Wake up and do morning rounds of yoga and meditation.
Drive to Yarralumla Bay for rowing.
Morning training session with Canberra Rowing Club – rowing from Yarralumla Bay to Kingston Foreshore on Lake Burley Griffin. My first winter in Canberra was a particularly challenging adjustment with these early starts, but Canberra sunrises make it totally worth it!
Drive home from rowing and get ready for work.
Walk to work – one of the many lifestyle luxuries of moving to Canberra is my half-hour walk to work.
I begin the workday by walking to my desk, greeting my colleagues, logging onto my computer and checking my emails. This includes checking for meeting requests that may affect my day, for any all-staff updates from the Secretary and Senior Executive staff, as well as scanning the emailed daily media notifications for news items that are relevant to the portfolio.
I’ll then plan out my workday depending on my calendar, set goals on what I want to achieve that day, and revise my weekly to-do list. I’ll also check-in with my supervisor and team if there are any urgent priorities for the day that I can assist with.
Registering ministerial correspondence that comes to the department onto the PDMS+ (Parliamentary Document Management System). Parliamentary Branch plays the key role of liaising between the Minister’s Office and the department. Part of this involves directly servicing the Australian public by processing any correspondence that comes through from the public and then facilitating the responses from the Ministers and the department.
Coffee meeting with my Grad Buddy from the previous cohort. These sessions are useful in getting get advice on any questions I have about the Graduate Program, my placement, transitioning through different rotations, or life in Canberra in general. It’s been a really helpful system set up for us, especially in my transition moving to Canberra from Sydney for the Graduate Program.
Parliamentary Branch weekly stand up – where all the teams in our branch congregate for a meeting in one of the work pods to receive updates from our Assistant Secretary on anything that affects the branch as a whole. This includes upcoming priorities for the department, and if there is anything to be aware of happening in a certain area of the department. It also includes any updates that come through from the Minister’s Office. These updates play an important role as it is crucial to have a ‘whole of department’ and ‘whole of government’ view when working in Parliamentary. Additionally, if staff members have attended training and development, or special events, they will often report back to everyone at these stand-ups to share what they have learnt with the rest of the branch staff.
Graduate fundraising committee meeting – as part of the Graduate year, each cohort is tasked with choosing a charity and organising fundraising activities throughout the year to raise money for the charity. I’ve been involved with running the bake sales, which throughout the year raised almost $6000 for the Australian Childhood Foundation, our chosen charity. Our fundraising also included a department-wide trivia night, selling chocolates on each floor of the office, and the inaugural Barefoot Bowls event for Graduates and their friends from government agencies across the APS.
Lunch with my friends from the Grad cohort in the park across the road from our office building, or inside in the work social area. I’ll then come back to my desk after lunch and check my emails to see if there are any updates to my afternoon.
Drafting talking points, an event run sheet and our team’s presentation to introduce a new whole of government IT system to the department. In collaboration with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and other government departments, our Cabinet team has been working on the material to communicate the rollout of this new system of managing cabinet processes. Effectively communicating parliamentary processes and systems to the rest of the department is crucial to the work that we do in facilitating the coordination of parliamentary material.
Meeting with my team for my APSC GDP Major Project. The Graduate cohort participates in the Australian Public Service Commission’s Graduate Development Program, which includes completing a Major Project throughout the year in small groups, along with other learning and development opportunities. Our group’s Major Project was evaluating the department’s Gender Equality Action Plan 2017-2019 and we’re currently working on a presentation for the Executive Board – a meeting of the Secretary and Deputy Secretaries of the department.
Assisting with the development of training material for the new Cabinet IT system being rolled out by the Cabinet team. Training departmental staff on the new system is a vital step in the roll out process. We have been meeting regularly to test the training material to ensure it is communicated to the department in the most efficient and effective way possible. This will allow the new system to have a positive impact on the way in which departmental staff work on Cabinet items.
Final emails for the day and any admin that needs to be completed, e.g. emailing the Departmental Liaison Officers to organise the details for shadowing them in the Minister’s Office as part of my Graduate placement in Parliamentary.
Walk home from work, get ready for my netball game and carpool to Lyneham netball courts.
Social netball game in a team with friends from my Graduate cohort, as well as friends who are Graduates in other government agencies. Despite playing netball since I was in primary school, I have never been in a more enthusiastic, spirited netball team than this grad team. Think designing a team logo and having team t-shirts made, buying matching ‘Mighty Ducks’ socks, inspirational sports movie nights, a couple of players composing a team theme song, end of match reports, and all of the pre-game hype you could possibly imagine!
Go home to make and eat dinner, do the dishes, and finish any tasks I need to complete around the house.
Reading my book for book club, and replying to messages and calls from family and friends.
Sleep early for another early morning start for rowing!