I’m Jack. I completed the National Graduate Program last year and worked in Centrepay program operations.
I grew up in Canberra and in Thailand and Malaysia, where my parents were posted. I have always been around public servants and joining their ranks was always my goal.
I completed a Bachelor of International Relations and Bachelor of Arts at the Australian National University. A background in international relations may not seem logical for a career at Services Australia. However, after finishing uni, I was keen to work somewhere different from focusing on international issues. Services Australia does such a broad range of work, and that really appealed to me.
I wasn’t sure that my degree directly related to the work of Services Australia. I was also worried that I would struggle in my first professional job. But I’ve found that the skills I learnt at university have been very transferable. This and having lots of support has helped me settle in quickly.
The best thing about the grad program, is the access to senior staff and a mentor. The senior staff within my branch took my development seriously. I also had the opportunity to spend a week in a Deputy Secretary’s office.
During the grad program, I got to try many different things. I got the opportunity to fill in for team members and see other work happening within my work area.
I started in the Centrepay Program Operations team. Which helps customers manage their money by paying bills directly from their Centrelink payments. Within this team, I helped manage communications with our staff, letting them know about changes to the program.
I worked on 2 projects. The first was to improve our internal referral process for when we need to seek legal or policy advice. The second was to reduce the use of paper reports to reduce the cost of our program.
One unexpected bonus of my job is the opportunity to travel for work. Teams can be dispersed around the country, so we sometimes need to travel to work together.
The cool thing about my job is the very real sense that I am helping people. One example is when I sent letters to customers who hadn’t set up their bill payments properly. I had a call centre staff member contact me after a customer identified my name on a letter. I was able to help resolve the issue for the customer. It’s great to know that you can personally have an impact.