What's your name? What did you study? When did you Graduate?
My name's Dean Allen, an indigenous graduate from Esk, Queensland. I studied a Bachelor of Laws from Griffith University in Queensland and graduated in 2016. Since then, I have worked in the Queensland Government at the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy in the Vegetation Management and Native Title - Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) Implementation teams, as well as a Law Graduate in Litigation at the Department of Environment and Science.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Esk, a town of about 1000 people an hour and a bit north-west of Brisbane. Prior to studying at Griffith University, I attended Lockyer District State High School in Gatton. Throughout my years of university study, I undertook a number of interesting classes including; the Criminal Advocacy Clinic, Maritime Law, Immigration Law and Media law to name a few. In 2016, I studied International Environmental Law at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, where I also travelled around Amsterdam and Brussels for five weeks.
What are your areas of responsibility in your current rotation?
I am currently a Graduate in the Legal Services team. My responsibilities currently include undertaking legal research and assisting in the drafting of advices, briefs and correspondence for queries under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000, Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011, Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011 and associated regulations, rules, and methodologies. This has included assisting the disclosure team with information sharing and agency secrecy requirements and providing policy advice in the Renewable Energy Target and Emissions Reduction Fund spaces.
Part of being a Graduate at the Clean Energy Regulator requires the completion of a group graduate project and media clip. This year our project focuses on inter-agency collaboration and knowledge sharing. The project is an on-going responsibility of Clean Energy Regulator graduates, it involves consultation and engagement with a number of Departments and Agencies requiring travel all across Canberra, weekly meetings to check-in, decide workloads and discuss project and stakeholder management as well as the development of the media clip and project report. Currently, I am involved in the creation of the media clip which involves making a video storyboard, sourcing media equipment, engaging with senior executives and other staff, rehearsing, acting, filming and editing.
The graduate project provides invaluable experience in project and relationship management. It affords an opportunity for graduates to network across the public service, as well as develop communication and organisational skills.
Can you describe a typical workday?
I usually get in about 8.00 am to 8.30 am, check my emails, calendar and to-do-list, then I make a coffee. Once I’ve figured out how busy my day is looking, I organise my workload to fit around any training, travel or meetings I have that day. Each day is quite varied and requires me to be flexible and responsive to what may emerge throughout the day.
Some days will require me to be at my desk and enjoy banter with the team, while others may require multiple meetings or catch-ups with staff and stakeholders. As a graduate, you will be out of the office undertaking training with the Australian Public Service Commission on a semi-regular basis, as well as attending agency training, seminars and social club events.
I will normally work inter-changeably through a few different tasks per day depending on the requirements and deadlines. I make it a priority to engage with my team and manager to understand what the priorities and emerging issues of the section are and see if there is anywhere I can help out.
Generally, I will have lunch around midday.
Post lunch, I settle back into my desk and read the news to make sure I’m across any relevant developments in the fields of environment, energy and climate change. I’m currently involved in legal regulatory compliance so I regularly undertake research and advice tasks to provide clarity or resolve issues regarding offences against, or the admissibility of evidence relevant to, our legislation. So I will spend a bit of time having a chat with my manager about compliance approaches and learning how to be an effective, pragmatic lawyer.
In between other work obligations, I also catch-up with my graduate colleagues and mentor to touch base and debrief.
Towards the end of the day, I complete a to-do-list to remind me where tasks have progressed and any further requirements needed to finalise them. I find using my calendar and a to-do list helps keep my days structured and organised. Following this, I’ll normally leave the office at about 5.00 pm.
I don’t live far away so it’s only about a 25-minute walk home. Once I get home I’ll chill out, make dinner and have a beer.
What do you love most about your job?
I enjoy working with a highly engaged, knowledgeable and innovative workforce that has a strong belief in the purpose of the agency - to accelerate carbon abatement for Australia. As a graduate, you complete three rotations across different business areas which provide you with insight into, and technical knowledge of, climate change legislation and policy. Rotations allow you to try out different opportunities available to you within the agency after your graduate year, including but not limited to: policy, intelligence, investigations, finance, risk, economics and more.
The working conditions at the Clean Energy Regulator help you achieve a healthy work-life balance with generous leave entitlements, including cultural leave for indigenous employees, a competitive salary and flextime. The location of the office is central, meaning shopping centers, restaurants, bars, and parks are all within walking distance.
Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?
Three pieces of advice I would give a current university student would be: