What do our graduates have to say?

In our Graduate Development Program, you will undertake three workplace rotations over 11 months. This allows you to get a sense of the diversity of work across our portfolio and make a meaningful contribution in each area. Rotation placements are determined through an Expression of Interest where individual preferences are matched with organisational requirements as much as possible.

Workplace rotations vary significantly and could see you:

  • helping to set the course for Australia's digital future
  • developing policy that supports and protects our cultural heritage
  • regulating airports
  • implementing the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan
  • developing policy for broadband, telecommunications or broadcasting
  • working on the development of the North-South Corridor or Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail
  • supporting regional development and local communities around Australia

No matter the rotation, you will enjoy exciting, rewarding and challenging experiences that will kick start your career in the APS.

We were the only Federal Government Department listed in the Top Graduate Employer by the Australian Association of Graduate Employers in 2023 as a result of feedback from our graduates on their experience in the Program.

Some of our past graduates have shared some of their experiences of the program.

Day in the life

Additional Day in the life profiles are available for:

Graduate testimonials

Samantha Edwards

“The 2020 Graduate Development Program provided me with valuable learning opportunities, an important foundation of public service knowledge and a great network of friends and mentors. I was fortunate to be relocated from Brisbane to Canberra to undertake the program. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Canberra, even from the other side of a laptop screen once COVID-19 hit. My 3 rotations were so unique and each provided me with great development opportunities to further my public service career. I have countless networking contacts right across the department and the broad range of portfolio matters we look after means no 2 days are the same. I have found the department to be a very flexible and friendly place to work and would highly recommend its graduate program to students considering the public service or older graduates seeking a challenge.”

Tyras Wood

“I joined the Graduate Development Program because I wanted to see the tangible impacts of my work. Upon entering the program, I was surprised to find how much choice I was given over how I progressed. Graduates are encouraged, then supported to try new things and expand their horizons across an unparalleled variety of potential workspaces. In my short time so far, I've helped to build an airport, connect individuals with financial support during the pandemic, launch an art gallery, support regional businesses, and lay the groundwork for the future of Australia's freight. I've learnt about freight, customs, building development approvals, national parks, acoustics, Aboriginal cultures, xml coding and even surgical operations! And I accomplished all this with only a handful of weeks where I worked more than 38 hours. It's so good to have a job that is intellectually stimulating, really helps people, and produces tangible outcomes I'll be able to point out to my kids in years to come, that also lets me have my own life come 5pm.”

Elleni Penfold

“For me, the Graduate Development Program was the perfect opportunity to put into practice my skills and academic background in a leading, dynamic and supportive workplace, following 5 years of Law and Media studies at university. Being able to select 3 fantastic placements from the plethora of exciting policy, program and corporate areas of the department was a great way to get to know the role of the APS, the work of the department, the kinds of positions on offer and possible future career paths. The graduate experience prioritises learning and development by providing opportunities to study, learn ‘on the job', attend events and trainings, work with senior staff, and grow as a public servant. Going through this experience with 30 other graduates was a particular highlight, building lifelong friendships and professional connections that continue to enrich my life and career. I would recommend the program to anyone looking for a challenging, diverse and rewarding experience, and a comprehensive introduction to the public service. The Graduate Development Program opens doorways to the array of opportunities available within the department, and the wider APS, and I will always be grateful that I kick-started my career with the program.”