Sahana Sreenatha grew up in Canberra but moved to Sydney after university. The draw to be closer to family brought her back to Canberra, and joining Accenture’s Public Service team has given her new insights into government work.

After finishing my studies at Australian National University in Canberra, I moved to Sydney to start my career. I worked as a data analyst, before moving to a business analyst role at one of the big 4. I gained a love for strategy and business process work, but I missed my family in Canberra and the lifestyle that the city can offer.

As well as looking for a Canberra based role, I was keen to find a position where I could get more government exposure and branch out from being a business analyst. I was looking for an opportunity where I could gain skills across a range of areas and try more things, as well as have more client interaction.

This led me to Accenture, and it’s been everything I hoped for. I get to use my business analyst skills, as well as doing change management work and be across more aspects of projects from both a technical and process perspective.

 Day at the wineries

Work that makes a difference
One of the reasons I was drawn to Accenture was my desire to get exposure to working on government projects. Initially, this was because I knew I wanted to return to Canberra and the recognition that the bulk of the opportunities here are in the public sector.

But I’ve really fallen in love with government work. It’s such a cliché, but seeing the impact our work has is incredibly motivating. For example, working on aged care funding reform projects,  knowing that my work is having a long-term positive impact on people that are care recipients gives me a real sense of meaning and purpose.

Coming to government work from the corporate space, it’s also been incredible to discover the depth of knowledge within the Accenture Public Service team. I didn’t have much understanding of the public sector, but the team has been so willing to share their insights, with deep and meaningful responses.

I also love the long-term focus of the projects we’re working on. In my previous work, the focus was on short, sharp projects of around 6-12 weeks. We’d get in, get it done, and get out. In contrast, here I feel like our approach in the Public Service team is more building a long-term client partnership. It feels like an end-to-end approach where we’re taking the client on the journey and also empowering them to be able to take care of the systems we implement.

The support to grow
The other big reason for joining Accenture was the company’s commitment to learning experiences. Before joining, I spoke to someone I knew who only had positive things to say about how Accenture supports its people to learn and grow, and that’s certainly been my experience.

There’s a vast amount of resources available, and my managers have been very encouraging when I’ve asked for specific training. For example, I wanted to get more formal training in the business analyst space, and am now completing a Business Analyst Practitioner course, which includes a recognised certification. This was a big shift from my experience at previous roles where I’ve felt like I really had to jump through hoops to access training.

It’s not just external courses, either. The ability to use Accenture’s online portal and get immediate access to internal learning resources and information has been incredible. In addition, management and senior staff have been so accessible and responsive when I’ve been looking for advice or specific expertise.

And a great lifestyle
Growing up in Canberra, I already knew there was a lot to love. It’s got a great culture, a fantastic food scene, and we’re close to some beautiful landscapes.

 Time for Snuggles with Max

But as an adult, what I really love about Canberra now is the stability it offers. When I was in Sydney, everything seemed to be contractor roles, but I have fantastic job security with a permanent role. It’s also things like access to a great health care system. I recently had an injury and needed to go to hospital. The wait times for the public health system were far shorter than what I experienced in Sydney.

Finally, while I don’t have children yet, starting a family is something I’d like to do in the coming years. Growing up here showed me what a great place Canberra will be to raise children, and I also think the warm and welcoming work culture I’ve experienced at Accenture means I’ll be supported in that life stage too when the time comes.

Are you looking for an opportunity to do work that impacts the lives of Australian citizens? Accenture’s Public Service team in Canberra has a range of openings at all levels.


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Sahana Sreenatha

Consultant - Startegy & Consulting, Public Service

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