Danette, 2019–20


What were you researching before you started as a Science Policy Fellow?

My background is in public health and I worked in health services research, investigating the effectiveness and implementation of different interventions and models of care for patients with a range of conditions. My key areas of focus were interventions to meet the psychosocial needs of people affected by cancer, and digital health models of care such as telehealth.

What policy area are you working on through the Science Policy Fellowship Program?

I am part of a multidisciplinary team based in the Service Delivery Strategy Division at the Department of Human Services, which works to set, coordinate and implement strategy to support the network to deliver trusted services to customers. 

How has your research background helped you contribute to policy development?

This position has made me aware how transferable the skills we develop in research really are! Critical thinking, the ability to evaluate and synthesise evidence, and being able to clearly communicate complex information in different ways to meet the needs of different stakeholders are critical to this work. It’s been great to see how approaching issues from the perspective of evidence-based decision-making is highly valued.   

How has the program changed your career aspirations?

My career aspiration has always been to make a difference, and while I felt I was doing that in research, this program has opened my eyes to so many other ways I can make a difference too! I am keen to contribute to pursue a career in policy development and excited about the range of ways to do this. 

What is your favourite part about working in a policy role in the Australian Public Service?

I really enjoy the fast pace – the work is intellectually stimulating and the wide variety of activities within the department means there is always something new to learn and work on! There is also a real sense of being part of something bigger, and working together to achieve a common good.