Congrats to our 2018 work placement students

Work placement student Grace Coleman filming APO Director Amanda Lawrence at the APO Forum 2018

APO is delighted to report that several of our 2018 work placement students have recently gone on to find fantastic professional roles. 

Grace Coleman accepted a Policy Analyst role at FPL Advisory in November. She joined APO in July when she was completing the final semester of her Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at La Trobe University and worked under the guidance of APO’s Marketing Coordinator, Emily Silvester.

Grace worked on a range of projects, including the creation of a ‘What is Policy?’ article and video, a ‘How to Contribute a Resource to APO‘ video, analysis of the APO’s most popular reports from 2017, as well as interviewing, filming and producing APO Forum 2018 testimonials. 

‘Grace was a fantastic addition to our small team. We quickly released that she had a talent for both policy analysis and producing media. She has an extraordinary ability to understand complex ideas quickly and was very motivated to create outputs that could be utilised by APO in our Marketing activities. All while maintaining a contagiously upbeat attitude,’ said Emily. 

Julia Pham, who started her APO work placement in February, has accepted a role at multinational engineering firm AECOM. Julia – who was in the final year of her Arts (International Studies) and Commerce (Economics) degree at Monash University while she was at APO – said that she applied because she had found the APO website useful during her studies. ‘I applied for an APO placement because I have found the APO site incredibly helpful in the past,’ she said. 

‘I’ve recommended APO to my fellow colleagues and we’re all using it now!’

Julia Pham

Julia’s placement was overseen by APO Specialist Collections Editor Penelope Aitken, and augmented with data modelling teachings from APO Operations Director Michelle Zwagerman. Julia clearly had a talent not only for data analysis, but also for being able to generate meaningful insights from that analysis. While at APO, she developed a suite of Data Studio dashboards that are used by the APO team on a regular basis to provide website data insights.

Penelope gave Julia a glowing review: ‘Julia was a dream intern. Besides being very intelligent she was calm and willing to try any jobs we threw at her with minimal briefing – then contributed more on top!’

APO work placement student Julia Pham 

Julia tells us that she continues to use and champion APO in her new role: ‘I started work at AECOM and I’ve found APO to be a really awesome source for archived and limited-release research papers – especially in the areas of urban planning and development. I’ve recommended APO to my fellow colleagues and we’re all using it now!’

We’d would like to thank both Grace and Julia for their contributions to the work of APO, and wish them every success in their careers. 

To find out more about organising a placement or volunteering with APO, please contact