Anastasia Govan was one of those young people traveling around Australia who reached Darwin and never got round to going home.
After travelling with friends from hometown Ballarat to Cairns and then across the Top End, she decided a job in the library at Charles Darwin University would help tide her over until her next destination.
That was 12 years ago, and in that time the young librarian has transformed herself into one of the Territory’s most successful data-management and record-keeping managers, becoming the national Young Professional of the Year in 2006 in the process.
For the past 18 months Ms Govan has been the manager of planning and development in the Northern Territory Government’s community health department.
But this month she will switch to the role of coordinator of Charles Darwin University’s new Graduate Diploma in Information and Knowledge Management, an online course designed for those seeking advancement in their careers in librarianship, information technology and record-keeping.
‘It’s a huge growth area with large skills deficiencies,’ says Govan of the university’s decision to introduce the course.
‘It will show graduates how to combine the skills of data gathering, information technology and using the knowledge that comes from the interpretation of data and records.
‘Essentially, it’s about how to manage information in the digital era. It will also focus on legal compliance, how to interpret the NT’s Information Act, the security of information and what systems to use to manage electronic documents.’
Ms Govan has previously lectured in CDU’s libraries and information degree course on a part-time basis as she has developed her own career in this rapidly growing sector in the digital era.
Her talents in the workforce were recognised by the Young Professional of the Year award, which is open to young people under 35 working in a broad spectrum of the professions.
As part of her award last year she led a delegation of young professionals to Tokyo to seek and develop trade relationships.
The delegation has since been working on behalf of CDU on a memorandum of understanding with her Tokyo counterparts on ways to exchange research information.
Her title as Young Professional of the Year has also led to a busy round of national speaking engagements – from high school students to young professional associations and business and other corporate conferences.
Ms Govan says she is looking forward to the challenges of running the graduate diploma course, and plans to meet as many of her charges as possible through the online technology ‘chat rooms’ and video conferencing.
‘With the use of video we’ll be able to introduce the students to guest lecturers, and there will be plenty of opportunities for online chat about the course,’ she says.