Meet a Geographer — Working indoors

Ann Maudsley

Town Planner
Melbourne Water

Ann Maudsley at work

Work Description

I work with a team who undertake planning activities to promote effective resource management throughout the Victorian Planning System.  The role involves introducing and reviewing planning scheme amendments and other strategies to deliver effective drainage, waterway protection and floodplain management services to the development industry and the wider community.

The best aspects of my job

I work closely with engineers, surveyors, waterway planners and scientists, developers, the community as well as other planners from public and private industry.My position provides great opportunities to work alongside a variety of people from different backgrounds.  Both within Melbourne Water and externally, I work closely with engineers, surveyors, waterway planners and scientists, developers, the community as well as other planners from public and private industry.  These working relationships ensure I am constantly gaining new perspectives on waterway, drainage, flooding and planning issues.

My career pathway

I studied geography throughout secondary school, including Year 11 and 12.  Following secondary school I started a Bachelor of Urban Planning and Development in the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. I am currently undertaking Honours, looking at the relationship between environmental sustainability and urban form and density.  I have worked part time at Melbourne Water throughout much of my time at university, gaining experience in roles related to my studies.

Future career opportunities

There are increasingly more jobs … in my field as climate change and population growth … become more prominent. There are increasingly more jobs for people in my field as climate change and population growth thus development, become more prominent.  Future career opportunities include jobs in strategic and statutory planning, urban design and research working within local, state and federal governments, consulting firms, independent agencies and universities.

Advice to people considering this type of career

People studying geography at a tertiary level should undertake a variety of electives (e.g. GIS, physical and social geography) to gain an understanding of as many different aspects of geography as possible, to help determine what they want to focus on.

In addition I recommend undertaking Honours. Although writing a thesis can be a daunting task, it gives you a competitive advantage in the workforce and the opportunity to work on a project you are really passionate about.

Work experience as a vacation student or part time employee is also a good idea as it provides opportunities to meet and work with people in the industry. Work experience as a vacation student or part time employee is also a good idea as it provides opportunities to meet and work with people in the industry. Work experience is rarely advertised so it is a good idea to speak to university lecturers and tutors who are in the industry or ask employers directly whether or not they take on students.

Travel or exchange during university is also important. This enables you to experience and gain knowledge of different environments and cultures, an important aspect of being a geographer!