In my capacity as an Adviser in the Office of the Victorian Minister for Industry & Trade, Major Projects and Information, Communication & Technology, I developed a new set of skills, including strategic policy making, project facilitation and analytical thinking.
It was crucial that I had a great understanding of the political landscape and knowledge of all issues and stakeholders in my portfolios, which include International Trade, the Financial Services Sector and the Defence Industry.
I provided timely, accurate advice for the Minister via the preparation of briefs and other advice by maintaining a solid understanding of key issues and how to achieve best coverage for government.
This included anticipating and creating good media opportunities for the Minister ensuring a well structured media calendar with maximum exposure of the governments’ key messages.
I played a key role in the development of strategic emerging policies and project facilitation, including the Victorian Financial Services Policy, the Industry & Manufacturing Statement, specific Industry plans (including Defence Industry and Fashion Industry), the Trade Missions program and the Victorian Exports program.
I worked closely with my fellow advisers to ensure the Minister is adequately prepared for Parliament by providing for him the correct advice and materials.
I had the added responsibility to deliver well structured travel programmes for any Ministerial trips overseas. It was imperative that every detail has been covered ensure the trips achieve the best possible outcome. This assisted me in fine tuning organisational and time management skills.
During my time in this role I accompanied the Minister on two overseas trips, one to Greece in November 2007, and a second trip to Japan and Singapore in March 2008.
Through good preparation and my extensive network in Athens, we were able to secure meetings with eight Greek Ministers, including the Foreign Affairs Minister and the Minister for Economy and Finance, followed by an audience with the President of the Hellenic Republic, the highlight of our trip.
In Japan our trip centred on high level negotiations with Toyota, which resulted in the leading auto-manufacturer’s decision to produce 10,000 hybrid Camry vehicles each year in Melbourne, beginning 2010, a move that will contribute approximately $150 million a year to the state's GDP.
In Singapore, the Minister and I held key meetings with large multinational firms, including Singapore Airlines and SingTel.
Together with the two ministerial trips, in October 2008 I visited Athens unaccompanied for a second round of discussions with the Greek Government and key business leaders in an effort to further develop the relationship between Greece and Victoria.
Other key enterprises that I was involved with include the BankWest project, which was finalised in May 2008 and will generate 700 new jobs in retail banking over the next four years, and preparing Victoria’s bid to be the home of key carbon market institutions, including the regulator and exchange for the Federal Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.