Project Officer, Infrastructure Development, Creative Victoria

Length of service: 9 years

My journey so far

I worked in the private sector for heritage consultancies for four years before I joined the Victorian public sector. In 2009, I started at the Public Record Office Victoria before moving to Heritage Victoria where I mostly worked on grant programs. 

After three years at Regional Development Victoria working in flood and bushfire recovery grant programs, I moved back to my primary area of interest and expertise — infrastructure and collections — with Creative Victoria. That was two years ago. 

So far, my public service career has exposed me to a variety of projects and sectors, ranging from client delivery, exhibitions, infrastructure and capital works projects, grant programs, asset management, governance and business case development.

My day-to-day work 

Every day starts with a coffee at my favourite cafe. Fueled up, I work concurrently on four long-term major projects, which are all at various stages of development or delivery.

If I’m not preparing ministerial briefs, possible parliamentary questions or correspondence, I’m coordinating or attending project governance meetings, writing and researching, liaising with consultants or colleagues, undertaking procurement, or meeting with stakeholders. Thank goodness for coffee.

How my work contributes to the Victorian community

Creative Victoria is the Government’s lead advocate for the creative sector. We manage an extensive portfolio of State owned assets — where Victorians go to enjoy and experience Victorian creative output. 

My work essentially supports a wide range of cultural, professional and creative activities. These include theatre productions, exhibitions, gallery cafes, communal outdoor spaces, public art plus collection storage.

Opportunities like no other 

I really appreciate the diversity of work and professional development I’ve gained throughout my career in the public sector. The mere fact that I’ve worked for four different agencies under the one employer is an enormous advantage, and certainly not available to me in any other type of job.

Over the course of my public service, I’ve used flexible work arrangements to pursue personal history research projects outside of work. I’ve been there for my family, having taken extensive leave as a carer. And I can feed my creative soul and learn on the job. These are just some of the perks that certainly were not available to me when I was in the private sector.

Experiencing diversity and inclusiveness

Creative Victoria’s efforts to be wholly inclusive and diverse means that I work with colleagues, managers and stakeholders who come from all walks of life. We have a new team member who migrated to Australia from Sri Lanka and we’re often treated to delicious Sri Lankan cuisine. 

Every time the organisation seeks to improve its processes or the culture in relation to gender equity, this supports me directly and indirectly. I attended a Secretary’s Exchange which provided me the opportunity to discuss my views directly with the Secretary about gender equity and how the organisation could improve its awareness of unconscious bias.  

Proud of my work

Over the course of my public service career, my current position is one of the most complex and challenging roles I’ve been in. The depth and complexity of the projects, the moving goal posts and competing priorities have been a significant learning curve for me. Yet, I've persevered and learnt an incredible amount about myself and the government in the process. 

I'm particularly proud of my work on the Collingwood Arts Precinct (CAP). The work involved working on asset management for the site and the Keith Haring mural, navigating through the Crown Land statutory processes, and supporting the CAP Executive and Board through Government’s bureaucratic processes. It sounds insignificant and a bit boring, but I can assure you it's been quite a ride! My work in that space is almost done, so I look forward to watching how the redevelopment progresses in future.

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives

I have always enjoyed the camaraderie of the teams I have worked in and I'm constantly impressed by the strong loyalty held by public servants advocating on behalf of the Victorian community. 

Getting to see behind the scenes at Victoria’s premier buildings is a perk of my job. Meeting and working with like-minded people, walking to meetings in the city and constantly learning new things are enjoyable to me. 

Having flexibility and control over how I manage my time at work, such as when I start and finish, taking annual leave and having the ability to reduce or increase my work hours is important to me in molding my work around my life. As Annie Dilliard wrote, 'How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.'