A Black man, seen from behind, is talking to a Black woman via video call

Meetings, Accountability and Careers

I had a really great outcome I am eager to share with you. I will also encourage you to explore public information and accountability avenues, and discuss how you can get a job in a specialist policy team. Finally, how much do you know about Sydney? Test your knowledge on the quiz at the end of this post!

Meeting city

We started the day with our project team meeting, where we decided to go back to having our senior data analyst conduct the analysis planning and statistical analysis. For this project, we were trying something new, where the senior data analyst was playing a quality assurance role, and the project team was going to do the analysis. This wasn’t working out. Having the senior data analyst back in steering wheel is the best outcome for our project.

Today was a meeting heavy day. Apart from the one hour meeting with the project team, we had another one hour meeting with our entire unit. Then we had yet another one hour meeting with our branch. That started with a warm up exercise led by yours truly. I had entirely too much fun with it. I have shared the quiz with you below – have a go!

Then I had yet another 30 minute public communications meeting with my manager about the content that we migrating from our current team website to our new website. That was followed by a 40 minute meeting with our director, about one of my projects that is in the scaling phase (meaning our behavioural intervention has been reolled out to the rest of the state). We preparing to present the results to the rest of the governance group.

Our director approved our governance group presentation along with our recommendations. The PowerPoint slides are now going off to partner agency for their input.

I also completed it about 90% of the section that I’m coordinating on workplace adjustments. It’s part of a broader evaluation of our department’s policies, processes and practises on accessibility inclusion, and the outcomes for disabled staff in our workplace.

Moreover, I spent a lot of time connecting with stakeholders, and chasing up outstanding actions, because I’m going to be away for two weeks. I had to make sure that everything stays on track while I’m away.

Public accountability

Finally, let’s discuss public accountability. Our team always takes the time to respond to all public inquiries. By law, in our democracy, every individual has a right to have a response from public agencies. Every email, phone call, and any other piece of communication must be responded to and logged. I do hope the public takes full advantage this engagement.

Our team often gets a lot of questions from students and professionals wanting to join our team. Most questions come through our general mailbox, but occasionally, people reach out to individual team members. I had a student email me directly asking if he could do an unpaid internship. I let him know that these are illegal they should always be paid for their work. I gave them some advice about how to break into a career in public service as a behavioural scientist.

Joining a policy team

If you’re curious about how to join a specialist team like ours, there are currently three main avenues. First, through the graduate program. That’s ideal for recent graduates or people with only two to three years’ relevant professional experience. Graduates are placed into rotations with different teams for one year, then offered a permanent role. It is a lot easier to transfer into a specialist team like ours when you’ve built up a couple of years of relevant policy experience.

Second, is via the general recruitment round. Every department does bulk recruitment every few months. Agencies will advertise generalist roles, like such ‘senior policy advisor.’ Units can tap into that talent pool when they have roles available. That’s how I joined my team three years ago.

Third, is through an advertised specialist position. These are becoming rarer, but our team is able to use this avenue because there’s not a lot of social and behavioural scientists with the specific skills we need in the talent pool.

Now it’s time to start my leave! Get in the mood by doing the quiz below. Test your knowledge of Sydney and New South Wales. (I live and work on Gadigal land, Sydney.)

Quiz: how well do you know Sydney?

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