Year of exchange: 2008/09
Group Leader: Chris Munro
School: Camberwell Girls Grammar School
Town / city of exchange in Germany: Lübeck
A memory / anecdote from your exchange: I have so many wonderful memories of exchange from singing Christmas carols with my school choir in a candle-lit cathedral to exploring the beauty of Neuschwanstein in the snow. I met some incredible people both Aussies and Germans and am lucky to still keep in contact with my host parents a decade on.
Studies on return from exchange: Double Degree in Law / International Relations and a Diploma of Languages (Spanish) at LaTrobe University, Melbourne.
Career path since then: After graduating I moved to Canberra to pursue a career in international relations and government. Since starting as a Policy Graduate with the Department of Defence, I've held various roles in international policy at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Department of Defence.
What are you doing now? I'm currently working as an Assistant Director at the Department of Defence advising the government on defence cooperation with PNG. Through our Defence Cooperation Program we help PNG develop an increasingly professional, capable and sustainable Defence Force, to allow our two forces to work effectively together in regional stabilisation, peacekeeping, disaster relief operations and supporting major national projects.
In my spare time I volunteer as a rural firefighter with the ACT Rural Fire Service.
How the SAGSE exchange experience influenced your life's journey: Before going on exchange to Germany I wanted to become a paediatrician. Meeting the Australian Ambassador to Germany on our group trip to Berlin completely changed the direction of my career. I'm so grateful to SAGSE and Allianz for the opportunity to broaden my horizons and to the former Ambassador to Germany Ian Kemish for encouraging me to consider a career in foreign affairs and the public service.
Where are they now? - Issue 1-24