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Department of Health AU

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees
Dept of Health Graduate profile - Leah

Leah Johns

7.00 AM

Breakfast

The most important meal of the day!  For me, it’s usually two pieces of toast with peanut butter, and a cup of tea, while I’m getting ready for work.

8.00 PM

Carpool

We have this great parking incentive near work, called ‘Three for free’, which is exactly what it sounds like - if you have three people in the car, you get to park all day for free! Luckily for me, three other Health Grads live in the same suburb as me, so we take turns driving each week. It’s great - we save money on parking, and we get to catch up each morning before work. What could be better than starting each morning catching up with friends?

8.30 AM

Media monitoring

I start each day by scanning media for articles relevant to our Section, and forward on anything of interest; I find it’s also a great way to keep up to date with current priorities across the Department.

8.45 AM

Project management

As part of this rotation, I’m currently overseeing two separate projects with guidance from my graduate supervisor. One of the projects involves establishing a request for tender to engage a program evaluator.

I’m currently preparing the documents for the tender and a Brief for my Director to approve the proposed approach to the market. My supervisor provides me with direction and encourages me to attempt the task on my own before seeking feedback. I also look at past examples of similar work to gain an understanding of the style and language used in preparing these documents. I really value being able to think through this task for myself, and having access to my graduate supervisor when I need assistance.

11.00 AM

Team catch-up

We have a team meeting in the kitchen where we each provide an update on our current work priorities and their status. It’s also a chance for us to discuss our individual and collective workload, and re-prioritise tasks if needed.

12.00 PM

Lunchtime

There’s an outdoor area between our two office buildings with plenty of tables and chairs. I usually head downstairs to meet some friends there for lunch and get a bit of sunshine. It’s a standing open invitation amongst the Grads; our cohort is really friendly and social, so you’re guaranteed to find someone else eating lunch there at the same time.

1.00 PM

Reviewing deliverables

I continue working on the other project I’m overseeing, which involves managing the contract for an independent evaluation of a national program funded by the Department. I’ve been asked to review the draft final report for this project. In doing so, I have to consider multiple perspectives; including the Department, and our various stakeholder groups.  

I really enjoy this task, because it allows me to apply so many skills I developed at Uni; it’s also satisfying to know that even as a Graduate I am trusted to provide my input on the draft report.

It’s a solid, evidence-based report; using both qualitative and quantitative data from multiple sources to inform recommendations. This task requires my full concentration (and a quick break in the middle to make a cup of tea).

2.30 PM

Health ball meeting

Our main project for a year as the Health Graduate cohort is to organise a Ball on behalf of the Department to raise funds for a local community organization. The team I’m in is responsible for managing the ticket sales and seating arrangements. Our team meeting today is to decide on which three online sales platforms we are going to present to the Executive for approval; we create a list of requirements, discuss and vote on the options, and leave with our top three recommendations.

3.30 PM

Urgent task

I return to my desk to find that my Supervisor has returned my draft brief with feedback. But before I can work on the updates, my Assistant Director says that she needs me to review some program guidelines as a matter of urgency. The guidelines are currently being revised, but the drafts require an urgent update following a stakeholder teleconference.

There are five guidelines in total; I read through all of them to make sure the terminology is consistent, making updates where necessary, and progressively forward them to my Supervisor for clearance. There is some urgency to this task, but working together we manage to get it completed just in time.

5.00 PM

Hometime

I pack up my desk, but before I shut down my computer, I email myself a quick list of priority tasks for the next day.

I meet the other Grads from the carpool in the foyer and we chat about our day and our plans for the evening on the way home. For a couple of us, Thursday night means it’s netball night (or ‘Netty’ as we affectionately refer to it).

8.15 PM

Netty

Our social netball team is made up entirely of Health graduates. A large portion of our team (myself included) has not played netball before; but it doesn’t matter, because we’re there for the fun of it. As usual, we don’t our game win - but we always have a great time playing together!