Where were you raised and who influenced your outlook on life and values?
I was raised in Charlestown and lived there until I was 15. I then moved to Broadmeadow which is where I live now. My parents strongly influenced my outlook on life, both have really strong work ethics, and that has encouraged me to always do my best and not let people down. They also both have a love of travel, which is something I now value and try to do as much as I can.
Where did you go to high school and did it help in your career decisions?
I went to Hunter School of the Performing Arts, which I loved. My major was drama which isn't directly relevant to my career but has shaped my personality, giving me confidence and an ability to speak clearly and in front of lots of people.
I also had a really amazing friend group who were super motivated and passionate about the world.
What did you study at University and why?
I moved to Sydney to study university, attending the University of New South Wales. My degree was in Media Communications majoring in Journalism. I always enjoyed writing and telling stories and thought that this degree would be the best fit for my skill set.
After finishing, what roles did you apply for and was it tough getting a job?
Immediately after finishing I spent six months travelling overseas which I loved. I then came home and spent about eight weeks applying for everything I could. I was applying for jobs in Newcastle, Central Coast, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. I think being just out of uni, lots of organisations were looking for more experience than I had. This graduate job was the dream so I feel super lucky to have gotten it.
You are now a communication and engagement officer at Lake Macquarie City Council via a Hunter-first program aimed at providing pathways for university graduates. Why did you apply for the job?
The opportunity to work in my field and remain local was the goal - this job provided me with that opportunity. I loved that the program was broad and gave me the ability to work within all aspects of a communications team to strengthen my knowledge and skills. To have the opportunity to work within two different workplaces straight out of uni is pretty rare and something that I hope will be an asset for my future.
What do you do on a day-to-day level?
Working with everyone in the comms team means my day can be fairly varied.
When I first get to work, I send out a media monitoring email, I then usually check all of our social media platform and answer questions users might have posted.
I'm working on a few different events and projects so I then usually start on writing media releases, updating a communications plan or creating content for a social media campaign.
The most challenging part of it?
With this being my first full time role within my field, the initial challenge of having such a structured work schedule was an adjustment. I've moved from working in hospitality, which is varied shift work, to a set Monday-Friday job. For the most part, I now enjoy the stability this provides. The admin building at Lake Macquarie is a maze so finding my way around is a bit of a challenge!
With this being my first full-time role within my field, the initial challenge of having such a structured work schedule was an adjustment. I've moved from working in hospitality, which is varied shift work, to a set Monday-Friday job.Eliane Beveridge
The most rewarding?
Seeing projects I've worked on come to fruition and be a success. Working with people in the community and hopefully providing them with the information they need to feel comfortable and happy. Getting paid to write things.
You will spend a year with the Council then move on to Hunter Water. Do you hope to gain employment at either upon completion?
That would be amazing! The most important thing for me though is to continue to develop so that I can be an asset to any work place - whether that's Lake Mac, Hunter Water or elsewhere.
How beneficial do you believe taking part in the program will be for your career?
Incredibly! Being at the beginning of my career, this program is creating the foundation for the way I will work and the kind of work I want to do. The team at Lake Mac have an incredible amount of experience and knowledge and I'm trying my best to absorb all the new information I am learning.
Many Hunter youth leave the area in search of better jobs in bigger cities. Have you seen that happen in your own circle and how do you feel about the so-called "brain drain"?
Absolutely! A lot of my friends have moved to Sydney, Canberra or Melbourne. My plan was to move back to Sydney if I couldn't secure a job here. I grew up here, my family is here. To be given the opportunity to stay in my home town is awesome and something I feel really lucky to be able to do.