DWYER, Ellen

Degree:

Bachelor of Science

Graduation year:

2019

Current Position:

Senior Community Partnerships Officer

Employer:

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

Can you tell us about your time at Federation University? What has been your journey since graduating?  

I completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Ecology and Minor in Environmental Restoration. I thoroughly enjoyed this course, particularly with the emphasis put on local and regional environmental management issues and the networks that were formed. After I graduated, I commenced working for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning as a District Fuel Management Planner. I currently work as a Senior Community Partnerships Officer at DELWP and serve as a forest firefighter during the summer season. I have been very fortunate to have been offered great opportunities within DELWP since completing my degree.

What have you taken away from Federation that you use in your current role? How did the course assist you in finding work?

Knowledge gained about local environmental management issues during my degree has given me a wide perspective of issues and an understanding which is helpful when engaging with key stakeholders in my role at DELWP. I regularly use the fieldwork skills I attained through my degree.

I was also offered the opportunity to complete my science Industry Placement Program which helped develop my resume and interview skill. Once I completed my IPP, I understood where I wanted my career to progress. I also used numerous lecturers as references while I was applying for roles in my second and third years of my degree which was really beneficial.

What is the proudest moment in your career so far?

If I had to choose one, it would be the creating our District Joint Fuel Management Plan which encompasses all fuel management activities (fuel reduction/cultural/ecological burning, mulching, slashing etc) for three years. Once this was developed, I presented it to multiple emergency management agencies and community members. This provided me with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment knowing that I had led the district planning of the protection of numerous high risk bushfire communities.

What inspires you to continue the work you do every day?

Knowing that I get to help reduce bushfire risk to communities every day and give back by either suppressing bushfire, or by engaging and educating the community on our fuel reduction works. Every day is different when you work with the community, there is always more to learn. I also love our backyard and the hidden treasures in our State Forests.