world. For most of my time at Uni I didn’t have a plan and really just took each semester as it came. If it hadn’t been for a friend letting me know that applications for the Department of Health Graduate Program had opened I wouldn’t have even known to apply. Luckily she did and luckily I did, because here I am today!
I moved to Canberra to begin the Graduate Program at the beginning of 2016. This was a huge decision for me as it meant moving away from my partner, friends and family (and dogs!). Honestly to begin with I questioned my decision to move to Canberra frequently as it was such a huge change. The people I have worked with this year have all been extremely supportive and looking back now am confident that I made the right decision and know that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for this Program.
There have been so many opportunities the Graduate Team and the Department have presented to us throughout the year. By taking advantage of these opportunities and using my initiative, with their support I have already been able to shape and influence the direction of my future career.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes, absolutely. I believe one of the greatest things about working at Health is the diversity of all the staff. There are so many people with such wide ranging backgrounds all bringing their own unique views to work every day. The Australian population is so diverse and there isn’t one simple answer that will be applicable to the entire population. It’s important that the people working to improve the health outcomes of Australia also reflect this balance. So long as you have an interest in improving health outcomes for all Australians and a genuine desire to make a positive impact, the Department of Health is for you.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
I love the opportunities my job has provided me. In less than a year I have had the opportunity to assist with briefing for the 2016 World Health Assembly, travel across Australia to gather information that will be used in developing future policy and work within one of the Health State Offices.
I particularly love being able to engage with Stakeholders as it enables me to understand and connect with the people and groups we, as a Department, are working to improve the lives and health of everyday. This job can sometimes be demanding and being able to see and hear of the real and meaningful impact our work delivers helps me to keep motivated.
What are the limitations of your job?
Throughout the Graduate year we completed three rotations within different business areas of the Department. The biggest limitation with this is the limited time spent in each rotation. The timing of the three rotations is such that once you begin to feel comfortable and confident with the content and work of the area - it’s time to move on. That being said, having now nearly completed my third rotation I wouldn’t have it any other way. The opportunity to rotate throughout the Department and experience different work areas, change teams and face new challenges is invaluable and is a definite strength of the program. While yes, ideally it might be beneficial to spend more time in each rotation, the constant challenges and personal growth that come from being mobile within the Department and learning to adapt to new situations far outweigh any limitations.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Talk to as many people as you can, learn in as many ways as you can and try to see the positives in every situation.
Don’t be afraid to take risks and put yourself out there. While it might feel uncomfortable if you don’t ever ask the question, the answer will always be no.
It’s okay not to have all the answers and not to have a plan. Don’t let the confidence and certainty of others worry you. Life changes so quickly and some of the best experiences and opportunities happen by accident.
Why did you choose the Department of Health?
I chose the Department of Health because while I have always had a strong interest in the health area, studying Public Health I didn’t feel as though there was a particular job role that I would naturally fall in to. I believed the Department of Health would provide a broad overview of the health landscape of Australia and would assist me to broaden my knowledge and understanding of Australia’s health care system as a whole. I also wanted to develop my skill set and improve my understanding of health policy, program delivery and stakeholder engagement at a high level and recognised that the Department would enable me to achieve all of the above, plus so much more.
What are you interests?
I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I have two Dalmatians who love to go out exploring on the weekends. I love going to the beach and being outdoors. I am a pretty relaxed person who doesn’t take life too seriously. I enjoy being around people with a good sense of humour.