Graduate Program

The Australian Government offers graduates job opportunities across multiple disciplines. Wherever you start your public service career as a graduate, you will do meaningful work from day one, be asked to contribute, be recognised for your perspective and see the impact you can make in the Australian community we serve.

The Department of Finance is coordinating graduate recruitment for the Australian Government Graduate Program – Generalist Stream. Applying through the Generalist Stream with just one application process, you may be considered for generalist graduate roles in multiple Australian Government departments, agencies and Commonwealth entities.

Generalist Stream Graduates are accepted from a range of degree disciplines including public policy, arts, sciences, humanities, law, international relations, media, communications, design, accounting and finance. If you're interested in working on contemporary policy, programs and services that make a real different to the lives of Australians, this is the opportunity for you.

Applications for the Generalist Stream opening soon!

Applications for the 2022 Australian Government Graduate Program – Generalist Stream opens on Tuesday 9 March 2021 and closes at 11.30pm (AEST) on Wednesday 7 April 2021.

For more information, contact the graduate recruitment team.

Finance Graduate Streams

Finance is a participating department for the following Australian Government Graduate Program streams:

  • Generalist Stream
  • Digital Stream 
  • Human Resources Stream
  • 2022 Indigenous Graduate Pathway 

If you wish to be considered for a Finance Graduate role through one of the streams above, you will need to apply to that stream directly, noting you may also be considered for a range of other Australian Government departments, agencies and Commonwealth entities, participating in those streams.

For more information on the Australian Government Graduate Program Streams Click Here (https://www.apsjobs.gov.au/s/graduate-programs). 

Department of Finance Graduate Program

Department of Finance (Finance) is a central agency in the Australian Public Service (APS) which plays 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.

Finance drives delivery of the Australian Government’s Budget, advising on new policies and programs across government and supports all agencies through the Budget process.

At Finance we also do so much more, you could also be providing input and offering advice on a range of things including:

  • 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. 

...
Impact

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.

...
Variety

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

...
People

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.

...
Exposure

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

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

As a graduate in Finance, 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 the department as an ongoing employee at the APS3 level and will be paid $64,549 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. 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 Graduate Development Program, an integrated learning experience delivered by the Australian Public Service Commission’s Centre of Leadership and Learning. 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.

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 Australian Public Service (APS).

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.

Successful completion of the program also provides participants with credit towards a Masters Degree in Public Sector Administration Policy, at The Crawford School of Public Policy (Australian National University) and the University of Canberra.

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: 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, 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 training. 

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 positive, collaborative, innovative and curious culture.

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.

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 seven diversity and social community 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.
  • 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.

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 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. 

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.

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.

Here is what some of our most recent Graduates have to say

Finance is a fantastic place to learn, with a culture of support and encouragement from graduate to secretary. One Team, One APS!

- James

The outstanding guidance and support offered at Finance has allowed me to build and broaden my skillset, discover in which policy area my passions lie, and truly contribute to the policy and strategic work being done here.

- Miranda

Working at the Department of Finance has been one of the best experiences of my professional life. The workplace culture is warm, inclusive and supportive with a huge focus on professional development. The tight knit graduate family (there are over 30 of us) has become a huge support network that makes settling into a new job more enjoyable. The networking opportunities are abundant and include anything from attending a seminar on cyber security to food tasting at the Multicultural Festival. The amazing opportunities and the support system in place throughout the whole process make all the difference.

- Ivona

I was so impressed by the diversity of skills and experience among the graduate cohort. It’s such a pleasure sharing ideas and collaborating with them and it has really come in handy for our trivia team! 

- Liam

What I enjoyed about the Graduate Development Program at the Department of Finance was the variety of work I was provided throughout the year. I gained experiences within the Human Resources, Ministerial and Parliamentary Services and Budget Branches. These experiences allowed me to find the line of work that was right for me and to develop as a public servant. The support of the Department of Finance supervisors and training within the Graduate Development Program was extremely valuable in preparing me to succeed in the workplace.

- Cade


Did you find this content useful?