I am woken up by my husband’s alarm. As he heads off to work, I slowly get up and take our dog to the park. The morning air (and coffee) wakes me up, and I head home to have breakfast and prepare for the day.
I walk to the nearby station and hop onto a train into the city. The commute is long enough to bring me up to speed on current global events via my go-to news podcast, ‘The Daily.’ I also check ABC News for any important stories that have broken overnight. If something significant has occurred involving the Commonwealth, it could mean urgent work arriving in the office that day. My Melbourne commute is different from my commute during most of my grad year, which I spent at the AGS Offices in Canberra. I sometimes miss driving past Parliament House and the High Court on my way to our offices in the Parliamentary Triangle.
I arrive at the office and log on. I chose to settle in the AGS Commercial team during my second-last rotation of the grad program. One of the reasons for my decision was the variety of work – from advising on information and communication technology projects, infrastructure, banking and finance, State and intergovernmental agreements, to procurements, tendering and contracting probity! I do a quick scan of my emails and notice a reply has come through from a client we sent some work to the previous evening. We are assisting them with negotiations for a services contract and the client requested some last minute amendments. I quickly make the changes and send them off to my supervisor to be settled.
A message comes through on Lync – our internal messaging system. The Commercial juniors are heading to the kitchen on level 35 for breakfast. I join for a coffee and to catch up on everyone’s plans for the day.
I head back to my desk and see that my supervisor has accepted the changes. I shoot them off to the client and move onto my next task. We are providing probity advice to a client undertaking a significant procurement. This involves advising on procurement processes to make sure they are undertaken in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and are defensible under the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Act 2018 (Cth). I need some more information to complete my draft advice, so I ring the client for a chat. The client agrees to send through the information I need, and I get back to work completing the draft advice.
I take a quick lunch break as we have a Seminar Series booked in for 1.00 pm today. If it is sunny I will often go and meet friends who work nearby for lunch outside. Time is short today so it is lunch in the kitchen for me.
Seminar Series is run monthly from any of our 8 capital city offices. Today’s seminar is being held in our office, and as I sit down it is lovely to see some of my fellow ex-grads dialling in from Canberra. The panel discussion includes the General Counsel of a Commonwealth Agency, as well as Senior Executive Lawyers from our Commercial team. It is an excellent opportunity to hear more about the workings of the Agency and to understand how we can provide legal support in a way that best works for them. After a short Q-&-A session to conclude, we head back to our offices.
Another of last year’s graduates also returned to Melbourne at the end of the program, to settle in the Dispute Resolution team. We meet for a walk around the block to get some fresh air and catch up. We talk about our respective matters and how we are finding being back in Melbourne. As wonderful as it is to be home, we both agree that being based in Canberra for our graduate year was an excellent experience.
I head back to the office, stopping by my supervisor's office to discuss the preparations for the negotiations that I had been working on earlier. My supervisor explains how he plans to divide the remaining tasks, and reminds me to keep my calendar free to attend the negotiations the following week. I wrap up my afternoon by ensuring all of my time recording and narrations are complete. I plan my tasks for the next day as I enjoy knowing what is mostly in store for me.
My workday is well and truly finished. My final grad rotation was a client placement at the Department of Defence, where I worked closely with two Defence graduates. I meet them for a drink as they are soon heading off to other parts of Australia to complete their programs. I love hearing about what the office has been up to since I left.
I hop on the train home. When I get there I wind down by reading, I am currently finishing Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow. It isn’t exactly light bedtime reading, rather a compelling story of perseverance that I find hard to put down. After an hour or so I decide to call it a night.