Avid readers of Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) News may have already read about one of AFMA’s graduates for 2019, Louise, and we’d now like to introduce another graduate.
Owen Carr is taking on a role in the National Compliance Planning and Operations team for his first rotation in the 2019 AFMA Graduate Development Program. Graduates on this program will undertake three rotations across 12 months, including one at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Hear from Owen on what sparked his interest in applying for the AFMA Graduate Development Program.
Can you tell us about your background?
I grew up in Canberra and studied a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Earth science and Water science, at the ANU. After my bachelors I decided to focus on environmental science and natural resource management, so I enrolled in a Masters of Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science at Lund University in Sweden. Sustainability science focuses on combining both natural science and social science to deal with real life complex problems. My master’s course exposed me to the complexes of dealing with global fisheries and made me realise how well regarded Australia is in this area.
What made you apply for the AFMA Graduate Development Program?
The AFMA Graduate Development Program stood out to me for a number of reasons. Firstly, the fact that AFMA is such a small agency compared to many other departments and deals directly with industry, means the work you are doing is practical and has real, noticeable impacts. Unlike many larger departments where graduates often work on policy high up in the command chain, the work you do in AFMA has much more immediate and visible impacts. It also means you get to know your colleagues on a much more personal level, and the opportunities that are available to the graduates are many. For example, I am currently looking at getting out into the field to see fisheries operations first-hand to assist with my current project in domestic compliance.
A second major motivation for me to join AFMA’s grad program is my love for the ocean and my desire to conserve Australia’s pristine marine environment. Growing up we often spent our holidays at the coast, fishing, diving and enjoying the many bounties of the ocean. Conserving this environment for future generations was a major motivation for me to join AFMA.
What are you most looking forward to for your graduate year?
There are many things that I am looking forward to in my graduate year with AFMA, and the opportunity to develop and run an industry-based project is very exciting. Working in AFMA, I feel it is important to be able to relate first hand to the industry we manage. The industry project will be a great way to get in-field experience and speak directly with the industry.
Secondly, I can already see that the work I will be doing in my first rotation could have real positive impacts for AFMA. I am excited to see what I will be able to achieve throughout the whole grad year, and be able to look back and say “I contributed to these projects and these are the outcomes that came from them”. I also think the opportunity to work in three different rotations throughout the year is a great way to get an overview of the different areas AFMA covers, and where I would like to work in the future.