At AEMO, we know that any organisation is only as strong as its people. This is why we’re sitting down with Graduate, Jacqui Mills, to give you an insight on some of the things our brilliant employees are achieving.

Energy Live (EL): Thanks for joining us today Jacqui. Can you tell me about your current role at AEMO?

Jacqui Mills (JM): I am currently working in AEMO’s Program Management Office (PMO) as a Portfolio Analyst. That means I help oversee AEMO’s 40+ projects, with a focus on their scope, schedule and budget. With so many projects occurring at the one time, it’s important that we are constantly evaluating if the work we’re doing is delivering the value we’re aiming to achieve. This is my fourth and last nine-month team rotation in AEMO’s Graduate Development Program, and it has been a fantastic way to get an overarching view of the business.

EL: What are some of the projects you are working on right now?

JM: Three of the projects the PMO team is working on right now are the Five-Minute Global Settlements initiative, the enhanced Cyber Security program, and the Integrated Forecasting and Planning piece. A lot of these larger projects have smaller projects built in to them, which means that my team needs to ensure that the right infrastructure and processes are available to support the project’s delivery, and that we’re managing our resources appropriately.

EL: What was it about a career at AEMO that captured your attention?

JM: In my last year of university I completed two fantastic courses on the operation and planning of the National Electricity Market (NEM). Although I already had a strong theoretical background in engineering and renewable energy, the courses about the NEM really opened my eyes to the system as a whole, and made me ask some basic, but necessary questions like where does electricity go once it’s generated and how is it all connected?

Coming out of university I knew that AEMO had a highly regarded Graduate Development Program, and as the nation’s independent system operator, I knew it would allow me to learn a lot more about the NEM.


Tarraleah (middle) and Tungatinah (LHS) penstocks and transmission infrastructure in central Tasmania.

EL: You recently spent six months on a secondment to Hydro Tasmania and Ausnet Services. How was that experience? 

JM: My secondments were a fantastic way to network with people from the industry, and gain some hands-on experience with transmission and generation services. Even though AEMO operates one of the world’s longest interconnected systems, we don’t own any of the generators or transmission lines, so getting the chance to visit the equipment was almost surreal. Sometimes when you’re sitting at a computer desk all day long, you can almost forget that the figures and diagrams on your screen are really large pieces of equipment operating all over Australia.

EL: What are you most excited about working in the energy industry?

JM: Thanks to Australia’s uniquely large and isolated system, AEMO is already tackling a lot of the challenges that come with integrating lower carbon technologies. Having the opportunity to solve these challenges first means that Australia’s energy industry is in the perfect position to become a pioneer in the dynamic energy landscape.