Finance Graduate Recruitment Program

Graduate Recruitment Program

Welcome to the Department of Finance. We are a central agency in the Australian Public Service (APS) and play a key role in supporting the government's agenda.

If you are looking for a challenging position with real responsibility and supportive colleagues, then consider a place on our team. You’ll gain exposure to a wide variety of work and access to key decision makers, with the government’s agenda at the heart of everything you do.

Our responsibility for advancing public sector reform is delivering excellence and value – ultimately enabling the government of the day to deliver and provide for all Australian citizens.

As a central government agency, we drive the delivery of the Australian Government’s Budget, supporting all agencies through the process and providing critical advice to the Government on all new policies and programs. We are also an agency with diverse responsibilities and your work will extend far beyond managing government expenditure. When you work with us, be prepared to change the game - with the way you work, the solutions you offer and the unique skillset you bring. You’ll be making decisions and offering advice on:

  • The financial impacts, risks and merits of new policy proposals from across all government portfolios
  • the government's financial framework
  • managing the government’s shareholding in its assets. A past example was the sale of Medibank
  • the government's domestic property portfolio
  • delivering a range of tools and services to assist the work of parliamentarians and their staff
  • the government’s engagement with Government Business Enterprises such as the Australian Postal Corporation and Defence Housing Australia
  • modernising the public sector through better services to citizens and businesses
  • whole-of-government procurement
  • risk management
  • general insurance services to other government agencies

Our Workplace

Here at Finance, we recognise that our people are at the centre of the work we do and it is important that Finance staff feel valued and are happy to come to work each day. To make this a reality, we continue to build a culture that is:

  • Positive
  • Collaborative
  • Innovative
  • Curious
  • Delivery focused.

Work forms only one facet of our lives. Finance supports flexibility and takes into account the diversity of employees and their individual circumstances. Our workplace has been designed to foster a mobile and collaborative style of working. Employees are able to connect personal devices to the network and can arrange guest wifi for meetings.

We have an inclusive workforce which attracts, retains and supports employees from all diversity groups. We believe we are stronger and more productive if we fully develop and utilise the capabilities and experiences of people from varied backgrounds.

We have five diversity related networks which contribute to the positive culture of the department. These networks are the:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Network
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Plus Network
  • Ability Network
  • Gender Equity Network
  • Emerging Leader’s Network.

You can also join the Finance Social Club, a team committed to empowering the Finance Community to take ownership of and steer the social culture. The Finance Social Club supports networks and groups and offers cultural, sporting and other social events that benefit the Community.

What this means for you

The values of our team underpin everything we do. You’ll have the opportunity to work in roles that will build on your strengths and to develop new capabilities. You’ll also gain exposure to influential people and interesting work. If you think you have what it takes to step up and be a game changer, then look no further than a career with the Department of Finance.

At Finance you will:


Undertake work with real impact on the lives of Australians. You will be involved in significant projects and see the results of your work every day.


Experience a diverse range of project based work that will develop your talents and push your career to places you never imagined.


Work with engaged people who succeed as a team. You will have the drive to work hard, deliver to the highest standards and achieve greatness as a team.


Enjoy a wide view and gain exposure to extensive networks and influencers who can help expand your career in countless directions.


If you’re looking to start an exciting career, our development program will challenge and reward you beyond your imagination.

As a member of our team, you will be supported through two six month work placements. Placements are informed by our high priority work, and where the skills and capabilities of our graduates will be best utilised and developed. To ensure you’ll get exposed to different work and undertake different roles, each placement will be in a different area of the business.

As a graduate, you will join the department as an ongoing employee at the APS3 level and will be paid $62,042 plus 15.4 per cent superannuation. During the program your knowledge will grow, your skills will develop and your capabilities will increase to equip you to advance through the classifications. By the end of the program we aim to position you as an effective APS5 officer. With our support, you will be encouraged to apply for advancement to the APS4 and APS5 levels during your graduate year.

What the program will encompass

Many of your opportunities to learn will be from on-the-job training. There will also be a great program of training that you’ll undertake with your graduate colleagues.

The program includes several training opportunities tailored to Finance and is aligned to the department’s capability framework. Core skills training will focus on developing your critical thinking, influencing and leadership skills, while the technical training will provide an understanding of the budget cycle, financial management principles and project management.

In addition to training, there are also a number of networking opportunities (within the cohort, alongside senior leaders and graduates from other agencies, as well as meeting our portfolio ministers) and the opportunity to coordinate fund raising activities for the Finance flagship charity.

Growing with us

From your first interaction with us, our HR team will be there to support you, starting from the recruitment process and throughout the program. Prior to commencement, you will be contacted by your ‘buddy’, a graduate from the previous year. Your buddy will provide more informal support in your first year in the department.

Following commencement, you will be provided with a dedicated Resource Manager who will provide comprehensive support.

Life after the graduate program, opportunities to progress within Finance

After your graduate experience has ended, the opportunities don’t stop! We will continue to support your career development and offer study assistance for further training. In addition, if you want to share your experiences and become a positive influence to our new graduate cohort, you can become a buddy.

Over the course of the program we will encourage you to add variety to your role - where variety meets people.

At Finance I have experienced great exposure to a variety of work and engaging projects where I have worked alongside graduate mentors and senior executives.

The benefits

  • Make a real contribution by providing high-quality advice to the Government over a wide range of policy and program areas.
  • Have the opportunity to work on the Budget as well as diverse and varied projects critical to the government’s agenda.
  • Work in a new state of the art building designed to enhance greater collaboration between staff, including an electronic work environment that supports flexibility in the way we work.
  • Participate in learning and development opportunities and be given lots of quality training throughout your graduate year and beyond.
  • Be supported by a Resource Manager, the Graduate Coordinator and a buddy who will ease your transition to the department.
  • Participate in networking opportunities with senior leaders and graduates from other agencies, as well as meeting our portfolio ministers.
  • Finance is committed to looking after its employees and you'll have access to an onsite gym and bike storage facilities.

Relocation opportunities

As a member of our graduate team you will be expected to relocate to Canberra, where our central office is located.

We understand this may be a big move for you, especially if you are coming from interstate. For this reason, we offer reasonable relocation expenses and temporary accommodation support to help you get settled. But don’t fear, you are not alone: each year we get a wide selection of graduates who move from all over the country for a career with Finance.

Are you looking for a challenging role?

At Finance, we work across many aspects of the government's agenda, meaning our work is varied and high priority.

We are looking for people who are unafraid to do things differently and create an impact, those who are bold enough to take the lead.

We’re looking for people who are innovative: high-calibre individuals who are ambitious and adaptable. Who are responsive and comfortable with change. People who want to be challenged in a flexible and fast paced environment. And above all else, people who have a positive attitude and a desire to learn.

Think you’re up to the challenge? The capabilities we look for in our graduates are:

Organisational Alignment Expresses appropriate motivation for working within the Department
Self Discipline Approaches tasks and own development in a logical, organised, professional manner to ensure delivery of consistently high-quality work
Collaboration and Delivery /
Client Service
Builds and maintains relationships with colleagues, clients, and a range internal and external stakeholders that facilitate open sharing of information
Results Oriented /
Works consistently and independently, persisting despite setbacks or changing priorities to achieve goals within tight timeframes
Research and Analysis Gathers information from a range of different sources and analyses it to inform thinking on a particular topic
Verbal Communication Communicates clearly and confidently and actively listens to others in a range of settings
Written Communication Writes persuasively and provides clear written advice in a range of styles

Graduate culture

As a graduate, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the variety of activities in the department and be part of the graduate culture across the APS.

Each year the people in our graduate cohort are key in driving and delivering events for all staff. With support from the Finance networks, graduates have the opportunity to be involved in events that raise awareness and educate staff.

You will also have the chance to be involved in collaborating and coming up with innovative ideas to support the Finance flagship charity. Throughout the year, our graduate cohort coordinates a number of fundraising events. Our local and APS wide events will provide a strong basis to meet key people and develop a network beyond Finance.

In addition, you can become involved in the APS-wide organisation, Social Network of Graduates. This network coordinates a number of social activities and opportunities to meet graduates from across the APS.

We’re inviting you to make your mark on the department and immerse yourself in our cuture.

The dynamic working environment at Finance has already seen me make an impact to the public service and the greater community.

Application Process

Applications are now closed for the 2019 Graduate Program.

To give you a little more information about your application and the recruitment process, we’ve created a Graduate Candidate Guide for you to download.

Step 1: Apply online

Let’s get started! The online application is your first opportunity to show us your motivation for wanting to work with us. You will also be asked to upload your resume, academic transcripts and proof of your Australian citizenship at this stage.

Step 2: Online exercise

If you make it through the online application stage, you will be asked to complete an online assessment. This assessment will help predict how quickly you will learn new information during the graduate development program and how effectively you use this information to solve problems in the workplace.

Step 3: Video Interview

If you make it through the online exercise stage, you will be asked to complete a video interview. This assessment will give you an opportunity to show us your motivation for wanting to work with us and demonstrate your capabilities that align with our program.

Step 4: Assessment Centre

Congratulations, we want to meet you! If you successfully progress from video interview, you may be invited to attend an Assessment Centre. These Assessment Centres will be conducted in Canberra or your closest capital city. The Assessment Centre provides you with an opportunity to step up your game and showcase your capabilities, find out more about the Graduate Program and your graduate year.
Assessments on the day may include but are not limited to:

  • Team Activity
  • Work Sample Activity
  • Individual Presentation

Step 5: Offer of employment

Well done, you’ve made it! If you impress us in the assessment process, we will contact you to discuss an offer of employment with the department.

Are you eligible to apply?

But don’t forget, in order to apply for our Graduate Program you must:

  • be an Australian citizen, or are going to be granted Australian citizenship before commencement and be able to provide evidence ofthis
  • have maintained a credit average throughout your university undergraduate degree
  • be completing your final year of study or have completed your undergraduate/Bachelor’s degree in the last five years or by the end of 2018
  • be willing to relocate to Canberra.

Time to get started!

Applications for the 2019 Graduate Program are now closed.
Download your Candidate Guide and begin your application today!

For more information, contact the graduate recruitment team on the details below.

Call us on 02 6215 1717
Email us
Or visit us at or

People who join our graduate program meet exposure to exciting opportunities, new ways of thinking and life-changing career choices.

My team has been great in introducing me to the Department of Finance. Everyone is so passionate about the work they do and happy to share opinions and ideas.


You may have questions about Graduate recruitment and life within Finance. We hope that some of your questions are answered below.

What if I graduated some time ago?

Finance’s Graduate Program recruits people who have completed their undergraduate degree within the past five years. Our past cohorts have been made up of a broad demographic of graduates; some who join us have just finished their degree while others join us after having spent some time in the workforce. Our recruitment is merit based. Our process does not discriminate based on age, gender, race or ethnicity or having disability.

Where will I be working?

Graduates are based in Canberra, with our central office located just minutes from Parliament House in Forrest.

If successful, when would I be expected to commence at Finance?

All successful candidates commence their employment in January.

What type of work will I be doing as a Graduate?

At the Department of Finance, we work on many aspects of the government's agenda including the Australian Government’s Budget, modernisation of the public service, commercial projects and a diverse range of whole-of-government policies. Our work is delivered increasingly through a project-based model. As a graduate, you will have the opportunity to work across two areas and varied projects critical to the government’s agenda and departmental priorities. Further information on the work that we do is available at this link.

Will the Department of Finance support me doing my CA or CPA?

Yes, employees, with approval from their manager, can undertake their CA or CPA accreditation. Unless there is a business requirement for the CA or CPA accreditation, it is not expected to be approved during the Graduate year due to the amount of training and development already provided through the Program.
Finance is accredited as a CPA Australia Recognised Employer to the Knowledge Level, the highest level. Finance was the first public sector employer in the ACT to gain this accreditation. This provides our finance and accounting staff that have a business requirement for a CPA qualification with resources and guidance to assist them.
CPA participants also benefit by having a simple alternative method to demonstrate adherence to the CPA program’s practical experience requirement and to demonstrate adherence to minimum continuing professional development standards. These are both mandatory components of the award.

What security requirements must I meet?

All Finance employees must have a full security clearance at the Baseline level prior to commencement.
Successful applicants will be required to complete a security pack. Depending on the level of clearance required, you may need to have a checkable background going back 10 years and you also must be an Australian citizen.
Access to Finance’s buildings, information technology systems and classified material cannot be provided until a full security clearance is granted.


Call us: 02 6215 1717

Email us:



Applications are now closed

Last updated: 28 June 2018