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  • Hear from recent Evergreen program participants

    Here are some stories from staff who have completed the Evergreen program as well as from one of our program managers.

    Program participants

    Jacinta Lane

    I am an Aboriginal Palawa woman. I started at the ATO through the Evergreen program in February 2017.

    When I first started, I was concerned I wouldn’t meet the standards as I had never worked in a government agency and had little tax knowledge. I was pleased with the high level of support and training I received.

    Reaching the end of the program, I have gained a Certificate III in Government, as well as being offered a permanent position with a promotion from an APS 2 to APS 3. The networks and friendships I have formed through the program have enriched my experience.

    I would highly recommend applying for the program, as it opens the doors for Indigenous people. It is an amazing opportunity to gain experience and training that you can take with you to any workplace.

    Robert Whybrow

    A friend, who was on the Evergreen program in 2015, recommended the program to me as a good career path in a great place to work. I applied and was successful in joining the Evergreen program in February 2017. Initially, I was surprised I was selected considering I am over 50.

    My first rotation was in Debt Early Intervention; which was a steep learning curve for me but was a good placement to learn many ATO systems. I am currently in Learning and Development for my second rotation - working on creative media. This has been a great opportunity, as my passion is photography. Creative media involves editing videos for learning and development projects. I also get to photograph many site events throughout the year. When my rotation finishes, I will see the 2017 participants move on to APS 3 in various business lines.

    The ATO is a great place to work with plenty of support for Evergreen program participants. This is especially good if you are looking for a career path in the public service. There are many different paths available once the initial training and probation has been completed. Interesting opportunities, along with great support, networking with other colleagues and a good work/life balance, makes the ATO a great place to work.

    Carissa Daisy

    I am a Wiradjuri woman from Narrandera, NSW, however I have lived in Townsville, Queensland, for the past seven years.

    I started in the Evergreen program at the Townsville ATO office in March 2016. The program was a great opportunity for me to enter into the Australian Public Service. Secure employment and flexible working arrangements were a big consideration, and bonus, being a mum to a young family.

    During the 18-month program, I completed two rotations in different business lines. The program allowed me to complete Certificate III in Government, and I have gained a vast knowledge of the tax and superannuation systems.

    My skills and capabilities have developed immensely and I have had the opportunity to mentor and train new Evergreen participants. I have built strong relationships and networks that have assisted me throughout the program and into my current position.

    The ATO's Indigenous Employment Network (Moondani) has monthly meetings which I am currently the Co-Chair. Moondani enables Indigenous staff from all areas of the ATO to share knowledge, ideas and events. I have had the opportunity to be a part of committee to organise site events such as National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC.

    I highly recommend this program to anyone, I am happy to be in such a flexible working environment that gives me a great work/life balance.

    David Brazier

    Getting on in age, I was both excited and a bit scared as to what challenges would lay ahead of me as an Evergreen participant.

    Having never worked in the Australian Public Service before, the Evergreen program has proved to me that I still have a lot to offer the Australian community. I have also enjoyed working in various roles in a friendly and culturally aware environment.

    The start can be daunting to say the least, but the continual level of support from all levels of staff made my experience one I would like to share, and, in particular, encourage others to become involved in if the opportunity arises.

    If you are looking for a start in the APS within the Australian Tax Office and you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, then the Evergreen Program is for you!

    Tula Clutterbuck

    I am a proud woman from St Paul, Moa Island in the Western Islands of the Torres Strait.

    I started in the Evergreen program at the ATO in February 2017. The program runs for 18 months in which you complete two rotations. I became interested in working for the ATO as my family have been a part of the agency for generations. I knew it was a great environment to learn and challenge myself.

    My first rotation was within the Superannuation business line, focusing on Super guarantee audits. This was a great experience and I learnt a number of important skills. I dealt with customers on a daily basis and began learning about the superannuation systems.

    My second rotation was within the Review and Dispute Resolution (RDR) business line. This was a completely different experience. I worked on reviews and objections against the decisions made across a range of different work types. I thoroughly enjoy working in the RDR business line, as I am continuously learning and challenge myself, and no case is the same.

    The opportunities I have had within the Evergreen program have been amazing. The Evergreen program has given me a path into the ATO and the tools to succeed within the organisation.

    Deane Carroll

    My first day at the ATO was at induction with the Evergreen program cohort in Parramatta. We were welcomed with a morning tea hosted by Jeremy Moore, Assistant Commissioner of Workplace Diversity, and we heard from previous Evergreen participants.

    My first rotation was in Enterprise Solutions and Technology (EST) where I worked across a variety of roles and teams (software management unit, vendor management and executive office). My work involved procurement, software audits and contribution to the two-year extension of the Managed network services contract between ATO and Optus. I was also fortunate enough to gain higher duties and complete a formal qualification funded by the ATO.

    I currently sit in Fraud Prevention and Internal Investigations (FPII), an independent assurance function located within ATO Corporate. My day-to-day duties vary, however FPII’s purpose is to prevent, detect, and investigate fraud, corruption or misconduct by ATO employees.

    The ATO supports staff to be proactive in facilitating their professional development in the workplace - with endless opportunities to promote learning, enhance productivity, and complete formal qualifications.

    Overall, the program has provided me with a foot in the door to secure long-term sustainable employment with the Australian Public Service. I would highly recommend the program to Indigenous Australians seeking to enhance their career opportunities and advance their skills in a professional environment,

    Jasmin Turnbull

    I am a proud Aboriginal woman whose family lineage is connected to Mulanjali people of the Beaudesert area, and the Bunjalung people of the Northern NSW area.

    I became aware of the Evergreen program through family, and was encouraged to apply because of the opportunities for career progression.

    I’m one of five Evergreen program participants who commenced in February 2017. During the 18-month program, we complete two work rotations and a Certificate III in Government.

    My first rotation was in the Business Service Centre. Whilst it came with challenges, I have built resilience and come away with a lot of knowledge. I had no prior knowledge of tax or superannuation besides how to lodge my own simple tax return. The depth of knowledge I gained in this call centre rotation is extremely valuable and very much sought after in business areas. This rotation laid strong foundations for my second rotation within the Community Education and Assistance (CEA) team – enabling me to work closely with Indigenous communities

    You will get to work with a variety of people from diverse backgrounds in each rotation. You will increase your knowledge and ability to engage with diverse frontline customers and internal and external stakeholders. The opportunities to develop my professional skills to further my career are extensive. My program manager and team leaders have been very supportive. I now have the opportunity to give back to the community through education of the Australian tax and super systems.

    My passion and commitment to progress to represent our Indigenous employees was acknowledged when I was successful in my application for the role of Co-Chair of the Moondani Network (a site-based support for Indigenous Employees).

    Further to my development, I have also attended the Women’s leadership symposium and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee roundtable which were valuable networking opportunities.

    Program manager

    Karen Ahern

    Karen Ahern

    I am a proud Aboriginal woman and my people are the Kurnai/Gunnai from East Gippsland in Victoria. The ATO was my first job straight out of school. I sat a public service test and was lucky enough to be successful and offered a job at the ATO. Over the years, I have undertaken various roles within the public service and in the community which have provided the opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge.

    I am a program manager with the Entry Level Programs team and I have been involved in the development, implementation and management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs nationally across the ATO. I am also involved in various Aboriginal networks both within the ATO and external to the organisation.

    I am able to share my knowledge and experience with participants while providing support. I help them understand the expectations of the program and how to take ownership to succeed and advance their careers.

    A highlight for me is when an Evergreen participant successfully completes the program with new skills and knowledge in their career journey.

    Last modified: 23 May 2018QC 49440