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MELISSA

Program Lead

Department for Education

Tell us about your career pathway.

After graduating with a double degree in Law and Arts (Politics) from the University of Adelaide, I placed my details on the graduate register and soon after, started working with the Department for Education in a graduate position. I have continued within the Department in a variety of roles, and at one point, while undertaking full-time studies in a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice to be admitted as a solicitor. 

 My current role is dynamic - I manage, negotiate and develop processes to address the human resource and industrial relations impact of transitioning the State's Year 7 cohort into high school in 2022. 

What does an average day look like?

I'm currently working on a highly evolving project and I can't say that any two days are the same. Over the course of a week, I can finalise the negotiation of a teacher recruitment process, meet with internal stakeholders to understand how the transition of year 7s into high school will impact children with disabilities and behavioural issues, or spend time preparing a brief for an upcoming Budget and Finance Committee.

What do you love about your job?

My current position challenges me and it also affords me career mobility. I have been lucky to work in multiple roles during my time in Education which has broadened my subject matter knowledge, helped me build connections, and developed my understanding about how the Department and government functions.

Why do you do what you do?

My current role leverages my strengths by allowing me to develop processes and provide advice on industrial matters (law) on a project that has political implications (politics). There is a level of satisfaction that comes from working on a project and being able to stand back at the end of the process and say "I helped achieve that". In Education, our central focus is the education and wellbeing of the State's children.

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

In addition to the career mobility it provides and the diversity of people it attracts, the public sector can be incredibly flexible. It offers excellent employment conditions including generous leave and flexible working arrangements. I have a portable device that allows me to work from common areas, offsite or at home. I'm able to work around commitments such as personal appointments with the use of flexitime.

Why have you chosen to work in South Australia?

I have always lived in South Australia and, over the past ten years, I have seen it blossom, which has reinforced my choice to work in this state. South Australia has an abundance of wonderful events, cultural celebrations and excellent food and wine, and it's continuing to grow. In addition, Adelaide is such an accessible city - with travel under an hour to various wine regions, and less than 20 minutes to the beach.

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