This month our short interview features Christine Latif, head of external relations at the Australian Synchrotron.

Describe your job in 25 words or less.
I look after relationships with external stakeholders – everything from organising user events and education programs to writing annual reports and communicating with government.

Our team helps promote the important work of the synchrotron, while also providing the organisation with an overview of the environment we’re working in. (Editor’s note: I had to let her get away with more than 25 words – she is my boss, after all )

Best aspect of your job?
The people I work with – I’ve got a great team and colleagues and the vestigial geek left from my research career loves hearing about the work that’s done at the Australian Synchrotron.

Worst aspect of your job?
Having to deal with last minute requests that aren’t always as important as the tasks at hand.

Best things about living in Melbourne and why?
I love the fact that you really only get to know Melbourne by living here… all the best stuff is tucked away and half the fun is finding it.

Your favourite overseas destination and why?
New York, I’m obsessed! I watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s as a kid and fell in love. I was worried when I first went it wouldn’t meet my expectations, but it did… and then some!

What are the biggest achievements to date for your section at the Australian Synchrotron?
Broadening our work with some of our partners, getting some really positive media (a personal buzz!) AND finally being able to give a tour on my own despite my limited knowledge of physics!

What is the biggest challenge for your section at the Australian Synchrotron?
Getting things done to the standard I like to see while dealing with so many demands on our limited time and resources.

What’s the most unusual or interesting question you’ve been asked about the Australian Synchrotron?
How hot does the beamline get? Really, I didn’t know whether to laugh or give a technical answer. Kind of depends whose beamline! (The technical answer is that we use lots of liquid nitrogen to cool down some of the equipment because filtering out the light we don’t need basically means absorbing the unwanted light energy – and that can generate quite a bit of heat.).