I recently joined the Productivity Commission (PC), and am excited to be helping provide independent research and advice to Australian governments to improve long-term policy outcomes.
Several of my research participants noted that it's important to have economists working in areas of environmental policy, I'm curious to see how that works in reverse.
(June 2018 - Ongoing)
(June 2008 - June 2018)
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) of Victoria is somewhat of an extended family to me. Through a number of roles there since 2008 I learnt what it is to regulate, to make policy, to be the voice of those who aren't in the room, to be accountable to elected government, to understand the needs of industry and the community.
Working on a variety or projects, large and small, internal and external, and of local, state, and national significance, I developed a third of the 2011-16 5 Year Plan, represented the organisation and state on numerous working groups and committees, led small teams, and became the inaugural Principal Expert for Contaminated Environments.
(June - November 2016)
I sought out a secondment in the Public Sector Reform team of the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) to experience working in an area unrelated to my environmental regulation expertise and more aligned with my PhD research.
Shifting from an outer agency to the central one was a genuinely interesting experience, that allowed me to demonstrate the transferability of my skills, and respectfully bring new insights to the work of the central agency in the process. I brought new team building approaches to my immediate work group, developed and managed a project on public sector culture and leadership, successfully planned a launch event between DPCs Secretary and the Special Minister of State, reinvigorated an interdepartmental committee, engaged with multiple line agencies, and wrote speeches and public facing documents, among many other things.
(Sept 2007- May 2008)
I followed my love of plants and the cool things they can do into environmental consulting, hoping to apply some of what I'd picked up during my Honours research. I soon learnt that, while plants are cool, they are also slow and there are few site owners out there able (or willing) to wait for bioremediation to take its course.
Again, I demonstrated the value of a smile in working with an array of stakeholders - including those who didn't always want to play ball or considered themselves too senior to engage with a lowly graduate student. I also saw what people were willing to do for money - often resulting in less than optimal social or environmental outcomes -, and I didn't like it. I moved to the regulator of the industry, hoping to change what I saw.
My first paid jobs were in the hospitality and retail sectors. Through these I gained a whole lot of patience, an understanding of how different people's motivations and drivers can be, an appreciation of good food, and the value of a listening ear and a smile.
Hospitality & Retail