2022-23 Australian Science Policy Fellow: Eseeri
Eseeri Kisaakye is an agricultural scientist with varied experience from academia to the industry both in Australia and internationally. Before joining the Department of Finance, she was a Technical Writer with Deloitte Australia. Prior to this, Eseeri worked with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries as a Research Agronomist and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture.
What were you researching before you started as a Science Policy Fellow?
My research background is in agriculture. I worked on different projects in the agronomy and crop physiology space. My recent research aimed to address skin hardening and root-splitting disorders in sweet potatoes through nutrient manipulation. I was working to develop integrated pest management strategies for nematodes in sweet potato farming systems. This entailed comparing different nematicides with various agronomic practices including rotations to reduce nematode populations and improve soil health. I also collaborated on Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) funded projects to develop clean sweet potato seed material for Papua New Guinea.
How has your research background helped you contribute to policy development?
My knowledge and experience have been highly influential in navigating the policy space. Transferable skills such as critical thinking, emotional intelligence, data transformation and analysis, attention to detail and ability to thrive in multicultural teams and interdisciplinary work environments have been instrumental in helping me to contribute meaningfully to the policy development process. The ability to leverage experiences and insights from a global work perspective has also enabled me to bring a unique approach to policy issues in the disability space.
How has the program changed your career aspirations?
The program has highlighted the endless opportunities available through working in the APS. The APS mobility scheme and secondment opportunities present an opportunity to gain diverse work experience from a range of government portfolios. This is a great way to consolidate experience, skills and knowledge for influential whole-of-government policy advice. I hope to continue with the impactful work of delivering sound, timely policy advice on a range of social issues.
What is your favourite part about working in a policy role in the Australian Public Service?
Apart from the thoughtful conversations on a range of policy issues, I like the collegiate and teamwork approach to providing robust and timely advice to government, particularly on urgent issues. I always wanted to understand how government conducts business, and this opportunity has provided just that.