Updating Results

Attorney-General's Department (AGD)

  • 500 - 1,000 employees

Abbey Seckerson

The graduate cohort is a wonderful source of social support, and my mentor, buddy, and supervisors have been great sources of insight, guidance, and perspective throughout the year.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in England, but have lived in Canberra for the past 10 years. I absolutely love Canberra, and will unashamedly do my best to convert any interstate visitors into “Canberrans.”

What are your qualifications?

I graduated with a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours and Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University in 2018. I also completed the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice through the graduate program.

What is your current rotation?

The Administrative Law Section. This rotation has given me the opportunity to develop core ‘government skills’ essential for a career in the department and broader public service. I’ve drafted a number of submissions for the Attorney-General, reviewed draft legislation and provided comments on potential administrative law issues, drafted explanatory materials, and developed tailored responses to stakeholder questions.

What was your first rotation?

The Office of Constitutional Law. I was excited to rotate through the office as my honours thesis focused on the implied freedom of political communication and the systems of representative and responsible government established in the Constitution. This rotation provided deep insight into the Commonwealth’s approach to litigation and the preparation process. Notably, I assisted the office’s preparation for Comcare v Banerji [2019] HCA 23 (which examined whether the Australian Public Service (APS) Code of Conduct and APS Values imposed an unjustified burden on the implied freedom of political communication) and Masson v Parsons [2019] HCA 21 (which focused on whether a sperm donor was the legal parent of a child conceived via artificial insemination).

What has been the best part of your rotations?

I enjoyed the opportunity to observe a number of proceedings in the High Court during my rotation in the Office of Constitutional Law. As I had been involved in the preparation process, it was incredibly interesting to observe oral argument unfold and watch the bench engage with the complex issues and nuances that arose. It was also grounding to be involved (even in a small way) in matters of great significance for the parties involved, and broader Australian public.

What has been the best part of the graduate program?

The graduate program offers a great opportunity to meet like-minded people with similar interests and goals. The graduate cohort is a wonderful source of social support, and my mentor, buddy, and supervisors have been great sources of insight, guidance, and perspective throughout the year.

What other departmental activities are you involved in?

Another advantage of being a graduate is the ability to join the Graduate Fundraising Committee and contribute to the department’s culture and annual fundraising activities. I was part of the ‘September’ sub-committee and greatly enjoyed organising the inaugural ‘Great SES v Grad Bake

Off.’ This saw senior staff and graduates engage in friendly competition to raise funds for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. I also worked with a fellow graduate to organise a ‘You Can’t Ask That’ style panel event focused on mental health. This impactful event saw colleagues respond with honesty and humour to awkward or uncomfortable questions about mental health in the workplace.

Why should people be excited to move to Canberra?

Canberra is a criminally underrated city – by Australians. It has consistently made ‘best places to visit’ lists (Lonely Planet can’t be wrong, right?) and that’s because there is genuinely something for everyone. Love coffee and brunch? The world’s best barista is located in Canberra! Enjoy a cultural experience? The National Gallery, Portrait Gallery, and Museum of Australia are constantly bringing some of the world’s most incredible exhibits to the capital. Into history? Head down to the War Memorial or National Library. Passionate about the great outdoors? Namadji National Park and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve are less than an hour away. Are you a politics nut? Well… Canberra! It’s a city of diverse people, experiences and stories. Also, there’s no traffic – I probably should have started with that.