I’ve always had an interest in government and the role government plays in improving our daily lives. Working for the NSW Public Service enables me to not only have a steady income but to have opportunities to improve the lives of all NSW residents.
I was hooked on joining the NSW Government Graduate Program after attending a seminar on the program at my university. The seminar exposed me to what I would get out of the program as well as what past graduates had done in the program. I knew that a position in the Graduate Program aligned with my values and what I wanted to get out of my career.
The recruitment process was simple compared to other programs I applied for. Like all job applications, it's very easy to get nervous and anxious, especially when it’s your first full-time role post-university studies. I felt supported throughout the whole recruitment process. I received numerous phone calls prior to the assessment centre to see if I required any supports. Also prior to starting, and even after I started in my position, the recruitment team and my own managers have followed up with me to see if there is anything they can do to enable me to have equal opportunity. I felt comfortable in asking for adjustments when I needed them. I found the recruitment team and process friendly, responsive and approachable to people with a disability.
To any person with a disability thinking of applying for the program, just apply! The recruitment process was a great experience and even if you are not successful in gaining a position, you will still learn a lot for future job applications. It’s normal to feel apprehensive when applying for a job, especially if it is your first full-time job after completing your university degree. Persevere and apply is the best advice I can give.
Meet Andreas Heger, A/Executive Director at the Department of Communities and Justice
I joined NSW Government in 2011 in what was known as the Department of Attorney General and Justice as a Policy Officer. I started my career at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and returned from postgraduate study in the UK. Since then, I’ve worked in a range of roles in the Department in criminal law policy, courts policy and, corrections policy. I’ve also worked as the Departmental Liaison Officer in the Attorney General’s Office and the Executive Officer to the National Council of Attorney Generals (then called the Standing Council on Law and Justice). Most recently, I have been the Director of Crime Policy, and the Director, Criminal Justice System. I am currently Acting Executive Director of the Policy, Reform and Legislation Branch in the Department of Communities and Justice.
I am legally blind – so there are certain occupations not open to me (bus driver, surgeon). Accordingly, I studied law, and having initially thought I would practice, I decided working on what the law should be – and how it supports the delivery of legal and justice services to the community – was more my interest. Once you are in the sector, there are many interesting roles available and these are relatively easy to find and access.
I felt supported throughout my recruitment processes. I have never shied away from disclosing my disability and requesting adjustments. In NSW Government, I feel like my disability has not precluded me from roles. I have been judged on my ability, not my disability.
My experiences with requesting adjustments have been positive. Reasonable adjustments have been made and I’ve utilised the Commonwealth Government’s JobAccess funding program to obtain technological solutions that travel with me to each role. I would say the NSW public sector has room for improvement to ensure that reasonable adjustments are implemented in the timeliest way. But generally, I have what I need to do the job to the best of my ability.