Renee - Community Catchment Partnerships
  • Last updated:
  • 04 Oct 2019

I recently completed my Masters of Arts (Geography) following a Bachelor of Science (Geography) and Bachelor of Arts (Sustainability) at the University of the Sunshine Coast. After spending countless hours scrolling through job advertisements, and writing applications for any position I was remotely qualified for, I found the My Summer Workplace Internship advertised on council’s opportunities page. I worked hard on my application and considered myself lucky to be invited to the group interview and I was thrilled to be offered this internship position working with the Community Catchment Partnerships team.

I was allocated a number of projects during my internship working closely with the Waterways and Catchment Management and the Community Nature Conservation Program teams. Some of the projects included:

  • coordinating a litter tracking project to spatially track bottles fitted with GPS units to illustrate the movement of litter in our waterways
  • developing a Waterways Litter Reduction Management Plan
  • establishing some citizen science ClimateWatch trails in council’s bush reserves
  • developing an educational toolkit for teachers to maximise student’s engagement around tree-planting days.

I have strong interests in the work of both of these teams and it was great to have a range of projects to work on so I could put my skills to use in various areas. A litter tracking project and routine water quality monitoring took me to beautiful creeks and rivers across the Sunshine Coast that I had never seen. I may have scrambled up a few creek beds, sunk into mud a couple of times, been startled by a goanna, got a few spiders in my hair, and kayaked face-first into thick mangroves during a mission to retrieve litter from behind the mangroves but it was all for a good cause and I am grateful for every opportunity that presented itself to me along the way.

This internship provided me with many opportunities to connect with people across the organisation, allowing me to get a feel for the wide-reaching responsibilities of council officers. I am grateful to have been able to partake in training workshops, extend my networks, and to accompany colleagues when undertaking operational work in the field. I have always craved to learn new things and this internship has enabled me to do exactly that. I recognise the need to step outside of my comfort zone in order to grow, and I have been jumping at every opportunity that presents itself to me. Coming out of this internship after 12 weeks, I am certainly more aware of the processes and procedures of council’s operations. I have grown professionally and have come to realise some personal strengths that I possess which will assist me to be more confident as I enter the workforce.

My colleagues were supportive from day one and despite juggling a large workload, always took the time to explain things to me and answer any questions I had. I met a talented and hard-working bunch of people along the way who will hopefully remember me if they see my name on a job application in the future. Working with council has been a great experience and I highly recommend anyone interested in one of these positions in the future to apply.