Department of Finance Graduate Program
At Finance we are connected to the whole Australian economy, and the Australian Government’s policy agenda. Yes, we play a key role in the federal budget, but we also drive reforms that shape the nation’s government, business and social landscape and have strong commercial and advisory connections to industry.
As a central agency with a unique birds-eye across government activities, our influence and expertise are sought by many sectors as government and non-government organisations respond to an increasingly unpredictable environment now and into the future. This means we have opportunities and career paths that span a much wider range of areas than you might expect, giving our people varied and rewarding career journeys.
Our people have pride in the work they do together to solve problems across all parts of the nation’s economy, in the knowledge that their integrity, expertise, flexibility and drive will play a central role in influencing outcomes that will impact all Australians. The breadth of our responsibilities and scope of our work gives everyone the opportunity to choose a range of diverse career pathways and experiences. We encourage our people to positively influence and contribute and rise to every challenge.
At Finance, you could also be providing input 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
- 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.
When you work with us, be prepared to make an impact - with the way you work, the solutions you offer and the unique skillset you bring.
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.
About the Finance Graduate Program
At Finance you’ll join a cohort of graduates from various disciplines from around Australia and undertake a 12-month development program. 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.
You will join Finance as an ongoing employee at the APS3 level. During the program your knowledge will grow, your skills will develop and your capabilities will increase. You will have the opportunity to apply for advancement to the APS4 and APS5 classifications during your graduate year.
What the program will encompass
As a graduate in Finance, you’ll undertake a structured learning and development program tailored to your needs. The training will focus on enhancing your existing skills and developing new skills and capabilities to assist you in your transition into Finance and the broader APS.
Training provided as part of this program includes face to face workshops, simulations and a major project contributing to enhancing the work of Finance. The program provides opportunity to apply this learning on-the-job, with the support of workplace coaching. Successful completion of the program also provides participants with credit towards further university qualifications, such as a Master of Public Policy at the Australian National University or Monash University.
In addition to training, regular networking opportunities with your graduate cohort, other programs and graduates from other agencies are a great feature of the Program. There are also opportunities to engage with senior executive staff and Finance Ministers.
Relocation to Canberra
As a graduate in Finance, you will be expected to relocate to Canberra, where our central office is located.
We understand this may be a big move for you if you are coming from interstate. To help get you settled, we offer reasonable relocation expenses and temporary accommodation support. 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.
What we are looking for
We’re looking for people who are innovative; ambitious and adaptable; responsive and comfortable with change and who want to be challenged in a flexible and fast paced environment. And above all, people who have a positive attitude and a desire to learn.
Life after the graduate program
After your graduate year has ended, the opportunities don’t stop! You will have a permanent ongoing APS role in the department and we will continue to support your career development and offer study assistance for further education.
To learn more about the Department of Finance Graduate Program and hear from some of our most recent graduates, check out our Graduate Guide
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 positive, collaborative, innovative and curious culture.
Finance is an inclusive organisation where diverse skills, perspectives and backgrounds are appreciated, valued and relied on. We strive for, and celebrate, diversity in our workforce. Finance has a range of Staff Diversity Networks which aim to increase awareness of diversity-related matters and provide a safe, open forum of support for staff to share views and experiences. Each Network aspires to continuously strengthen our workplace culture by fostering a sense of belonging and inclusivity, empowering all staff to bring their whole selves to work. Our Diversity Networks act as consulting bodies and actively propose changes to the Department to benefit and support staff. We have seven Diversity Networks:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Network
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Plus Network
- Ability Network
- Gender Equity Network
- Emerging Leader’s Network
- Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Network
- Social Club.
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.
Frequently asked questions
You may have questions about Graduate recruitment and life within Finance. We hope that some of your questions are answered below.
When do Applications Open?
Applications for the 2025 program will open on the 4 March 2024.
Applications close at 11:30pm (AEST) on Monday, 15 April 2024.
Late applications will not be accepted.
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?
Finance 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 February.
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.
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 be able to obtain and maintain a minimum Baseline security clearance prior to commencement. Graduates will be required to obtain an NV1 security clearance.
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 security clearance is granted.
Australian Government Graduate Program
The Department of Finance is coordinating graduate recruitment as part of the Australian Government Graduate Program (AGGP) and is the lead agency for the Generalist Stream and the inaugural Accounting and Financial Management Stream. With just one application per stream, you may be considered for generalist and/or accounting and financial management graduate roles in multiple Australian Government departments and agencies.
As an Accounting and Financial Management graduate, you will work on tasks and projects that make a difference to the Australian community. Graduates with an interest and/or a degree in finance, commerce, business, accounting or other finance and accounting related disciplines who are eager to strengthen their professional skills are encouraged to apply!