Graduate rotations and learning and development

The time you spend in our Graduate Programme is designed to give you a taste of as many different areas of our diverse and busy portfolio as possible. Our Department develops and implements national policy, programmes and legislation to protect and conserve Australia's environment and heritage, address climate change and to promote a sustainable and water-wise future. Your rotations are designed to give you an insight into different types and styles of work, provide you with a range of experience and help you decide on the area you want to work in when you finish the graduate programme.

About the rotations

Three rotations of around 12 weeks each in different divisions will allow you to experience the diversity of our Department. You do not have to choose areas for which you are qualified or have experience in.

Each rotation provides you with an opportunity to gain and develop new skills, and to contribute to the policy, programme and corporate aims of the Department while giving you an insight into the wide spectrum of Departmental activities.

While you will be in a supportive environment with the help of an experienced team who are committed to your development, the work you do in each rotation is real; with real outcomes and Departmental impacts. Our supervisors are experienced and committed to providing unique opportunities for you in their teams.

Your first rotation placement is the only one where you do not nominate your area of preference. This will be decided before you arrive, taking into account your background and your area of study. For the second and third rotations, you will be encouraged to research different areas within the Department and submit preferences. To maximise your exposure to different work, you will be encouraged to work in different divisions each rotation.

There is also the exciting possibility of work placements outside of the ACT in locations such as:

  • The Australian Antarctic Division and the Marine Division in Tasmania
  • Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay (ACT)
  • Kakadu National Park in the NT
  • The Australian National Botanic Gardens in the ACT
  • The Supervising Scientist Division in Darwin.

Learning and Development

As a part of our Graduate Programme you will partake in a comprehensive year of training and knowledge sharing. Our Learning and Development programme includes a mix of on the job experience and formal training courses and has been developed to complement and expand on what you are learning in your daily work.

  • Induction: An induction course at the beginning of the programme will provide you with an opportunity to meet some of the Department’s Executive and hear about the expectations of the Australian Public Service (APS), the Department and the programme. The induction will also provide an opportunity for you to get to know the other graduates.
  • Core Training: You will receive extensive training during your first rotation, attending seminars and workshops aimed at equipping you with essential skills and knowledge for the APS. Training may include: Negotiation Skills, Business Communication & Influencing, Writing for the APS, Legislation and Decision-Making in the APS, Project Management, Cultural Awareness and Policy Development.

Other development activities:

  • Internal development opportunities: As a Graduate you will be provided with a number of other learning opportunities to assist with your specific development needs. The department also conducts regular seminars on a variety of topics which Graduates are encouraged to attend.
  • Individual development opportunities: You will have access to up to $1000 for personal development including attendance at workshops or conferences, short courses or relevant journal subscriptions.
  • Mentors: You will have two senior mentors who will be committed to supporting your development and career.
  • Buddy sytem: You will also be assigned a graduate buddy from the previous year's intake, who will be available to answer any questions you might have and to ease your transition into the APS, the Department and life in Canberra.