2019 graduates dive into fisheries – part 1

Each year the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) hosts two graduates as part of the AFMA Graduate Development Program. The graduates undertake three rotations across 12 months in various sections at AFMA, including a four-month rotation at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Louise (Lou) Cathro is taking on a role in the Policy, Environment, Economics and Research team, focusing on a climate change adaptation project for her first rotation at AFMA. Here, she shares with us what she’s most looking forward to this year.

Can you tell us about your background?

I grew up in Melbourne before coming to Canberra to study a Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine Science and minoring in Biology at ANU. I also gained some experience in fisheries monitoring while working for Archipelago Asia Pacific as a data technician. Before being accepted into the AFMA Graduate Development Program, I had originally planned to further my tertiary education with an honours project focusing on the applications of Geographic Information Systems in Marine Protected Areas, but I’m now looking forward to what I’ll learn this year at AFMA.

What made you apply for the AFMA Graduate Development Program?

I grew up with an interest in both fishing and marine biology. For me, AFMA was always on my radar as a workplace of interest, especially once I started studying marine science. The AFMA Graduate Development Program stood out to me in particular because of the opportunity to experience three different rotations in a small agency. Once finishing my science degree, I was keen to put it to good use in an organisation where everyday decisions could make a real difference in Australia’s natural resource management. So applying for this grad program was a no brainer for me. I had also met some AFMA representatives at a graduate fair in my final year of study who were really supportive about me applying for the program.

What are you most looking forward to for your graduate year?

The more I learn about AFMA as I go through my graduate year, the more opportunities I had never even considered seem to be popping up. The week-long industry project has been a highlight for past graduates, so I’m definitely looking forward to that. I also didn’t expect to be lucky enough to be working on a climate change adaptation project in my first rotation, so with my graduate year starting on a high note, who knows where this program could lead!

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