Why choose us

Our Graduate Program will help you kick start your career, build professional skills and contribute to high profile and diverse work with real impact.

High profile and impactful work

Each year we actively seek graduates to join our highly regarded Graduate Development Program. If you have a strong vision for Australia's future and a willingness to identify problems and implement innovative solutions we encourage you to apply. You will have the opportunity to contribute to vital work that enriches our communities, empowers our regions and leaves a positive impact for generations to come.


Impactful work - Support Australians by working in a way that enriches our communities, empowers our regions and connects all Australians. Learn from leaders - Build professional networks with leaders who support innovation and diversity. Career advancement - Develop through a structured  development program, with a permanent role and further study encouraged upon completion. Ongoing support - Work with a dedicated Graduate Management team to help you achieve your career goals. Flexibility - Enjoy a flexible, innovative, supportive and safe workplace. Diverse portfolios - Experience the breadth of our work through 3 diverse rotations, based off your preferences and interests. Learning & development - Undertake tailored learning and development, including a Graduate Certificate. Inclusive culture - Take part in one of our 6 diversity networks and contribute to our inclusive culture.

Professional development

Our Graduate Development Program is designed to build on the skills you have acquired at university and introduce you to working in the Australian Public Service. You will develop professional public sector skills through a combination of work rotations, internal training and formal learning and development. The program provides a unique 11 month accelerated career progression, a salary increase and advancement from the APS Level 3 to APS Level 5 on successful completion. It includes:

  • an 11 month program designed to build your networks and give you access to senior leaders
  • three challenging and diverse work rotations across our high profile portfolio
  • commencement as an APS3 employee (from $64,622 plus 15.4% superannuation)
  • upon successful completion of rotations 1 and 2, advancement to an APS4 (from $71,600 plus 15.4% superannuation)
  • upon successful completion of the program, advancement to an ongoing APS5 (from $79,935 plus 15.4% superannuation)
  • a structured learning and development program to set you up for success including choice between a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration or Graduate Certificate in Policy and Data at the University of Canberra*
  • Access to our internal staff networks and experience coordinating key corporate events including the Department's Social Club and Christmas Party.

*subject to change

Listed salaries are as at 28 March 2023

Towards the end of the program you will have access to career coaching and professional development opportunities as well as consideration for financial support and paid leave to undertake further study in relevant areas, and broader Australian Public Service and mobility and career progression within the department.

Our Enterprise Agreement 2016 provides more information about employment conditions.

Tailored program

We understand the transition from study to a career can be a challenging one. Many of our graduates relocate from other parts of Australia and, for some, it is also their first experience of living away from home. We work hard to make it as easy as possible and offer a generous travel, accommodation and storage package. We also help you settle into Canberra with plenty of housing, food and recreational recommendations.

It's important to us that as a graduate, you feel supported and welcomed into our department and, if you've just moved to Canberra, that you settle in to your new city with ease. Being part of our graduate cohort gives you an immediate social network and is one of the many benefits of the program.

You’ll also have:

  • A buddy—before you start work with us, we’ll pair you up with a graduate from the previous year’s program. Your buddy can offer you tips on finding housing, good restaurants and fun activities in Canberra. Your buddy will help you to start building your network early.
  • A dedicated Entry Level Programs (ELP) Team—the ELP team will guide and support you throughout the recruitment and relocation process. Once you commence, the ELP team will organise monthly meetings, training and development, and be your primary contact and support network throughout the year.
  • Your work team—you’ll have three rotations throughout the year and that means three different teams to get to know and work with. Your team supervisor will also support you in your day-to-day work.

Diversity and inclusion

We value diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive culture where our people feel connected, valued and respected for who they are and what they bring to the workplace. We know a culture of inclusion enhances our work performance and the wellbeing of everyone. In 2019, Diversity Council Australia recognised us as an inclusive employer for our diversity measures. We encourage graduates of all backgrounds and identities to apply and are committed to supporting you during the graduate program and beyond.

We are committed to supporting and engaging with First Nations staff and communities. This is demonstrated in our 2022-24 Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan.