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Graduate video: Prachi is using her Masters of Public Health to turn evidence to policy

By listening to a community's vision for its waterways, she's promoting open spaces where people thrive.

Graduate video: Hear from Prachi bout her time with the Victorian Government graduate program.

One of the best features of the graduates program is being exposed to new things. You find yourself doing work you didn’t even know existed.

I really enjoyed my rotation in the Department of Health and Human Services. It was completely different to anything I had ever done. I worked in volunteer policy.

I supported the annual Premier’s awards for volunteers, mostly through event planning. People are nominated in various categories. Then the Premier presents the awards in a ceremony at Parliament House. It was uplifting to read about the contributions people make to their communities.

In that rotation, I used the strong writing, oral and critical analytical skills I developed in my studies. I would say these are the key skills to be successful in the graduate program and in government in general.

Ready-made networks

I appreciated the friends and network I made within my grads cohort. We’re fortunate to have this ready-made network of people working across all different areas of government. In the year since completing, I’ve drawn on this network quite a lot. 

At uni, I specialised in epidemiology and biostatistics. I have a strong interest in population health research and I wanted to work where I can play a role in decision making.

I’m currently working on a project called Waterways of the West. It arose from community calls to do more to protect the Werribee and Maribyrnong rivers.

Turn evidence into outcomes

We’re doing lots of community engagement, both online and in person. We’re talking to traditional owners, water corporations and other members of the diverse communities in the west. We're trying to draw out the community vision for the waterways. From that, we’ll work towards an action plan, hopefully co-designed by community and government.

There’s plenty of evidence that communities thrive when exposed to healthy outdoor spaces, so this work has the potential to improve lives. 

I get immense satisfaction from knowing the voice of the community is genuinely influencing my work. 

I would recommend the Victorian Government graduate program. Research the area you’re interested in, but go in with an open mind. Be ready to take advantage of all the opportunities your grad experience will provide. There is so much meaningful work where we can make a difference. 

Reviewed 10 May 2019