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Testimonials - Recruitment Programs


Adam Galpin

Procurement Officer, Building Management

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Transcript My background includes working in the retail environment in the private sector for a fashion store. Then I heard about the traineeships in government so I applied for one of them.  I was recruited through the internet.  They registered my name.  They sent out an application package which I filled out and sent in.  I had an interview within a month of sending it through and it was the first interview I got.  As for my experience in the department, I started as a trainee, obviously, working in the accounts payable area, which is paying of accounts.  I was then moved into Projects Support which is more hands on in the projects than the administrative side of each individual contract and now I'm currently working as a Procurement Officer, which is dealing with the contracts side of things and the legal aspects between the government and the builders.  What I love most about my job is the fact that I get to work with different ages.  Varying different people, different ages and backgrounds just coming together to get the job done and it's just interesting to see how I'm working with these people and just clicking with them in my environment.  At the moment I'm where I want to be. I???d like to get into management roles which I believe I'm on the path to do if I take on different roles and just getting an understanding of how the department works.  My plans for the future are to establish myself as a vital employee for DPTI, continue my work in the procurement area and hopefully get into the management positions if the opportunity arises.


Alison Croker

Trainee Service SA, Kadina

A respectable career with job security was my ambition.  That's why I decided to sign up for the Government Traineeship Program and also enrolled at the Kadina TAFE in Certificate II in Business.

One month prior to completing Certificate II in Business and Certificate III in Business Administration, I received a letter from Service SA, a division of the department, inviting me to an interview for a traineeship at the Kadina office.

A week later my new manager told me that I had won the traineeship.

I've met some very lovely people along the way, and think this job is a ???mixture of trades??? position.  I provide customer service to the public and process office administration work.  Each and every day is different as well as challenging.  That is what I love most about this position.  There is always something to do, so no one will ever get bored.  It is so versatile and there is so much to remember.  We are both ambassadors for government and the front line for other departments as well.

I am currently undertaking long distance study one day per week towards the Certificate 3 in Government.  So far I have found this experience to be unique.

I enjoy my work so much that I would like to further my career within Service SA beyond this traineeship!


Amie Horner

Senior Consultant, Community Engagement
(Journalist graduate)

I moved to Adelaide to commence a Journalism Degree and Diploma in Language and Culture Studies after completing my secondary education at Port Augusta High School.  I also worked part-time in the retail industry to support my tertiary education.

After gaining my degree, I joined DPTI as a Graduate Officer in Community Engagement, working with the Port River Expressway and Le Fevre Peninsula Transport Corridor project teams.  I was attracted to the flexibility of the department and the training it provided graduates.

The Graduate Development Program increased my understanding of government and was an excellent opportunity to network with fellow graduates across the South Australian Public Sector.  I was very impressed with the level of support and development during my time as a graduate.

I am now the Senior Consultant, Community Engagement, for the Port River Expressway and LeFevre Peninsula Transport Corridor projects.  I have gained valuable experience working on the Port River Expressway project and maintained strong networks with the contractor, key stakeholders and the project team.  I am definitely where I want to be at the moment!  I love the position that I currently hold - it is challenging, exciting and rewarding.


Ben Martini

Assistant Project Manager, Building Management (Trainee)

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Actually I first started in government as a trainee working for DAIS at the time, the Department for Administrative and Information Services, in Asset Services, as a trainee.  I actually came in as a person to do some drafting of some floor plans and basically that's how I started off in government.  I was in Asset Services for about two years and then I was fortunate enough, there was a spot within the area where I currently am in, Project Services, and had the opportunity to come here and start doing some project work on   Major Capital Projects.  So I'm managing some concept reports, some projects which are currently in construction.  So, basically my involvement is awarding contracts, tendering contracts, putting together programs and so forth and managing budgets and making sure the project gets done on time and budget which is the main objective.  I've enjoyed mostly working in various types of projects, from school projects to working on fire stations.  At the moment this is where I want to be. I really enjoy working where I am.  I've been given the opportunity to pursue further studies.  I would like to be in more of a senior role within the next several years, but I'm quite happy where I am at the moment, so it's really good.


Bernard Ho

Engineer, Projects and Infrastructure Division
(Civil Engineer Graduate)

When nearing completion of my Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Environmental), I received a department job advertisement via our School of Civil and Environmental.  I applied for the position and was lucky enough to be interviewed and offered a position four months prior to the completion of my degree.

I am placed in an area responsible for major projects.  My first job was with the LeFevre Peninsula Transport Corridor Project team and involved using high level communication and interpersonal skills.  This has helped to build my confidence in giving clear instructions to contractors, and communicating with colleagues and clients.  My current job involves the Northern Expressway Project.

I love my working environment as everyone is friendly, positive and willing to teach others and this has helped me to settle in quickly.  My three year graduate program includes rotational placements, mentor support, and training.  I am on an accredited training course, learning about working in government, managing myself, working in teams, ethics, and communication.  The department also supports individual skills needs. For example in project management and modern writing skill courses.  I am planning to get my Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) within three to five years, and am also planning to do my postgraduate studies (Master of Project Management or Master of Business Administration) in the near future in order to apply my knowledge to the department.

I love my job because of the office work and site supervision mix.  However, the rotational placements will give me an opportunity to gain diverse experience (technical and management).  Ultimately, I wish to come back to my current area at the end of my rotational placements to apply my gained diverse experiences and knowledge from my postgraduate study.  Please wish me LUCK!


Bonaventure Tan

Civil Engineer, Policy and Planning Division
(Civil Engineer Graduate)

During the completion of my Civil Engineering studies at the University of South Australia I was introduced to the Graduate Development Program offered by the department.  I realised the exciting possibilities that the program offered to develop my professional skills, as a new graduate engineer, while working in a challenging and diverse environment.

My first appointment was at the department's Crystal Brook regional office.  My responsibilities included the development of a Blackspot Program, Speed Zonings investigation, Development Applications & Land Division assessment and Asset and Traffic Planning analysis.  I was fortunate to be able to work along side professional peers and be part of a highly skilled team.

Speaking from first hand experience, the Graduate Development Program clearly demonstrates the commitment of the department to foster graduate engineers through formal training, mentor schemes and practical field work.

Graduate rotations provide unique opportunities to gain experience across the various divisions/sections across metropolitan and rural locations.  Taking advantage of this rotational scheme has enabled me to focus my career path while gaining skills in a wide variety of duties and tasks.

I have enjoyed my eighteen months working as a Graduate Engineer within the department and look forward to the next rotational appointment.  I encourage graduates to apply directly to the department's Professional Recruitment Officer.


Craig Oliver

Apprentice Electrician, Facility Services, Building Management

I completed Year 12 at Craigmore High School.  Afterwards I completed a pre-vocational course at Elizabeth TAFE.  During the TAFE course I was presented with the opportunity to apply for an apprentice position with the department.

I was successful in winning this position and am now a second year apprentice electrician with the department.

The department places me with different host employers so that I can gain a broader range of experience in the trade.  I actually get to have a say in the kind of electrical work I do.  This ranges from house wiring to building sites or control systems.

One of the advantages of having multiple host employers is becoming well known in the industry and having many good references, which will help my career.

The team at the department ensure I am equipped for the job I am doing by providing all necessary safety equipment and help with starting a tool kit.  I'm still undecided about which area I will specialise in, but I am currently working for an area which specialises in control systems and I am enjoying the challenge.


Jason Howard

Trainee Service SA, Mt Gambier

I had just finished both moving house and studying for an Information Technology certificate at TAFE and wanted something different to expand my skills.   This traineeship therefore was a perfect start in a new place.  I had no idea what the office was like at Mount Gambier's Service SA Centre, yet I had been there a few times and had an idea of what I was getting myself into.  During my interview with Service SA I had a taste of the friendly work atmosphere and that every person is on equal ground to each other.

I'm working as a Trainee Customer Service Officer and my Customer Service Traineeship is based loosely around the Certificate IV in Business with units chosen to best suit the office.  I am very much a part of the team, even though I get some time off to undertake my studies.

I am almost at the end of my traineeship and it's been one of the best experiences of my life.  I've met a great group of people and enjoy being a part of the team I work with each day.  Near the end of my traineeship, I know I have a positive future as I have gained hands-on experience which money cannot buy.

Out of the whole traineeship, the most enjoyable part that I have experienced is the fact that I am not treated any differently from the rest of the staff.  I am a member of the team and it has not mattered how long I have been here, I am still a valuable employee. I appreciate that!

My future is bright. I enjoy working with customers and plan on continuing employment in this field.  Right now, my feet are firmly in place and it is a good feeling for anyone looking for a foot in the door!


Jessica Wilkins

Policy Development Project Officer, Strategic Services, Building Management
(Architect graduate)

II completed a Bachelor of Design Studies in 1997 and a Bachelor of Architecture in 2000 from the University of Adelaide.  I then worked as a CAD draftsperson, architectural model-maker and video store attendant before joining the department.
During my years at university, I became interested in environmental and sustainable design, in particular, as it relates to the built form.  I realised that by working in government I could be involved in the influence of policy.  I applied to be on the Graduate Development Program and was fortunate to attain the position of Environmental Project Officer within the Building Management division in the department.
The best thing about my work is that it changes with each new project, some of which are long-term. For example, I was involved in the development of South Australia's Greenhouse Strategy for the building sector.  Some are more short-term projects relating to various aspects, practices, and built form life cycle processes.
Throughout my time in the department, I've been supported in the continuation of my education; I've been to training courses, attended various seminars and was encouraged to become a Green Star Accredited Professional, which I managed to do in April this year. I like the continual learning element that this work involves.


Jillian Hood

Asphalt Engineer, Pavements and Structures, Transport Services Division
(Civil Engineer Graduate and past Sylvia Birdseye Scholarship holder)

My qualifications are in Civil Engineering (Civil and Water) and Applied Science (Biodiversity, Conservation and Park Management) with first class honours from the University of South Australia.
I was awarded the DPTI Sylvia Birdseye Scholarship when I started university.  The scholarship provided vacation work every year in addition to employment opportunities at the completion of my degree.  I was also able to undertake part-time work during the final year of my course and transition into the graduate rotation program immediately on completing my degree.  Employees in the department have been really friendly and helpful.  Many of my colleagues even offered assistance with my studies throughout my degree.
I was recently awarded a permanent position in the Pavements and Structures Section after being on the rotation program for six months.  I currently work in a technical area of DPTI and enjoy the satisfaction I get from testing and doing very hands on practical work.  I conduct inspections on site and liaise with contractors, while also being able to do some meaningful research work.
I'm hoping to start my PhD in July and although I'm not completely sure where I'll end up, I'm positive that I will enjoy the journey there, and get many worthwhile experiences to add to my portfolio.


Julian Yii

Civil Engineer Graduate, Transport Services Division
(Civil Engineer Graduate)

I'm Malaysian Chinese and came to South Australia three years ago to finish my degree in Civil Engineering.  I worked for one year as a site engineer in Malaysia before coming to South Australia.

Hearing about the increasingly strong economy in Australia and the market demand for civil engineers, I made up my mind to work in South Australia after I graduated and DPTI seemed to be the best choice after considering several factors and hearing feedback from friends working in the department.  I chose DPTI as my first stepping stone into the workforce because it offers a range of training to graduates, depending on their needs and related field. It also gives graduates the choice of working in different sections on yearly rotations for three years.  This not only provides me with the opportunity to acquire experiences from each section, but also lets me find the position that suits me best before I settle down permanently.

I currently work as a project engineer in Transport Service Division in DPTI, and I am responsible for helping to deliver major infrastructure related projects. I get much satisfaction out of my work and I like the people I work with. Each major project is assigned to a team to make sure it is delivered on time, within expected cost and quality. The team comprises a Project Manager, Project Officer and Project Engineer.  My Project Manager mentors me, providing me with invaluable skills and advice so that I can perform my duties efficiently as an engineer. Working on big projects has given me the opportunity to learn more about project management, and improve my personal skills.  All in all, my future here seems to be bright, I like my work and can see myself improving in this field. I intend to work my way up from this position in the near future.


Kathy Lo

Architect, Project Services, Building Management
(Architect Graduate)

A month after completing a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Adelaide, I started working part time in a construction company as a draftsman, and applied for a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

I wanted to work part-time and complete my degree before finding a stable, full-time job in the public or private sector.  However, a month later I was given a chance to interview for a Graduate Architect position in the department.  I did not know much about the department at the time but was overjoyed to discover what it had to offer.  I would gain the practical experience I need to register as an Architect.  I had to think seriously about the direction that I wanted to take - continue my studies or take up the full-time job.  I did not want to give up this fantastic opportunity to work here in my field.

I have not looked back. I have been in my position now for more than a year and I am very grateful for the range of training and personal development opportunities. I have built background knowledge on the South Australian Public Sector and networked with other graduates entering the workforce for the first time. This has been a great support to me.

I love the responsibility and trust given to me in my job. With the guidance of a mentor or coach, I feel I am given many opportunities to be in the front line on projects.  I've worked in the department for over a year, and have been exposed to a wide range of projects, ranging from project risk management for heritage conservation to an architectural role on design projects.   I am now working on a preschool project and the prospect of my designs on paper being constructed and transformed to life gives me a great level of satisfaction.  Did I also mention remuneration for graduates is excellent?

Plans for my future have changed a little since graduation.  Now my main goal is to obtain my Architect's registration.  I plan to continue working here to gain further experience and in a few years' time, after obtaining registration, I would like the possibility of taking a year off to travel the world and work in a different country or state (another advantage of working in the department!).


Melissa Hamann

Site Engineer, Port River Expressway, Transport Services Division
(Civil Engineer Graduate)

This is my second year with DPTI after completing a degree in Civil and Structural Engineering.  During my studies I applied for an Indigenous Cadetship which I had heard about through my father, who was one of the stolen generation.  The department offered me an Indigenous scholarship which meant that each year I would do eight weeks work experience with the department over my summer vacation period, and at the end of my degree I would be offered a graduate position.

While studying I had a mentor from within the department and she assisted me with any of my questions about the department.  This experience was beneficial because when starting full-time with the department I already knew about its structure and some of the people working here. This helped smooth my transition from university to work.

I graduated with honours and then started working full-time with the department as a member of the department's Graduate Development Program.  I am currently on my second placement rotation within DPTI.  Last year I was managing a Rural Construction Gang and this year I am in Projects section working on larger projects that are in their early planning stages.  I am also assisting my manager with the Bakewell underpass project and the Tramline extension.

I enjoy working for the department because there are so many sections with a variety of available engineering jobs.  Also by being in the Graduate Development Program I have the opportunity to experience a number of sections across the department which gives me a broad range of skills.  The department is also a good place to work as there are many exciting projects that I will take a part in.


Nick Avery

Graduate Engineer, Planning and Design, Transport Services Division
(Overseas recruit)

Click to view video Testimonial

I came from the UK.  I was working as a Traffic Engineer for four and a half years before I came out to Australia to work for DPTI.  I did an original degree in Industrial Product Design, which is engineering related but not related in terms of the discipline I am working in now.  Whilst working as a Traffic Engineer in the UK, I did a Masters in Transport Engineering and Planning.  Then I decided to, four and a half years into my career, to make a move, career change, a sort of lifestyle change, and looked at my options. So here I am now, enjoying myself, enjoying my work, enjoying my life.  Yep, big transition, but it was well worth the move.  Well, I've worked on three projects over the past six months since I've been with DPTI, working on freight assessment projects throughout the whole of South Australia, which is good.  The other two projects that I've worked on have been more design related in terms of highway design.  And more recently the latest project I'm working on is a large roundabout design out in the Barossa Valley.

What I like most about my job is knowing that eventually what I'm designing, whether it be at concept stages or whether it's at detail stages, that hopefully it has the intention to actually be built out on the street.  You feel a sort of attachment to the work you're doing and you know it's going to be put out there and it's going to be adding to South Australia's infrastructure.  And really sort of, you feel like you're making a difference, and whether it be in terms of road safety improvement or efficiencies, or just improving the efficiencies of South Australia.  It's quite good knowing you're doing something like that.


Nina Hydbom

Project Engineer, Infrastructure Delivery, Transport Services Division
(Civil Engineer Graduate)

Click to view video Testimonial

Transcript I came to Australia about four years ago from Sweden and I did my engineering degree here.  I applied for a job with the department after a friend of mine was telling me about her work experience she'd done with the department and the type of projects she'd got to work on and I found it interesting, so I applied for a job.  I was recruited as a graduate engineer as part of the DPTI intake of graduates they do every year.  I went on the website and just filled in a form and got offered an interview and got a job.  Since I started I've been working mainly on the level crossing enhancement program which involves upgrading level crossings around South Australia, mainly to try and strop queuing across the rail levels and upgrading just simple things like signs and line markings.  And there's also another project that's been sort of incorporated on the side into this which is the Glenelg to Adelaide bike path, and as part of that we're building pedestrian crossings along the tramlines.  Where I want to be in the future, I'm not quite sure at the moment, but I'm hoping that as part of this rotation and my future rotations, I'll have more of an idea what I want to do.


Paul Bates

Acting Senior Accountant, Corporate Services Division (Cadet; Accounting Graduate)

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My background so far has been that I completed Year 12 at Sacred Heart College and then straight after that I went and did my undergraduate degree at University of Adelaide in Commerce, majoring in Accounting.  During that time I found out about the Cadetship at the department.  So I did that, after my first year.  That sort of helped me through university, a lot.  It really benefited me, it has given me a bit of financial stability during university and it's also given me that experience during the Christmas holidays.  Which has really, really helped me when I started doing my actual post graduate work with the department.  I wanted to work for the department because it really gave me an experience and a platform to be able to further myself within the government sector and also within the accounting profession.  I thought that would give me the best diversity in roles and experience.

The main work that I do at the moment is with Budget Management Process, ensuring we keep towards our budget goals and keep within the section???s, which is Transport Services, budget strategy.  Probably within the next five years is probably starting my CPA really and then maybe going overseas, using the experience that I've gained within the department and then taking that with me and working overseas.


Peter Tan

A/Senior Consultant, Engineering, Safety and Regulation Division
(Civil Engineering Graduate)

Click to view video Testimonial


Well my background is in Civil Engineering and I've completed a degree at the University of Adelaide in 2002.  One of the main reasons for working in the department is because the department has a lot of opportunities to allow me to grow professionally as an engineer.  At the same time it also has a group rotation program in place which ensures young engineers like me have the opportunities to try different functions and disciplines of engineering within the whole department.  I started off by doing Traffic Investigation stuff, learning about the road network and slowly I got the opportunity to act at a higher level when someone took leave.  What I enjoy most about working in the department is the flexibility that the department imposes on its staff.  Obviously there are benefits like the flexitime.  There are also flexible working arrangements in the department as well.  But the most important aspects of working in this department is obviously the importance and how the department actually values training in its staff.  The department actually spends effort and money in training a young engineer like me so I can grow professionally and personally at a professional level.  In five or ten years time I hope to be a good manager looking after a particular function within the department.


Sarah Park

Trainee, Land Services SA

Prior to working in the department, I worked as a casual employee in Big W.

When I saw the advertisement for this traineeship, the job was just what I was looking for!  I started my traineeship within the department in the Land Services Group and I am currently seeking Certificate 3 qualifications in Business Administration and Government.  I'm expecting to complete my studies soon.

What I've most enjoyed about being a trainee is the development opportunities, working in customer service and on the job learning from other staff members.  The development opportunities are certainly there as I also work in different parts of Land Services Group.

I love working in Land Services Group because it offers great opportunities to staff.  I also like the work that I do and I love the people that I work with as they are all friendly and very helpful.

I would like to gain a promotion in my work area and possibly undertake future study.


Thomas Butchart

Ferry Services Engineer, Fleet Management & Mechanical Services, Transport Services Division
(From Private Sector)

I am a Mechanical Engineer with a Graduate Certificate in Management and Certificate 4 in Workplace Training.  My engineering degree was completed in 1998 at University of SA Levels Campus.

I chose to work in the department as I wanted to be part of something bigger.  I saw the position advertised in The Advertiser and joined the department at the end of May 2007.

Previous to this role, I have held the position Test Engineer for Mitsubishi, both in Australia and Japan.  Other roles at Mitsubishi have included looking after tyres for both Northern Territory and South Australia and operating as an engineering consultant.

My current role involves working between head office in the city and the Morgan Dockyard looking after the ferry crossings for the State.  I work with people of all levels and disciplines and that keeps the role interesting.  I love the variation in the role.  Working for a family friendly employer was high on my priority list for choosing the department.  The flexi-time arrangements are great.  I am currently enjoying the role and look forward to the challenges that are coming up.


Tracie Hanson

A/Operations Unit Manager, Mid North Region
(Civil Engineer graduate and past Sylvia Birdseye scholarship holder)

My interest in maths, science and the outdoors led me to study Civil Engineering in university. I was fortunate to be awarded a Sylvia Birdseye Scholarship by the department which aims at encouraging more women in engineering.

I commenced working in the department on their graduate rotation program after graduation from university.  I spent five years rotating through three diverse sections and was exposed to traffic engineering, project management, contract management and construction fields.  My learnings were constant and there were challenges around every corner.  Just the job I wanted - stimulating, diverse, flexible and being given accountability for individual projects!

The department also granted me 12 months leave to work in the private sector - on the Westlink M7 - a $1.5 billion motorway in Western Sydney.

When I returned to the department, I found it was more flexible than the private sector and I was given developmental opportunities, job rotation and job satisfaction.  I held various roles including construction engineer, project manager and currently acting Unit Manager in Crystal Brook Operations Unit.
I am currently working towards an Advanced Diploma in Government Management.  Being in one role for many years does not work for me.  Varied work and roles have kept me interested, focussed, motivated and challenged.  The future looks bright with many great project and management opportunities - it is sure to be exciting and fulfilling.