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Lauren's graduate story: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander pathway, generalist stream

Lauren is an Indigenous woman of Southern Kaanju, Wuthathi and Torres Strait Islander descent. Beyond the graduate program, Lauren plans to expand her skills and experience in government communications.

A smiling graduate on a green background

Pronouns: She/her/hers
Studied: Bachelor of Communications, majoring in Digital Media
Stream: Generalist
Pathway: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander pathway
Home department: Department of Transport and Planning (DTP)

About me

I am a quiet and laidback person. I am an Indigenous woman of Southern Kaanju, Wuthathi and Torres Strait Islander descent and I’ve always considered my identity and connection to culture as deeply connected to my sense of self and wellbeing.  

When I’m not at work I spend my time with my friends and family, eating good food and listening to music. 

What ‘Working with purpose’ means to me

‘Working with purpose’ means doing work that I find meaningful and fulfilling. As well as work that I know will have a positive impact on other people’s lives.   

Why I applied

After finishing my degree, I was still unsure of what area I wanted to work in, and I figured that the grad program was a great opportunity as it allowed me to experience a range of work in three different departments.    

Where I worked

My three rotations were:  

  • Department of Transport and Planning (DTP)
  • Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA)
  • Department of Education (DE)

In my first rotation I worked at DTP and assisted in coordinating my team’s communications activities as well as helping out at events promoting the department’s employment programs. Then, at DEECA I was able to further develop my comms skills especially in areas such as social media content creation and website editing. My third rotation was at DE in Workforce Policy and Reform. I had never worked in policy before, but I was excited to give it a try. I found it was something I enjoyed doing and it became an area that I could see myself working in. 

Tell us about hybrid working

Hybrid working has been super useful when it comes to maintaining a work-life balance but it has also been nice to catch up and engage with colleagues in person when I’m in the office. All my rotations have been supportive in making sure I was set up with a desk, monitors and other equipment at home.   

Overall experience

The grad program has been a positive experience which matched my expectations. My supervisors were supportive in ensuring I was doing the type of work I wanted more experience in.  

Everyone I’ve worked with has cared about my personal growth and wellbeing and went out of their way to make me feel included and that my opinions were valued.  

Throughout the grad program the Aboriginal Employment Unit and the other Indigenous grads have been a great source of support. A highlight of being part of the pathway has been taking part in cultural activities such as a marngrook making workshop.   

Advice for people considering applying through the pathway

If you’re unsure of what area you want to work in, feeling a bit scared of the whole process of applying for a grad program, or have worked in places where you haven’t felt culturally safe, then applying through the Aboriginal pathway is a great way of having that extra bit of support throughout the application process as well as in the grad program itself.