For job opportunities in the department please see our current vacancies.

To be informed when applications open for the 2023 Graduate Development Program subscribe to the department’s job alert service. 

What to expect

As one of our graduates, you will make a valuable contribution to protecting Australia’s natural resources and developing strong agricultural industries.

Our work delivers policies and programs for a strong economy and a healthy environment. The work we do today, matters for tomorrow.

Our 12-month Graduate Program will:

  • develop your existing knowledge and skills
  • enhance your confidence in the workplace
  • kick start a rewarding career in the Australian Public Service

Our graduates start as full-time, permanent employees at the APS 3 level. On successful completion of the program, we will assess you for advancement to the APS 4 or APS 5 level.

Read more about terms and conditions of employment.

Why join our department?

Whatever your skills and expertise, the work you undertake during your graduate program will contribute directly to the department’s key priorities to:

  • Support stewardship and sustainable management to enhance Australia’s environment and our unique heritage
  • Manage biosecurity risks to Australian agriculture, the environment and our way of life
  • Advance Australia’s strategic, scientific and environmental interests in the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean
  • Support the sustainable management and productive use of Australia’s water resources
  • Assist industry to grow to a $100 billion agriculture sector by 2030.

Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for graduates from a wide range of disciplines, including (but not limited to) agricultural and environmental sciences, policy and government, international relations, veterinarians, legal studies, finance, resource economics, and communications. We’re also recruiting through the Australian Government Graduate Program streams, for graduates with skills in Human Resources, Data and Digital.

Career streams

We have eight career streams to choose from, helping our graduates to build world-leading careers.

Each stream supports our efforts to ensure our land, water and heritage are well-managed, protected and productive. For today and into the future.

Learn more about each stream:

We may also use applications to fill graduate positions in our other agencies, including Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). This recruitment may also be used for other portfolio agencies.

Our Core 4

The department supports the APS values through ‘Our Core 4’. These are the values we believe are important to creating a shared understanding of how we will achieve our Purpose, Objectives and Priorities, and the associated behaviours you can expect when you engage with us (whether you work within the department or outside).


  • Working together: We collaborate, share information, and actively look for opportunities to connect across the department, and with our stakeholders, partners and the community. We look after each other, support each other and work as a team.
  • Courage: We look for opportunities to innovate, try new things and engage with risk. We call out unacceptable behaviour, and we own up to and learn from our mistakes.
  • Diversity: We are a diverse workforce both in who we are and the work we do. We listen to, and draw on the expertise, knowledge and experience of others to get the best outcomes for our department. We are inclusive and acknowledge and respect the diverse cultures and backgrounds that we have in our workforce.
  • Excellence: We work to the best of our ability, accept personal responsibility for our work and use data and research to make well-informed decisions.

These values are underpinned by the principles of safety and integrity, recognising the importance and prominence of these responsibilities in our workplace.

  • Safety: We are all safety leaders who contribute to building and maintaining a proactive safety culture, where the physical and mental wellbeing of people is prioritised.
  • Integrity: We embrace a pro-integrity culture that is ethical, fair and appropriate.

Our commitment to diversity

Our vision is to foster a workplace where employees feel included and valued. We want all staff to have access to opportunities and resources that support full participation at work.

We embrace the variety of experiences, skills and perspectives that people bring to the workplace. We want to harness these to achieve our objectives.

Our employees bring unique perspectives to the workplace. This can include how they identify in relation to age, caring responsibilities, cultural background, disability, gender, Indigenous background, sexual orientation and socio-economic background.

Our Employee Networks play a key role in promoting an inclusive workplace. In our 5 networks, identifying staff and allies can:

  • share experiences
  • build relationships
  • promote awareness of diversity through events and other initiatives.

Who can apply

You must:

  • be an Australian citizen or have been granted citizenship prior to 1 January 2022
  • have completed a Bachelor’s degree (or higher qualification), before the start of the 2022 program

You can have completed your degree at any time before that date.

Read more about the application process.

How to apply

Apply for the 2022 Graduate Development Program.

You will be required to submit a 1000 word statement. It must outline:

  • your reason for applying
  • what personal qualities you will bring to the role
  • how you intend to apply those qualities in a professional capacity

You must also upload a copy of your CV and academic transcript. Read more about how to apply.

Find out more