Public Policy Work | Government
I worked for the Victorian state government in Australia from 2003-2011, predominantly in the then-Department of Sustainability and Environment. I started off as a 'cadet' during my undergraduate studies, and then worked in several policy and programme delivery roles in coastal and marine planning and management, public land, and catchment planning. I was also a bushfire firefighter for the department for a number of years; my first deployment was during the infamous Black Saturday bushfires of February 2009.
Below is a selection of policy and projects I worked on during my time as a public servant. Many of the documents I worked on were unfortunately internal documents that I was unable to keep a record of. My time working for government has deeply shaped me as a person and as a philosopher.
Victorian Coastal Strategy
Victorian coastal council | 2007-2008
The Victorian Coastal Strategy 2008 (VCS 2008 - now superseded by the VCS 2014) is the key policy document for coastal, estuarine and marine environments within the state of Victoria, Australia. The Strategy is established under the Coastal Management Act 1995, which directs the strategy to provide for the long-term planning and management of the Victorian coast for the next 100 years and beyond. The VCS 2008 was one of the first policy documents in Australia, if not the world, to mandate planning for a sea-level rise of no less than 0.8m by 2100, in response to the projected impacts of anthropogenic climate change. I co-authored this strategy and was responsible for parts one and three, and much of the introductory material. I was also a key architect of the document's logic.
Public Land Services
DEPARTMENT OF SUSTAINABILITY & ENVIRONMENT | 2009-2010
For just over twelve months I worked as an Environmental Planner out of the Port Phillip region office in Box Hill. In this role I supported volunteer committees of management on public land (in particular, in writing management plans), acted as a liaison between the department and a number of local councils including the City of Melbourne, carried out risk assessments on public land, responded to requests from the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, directly managed patches of public land, administered grant funding, and carried out statutory approvals under a number of pieces of legislation. Being a 'street-level bureaucrat' was one of the most interesting, demanding, and rewarding jobs I've had to date.
MELBOURNE CENTRAL DSE CREW | 2009-2011
Public servants who work for key agencies dealing with public land, national parks, and water reserves are generally expected to have a summertime fire role alongside their usual role. After spending two years as a fire planner in the state emergency control centre, I decided it was time to try out the fireline. These experiences were some of the most eye-opening, challenging, and rewarding of my career. I took part in emergency deployments as well as planned burning operations. The group picture below is of my crew and I on the morning of what would become known as the Black Saturday bushfires. We were on the fire complex that originated in Bunyip State Park.
Natural Resources Division, DSE | 2010-2011
A proposed merging of policy frameworks and governance structures encompassing marine and coastal environments saw me seconded to the Natural Resources Division from the Public Land Division for a period of time. Although I missed public land, I enjoyed my time here because it provided me with an opportunity to take a broader 'whole-of-catchment' approach to natural resource management. I learnt a lot about parts of the landscape I had not previously worked with, such as waterways, forests, and agricultural land. I was also grateful for the opportunity to focus more on climate change mitigation policy.