Youth employment series: Meet Alison Obszanski

At the Department, we pride ourselves on an inclusive and diverse workforce. Workplace diversity means everyone benefits from a wide range of experiences and perspectives. This leads to a real boost in ideas, skills, and creativity in the workplace.

Part of our workplace diversity involves supporting the career growth of younger Australians. In this series, we meet some of the valued trainees and graduates working at the Department.

Q&A with Alison Obszanski, graduate

Alison joined the Department as a graduate in the Policy, Planning, and Innovation directorate.

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Pictured: Alison Obszanski attending the Regional Skills Summit in Albany

What attracted you to the graduate position at the Department?
Training is an important pathway to improving lives and providing opportunity. Quality education is key to wellbeing and fulfilment, and I believe that skills training is uniquely positioned to better the lives of marginalised members of our society. I felt the Department’s remit was one I could get behind. I applied for more than 100 jobs before I was offered a position in the Department and I am grateful that someone gave me the opportunity to prove my skill, gain some experience and begin to realise my potential.

What did you study at university?
I did a double major Bachelor of Arts in Literary and Cultural Studies and Creative Writing at Curtin University. I then did an Honours year in Creative Practice, where I wrote a short film screenplay and accompanying exegesis, working within the discipline of cultural studies to critically examine cinematic depictions of climate change. I received a First-Class Honours for my hard work. I consider cultural studies to be my primary major. Cultural studies explores the construction and maintenance of meaning within a culture, and draws on sociology, philosophy, politics, linguistics, sex and gender studies, race studies, disability studies and literary analysis.

Where’s the best place you’ve travelled to?
I haven’t travelled very much, so my choices aren’t particularly broad. But without a doubt, Wanaka, New Zealand is my favourite, with Queenstown, New Zealand coming in a close second. The beauty of these landscapes is truly ineffable. I am temporarily outside of the graduate program working in Service Delivery to organise the Regional Skills Summit and have been fortunate enough to travel to some of the Summits. Kununurra is now the farthest north I’ve ever been – it was a great experience, but it was also 42 degrees.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I’m very bad at ‘relaxing’, so I usually spend moments of ‘down time’ listening to podcasts or watching true crime documentaries while doing something else such as embroidery, playing a video game, doing a jigsaw puzzle, and always with a good cup of (green) tea. I also enjoy gardening, baking, going for walks in nature, spending time with my cat (Cairo), and my partner and his cat (Solaire), watching trash television and eating too much bad food.

What advice would you give to other graduates?
With radical change comes radical growth. Tackle uncomfortable and frightening tasks head-on, viewing them as an opportunity for growth. The more you can experience now, the better prepared you will be in the future. I would also like to encourage graduates and other staff to join me in adding their pronouns to their email signature to normalise self-identifying pronouns!

Page last updated October 07, 2022