Updating Results

Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

  • #5 in Government & public service
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Liam Bangay

Meeting new people and thinking outside the box to find the most innovative and effective approach is a daily occurrence in my role.

What's your job about?

I’m currently in my second rotation in the Learning and Development (L&D) team within the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

I’m in the Leadership, Management and Enterprise team. My team is responsible for ensuring that all ATO staff are supported by providing extensive training and learning opportunities, such as mandatory training, and leadership training.

I’m currently developing a new learning opportunity for one of the ATO’s core skills – collaboration. The project is to develop the attributes and attitudes that relate to collaboration, rather than just the skills. To ensure the learning opportunities we develop will meet the ATO’s need, I ensure that I reach out to key stakeholders such as business lines, senior management and the target audience. This process will give me an idea of what the gaps are in the current courses we offer, how we need to fill these gaps, and what learning style the staff will prefer. I’m thoroughly enjoying my role as I have the freedom to make decisions, and I always have senior management's support, which has been pivotal in my ATO career.

What's your background?

I was born in the beef capital of Australia – Rockhampton and later moved to Brisbane, where I have been ever since. After high school, despite not knowing what I wanted to do, I enrolled in the University of Queensland with a degree in business management and an undecided major.                               

After one semester of university, and one law subject, I decided that law was for me. As changing my degree to a dual in business and law would require a years’ worth of grades and a good GPA, my goal for semester two was to improve my GPA to get into law. During my second semester, I worked hard to get the GPA I needed to transfer, but I soon realised that the harder I worked in my business degree, the more I enjoyed it. Once again, unsure of what to do, I decided to stay in my business degree and major in Human Resources, a decision I do not regret.

I later applied to McDonald’s and found it was a beneficial job that provided me with client service skills and leadership experience. After working there for a year, I became a manager which has proved to greatly assist me within my role at the ATO.

In my final year of university, I applied for the Australian Government HR Graduate Program. After interviews and assessment centres, I accepted the opportunity to work in the ATO.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes! All backgrounds at the ATO are unique and valued equally – that’s one of the things that makes the ATO so great. Although a degree in Human Resources is important for getting into the HR stream in the APS, the rest is up to you.

Working in a corporate world, it’s important to have good time management, the ability to prioritise your work effectively and be client focused.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

One of the aspects of my job that I love is tasks that require input from a range of people. Meeting new people and thinking outside the box to find the most innovative and effective approach is a daily occurrence in my role. I love the brainstorming sessions, it’s a great way to meet new people.

What are the limitations of your job?

Participating in a cross-Australian Government graduate stream means you need to be aware of everything happening in both your rotation within the ATO and the training and group assessments in the Australian Government HR stream. This process can be difficult as different departments have different preferences for communicating such as online (email, teams, zoom, etc). The requirements of the Australian Government HR and some role requirements within the ATO can sometimes overlap and contradict each other. However, by communicating and staying up to date on all the news, it is highly beneficial and ‘do-able.’

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  1. Make the most of your time at university – don’t let flexible study options (such as online university) get in the way of creating friendships and relationships that can help in your personal and professional life.
  2. Don’t binge entire seasons of TV shows in exam week.
  3. Go overseas, travel and use your holidays to gain experience of the world.