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Principal, Science Communications

Department for Environment and Water

How did you get to where you are today?

I initially trained here in Adelaide in stage design, followed by public policy and politics. I then completed a graduate program in Canberra, where I stayed on for six years.

I moved home to Adelaide to raise our first baby. I then worked for BHP Billiton but was itching to get back to the public sector, so I jumped at a serendipitous opportunity in the Department for Environment and Water's (formally Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources) science branch - an area with no previous communications focus.

Three years (and another baby) later, I've established a niche as Principal of Science Communications in the Science and Information Group.

What does an average day look like?

I work with scientists, managers, and our design teams to design and execute marketing and communications strategies.

Some days I'm doing branding, event communications, or digital solutions for projects; other days I translate scientific findings into key messages and narratives for public release.

I also write web content, briefings, speeches, presentations, and provide strategic communications advice to the Group Executive Director. No two days are the same.

What do you love about your job?

I love the people I work with, and I've been fortunate to be supported by inspiring and accomplished women leaders.

I enjoy the challenge of helping multidisciplinary teams connect the dots and come to a new understanding on a problem.

I like pushing individuals to find better solutions, and to better communicate how what they do helps South Australia conserve, sustain and protect our environment into the future.

Why do you do what you do?

My role lets me play to my strengths by working with like-minded people to explore communication challenges in the science space.

Government communications is not just an add-on, it's a process - a way of thinking about problems and solutions. The public is more digital and social media savvy than ever before, so government communications is an exciting space to be in. I find the challenge really rewarding.

What do you see are some of the benefits of working in the public sector?

The roles across government are varied and the subject matter is endless - you really can choose your own adventure. The public sector has enabled me to channel my creativity and my passion for problem solving in ways I'd never have imagined.

Ease of mobility across the public sector means that if you're good at what you do - and you work hard - you can forge any number of rewarding career paths. Flexible work arrangements make balancing work and family easier than ever.

Why have you chosen to work in South Australia?

It feels good to be a public servant in my hometown. I love South Australia - its climate, landscapes, food and wine, and its many festivals. Knowing that my day-to-day work contributes to South Australia's bigger picture is intensely satisfying.