I try to get some physical activity in before work most mornings with a friend, so I’m usually awake and down at Lake Burley Griffin by this time. A morning walk will get us awake and energised for the day ahead, especially if it’s on a frosty Canberra winter morning.
I aim to be in the office by 8:00am most days of the week. Working within the Public Service, I am lucky enough to have fairly flexible working hours, including self managed Flex Time. Usually once I get into the office I will sit down and check my emails, making sure there are no urgent tasks that require completing, and catching up on any new project wide news. I need to look ahead on my calendar so that I can plan my day and my week. Throughout the Graduate Program, and in my current position, there are plenty of opportunities for training and travel, so it’s not unusual to have something on the horizon. In the past year as part of my job role I’ve travelled to various Defence bases, to Woomera for missile testing, and even spent a week at sea aboard HMAS Parramatta.
I work in the Platform Systems team of the Hunter Class Frigate Program. In the morning we will gather together to talk about what work will be going on in the office this week. Working on such a large scale project means communication is key, and understanding what the wider project is undertaking ensures a more fluid decision making process.
After our meeting, the team gathers together for the daily coffee run. This gives us a chance to get some fresh air and gives a relaxed and casual setting for discussion.
The Hunter Class Frigate Program is forging the way for the Continuous Naval Shipbuilding Program, and will deliver a fleet of anti-submarine warfare ships to the Royal Australian Navy. Being in its early stages, my colleagues and I spend a lot of our day trying to familiarise ourselves with the complex design, ensuring that any international engineering standards used by the Ship Manufacturer are sufficient to be used in an Australian end-product. Reading and reviewing any documentation or technical drawings received from our Industry partner on strict deadlines plays a role in our daily work.
At lunch I try to catch up with friends working in other projects within Defence. It’s good to get an appreciation of other programmes within the acquisition and sustainment field. The work we do directly impacts members of the Australian Defence Force in a bid to make their jobs easier, and to help keep them safe.
After a break, the afternoon is filled with either meetings with relevant stakeholders to discuss current platform design components, liaising with different work areas in the project to ensure smooth integration between on board equipment and the platform, or organising any travel to Shipyards or to Garden Island East to visit ships in our current fleet. Visiting the current Fleet is a great way to understand what we wish to change or keep the same in Future Platforms, and listening to the very valuable experiences of those serving on board is a great way to do so.
I try to debrief with my superiors once a week. This includes taking part in a Naval Mentoring Program. It is important to regularly reflect on the where you want your career to take you in the future, and whether the work you are doing is going to take you in that direction. I have found that my supervisors and mentor are all very encouraging in trying to get me the exposure and experience in areas I hope to explore more. You might never know what you’re missing if you don’t get your feet wet wherever the opportunity arises.
By now it’s generally home time. I make sure I’ve tied as many loose ends as I can for the day, and write myself a list of tasks to continue tomorrow.
Once I get home, I take my dog for a walk or to the park before cooking dinner. After a high energy day it’s nice to relax and watch television, read a book, or perhaps do some baking.
I try to be in bed by now, so I can be up nice and early to start again.