The public service implements government policies, and provides information and services to support policy decisions. Australia’s government system is based on the British idea of a politically neutral, impartial public service serving the government of the day. In recent times, the public service has undergone significant cultural changes, with a shift towards a more corporate model of best practice, emphasising cost-effectiveness and accountability. Outsourcing of work previously undertaken by government employees has become more common. As a result of this trend, some public servants move into consultancy after gaining experience in a particular department or field.
Occupation roles within government are diverse. Policy and administrative pathways are common but there are many other areas of work within distinct portfolio areas and at different levels of government.
In Australia, different portfolios of responsibility are attached to different levels of government – federal, state and local – although there is often overlap. Government employs a range of professionals, not just administrators. Accountants, agricultural scientists, economists, engineers, geologists, lawyers, doctors, nurses and librarians are just some of the many occupational roles within government organisations. Most government departments actively seek graduates from a range of disciplines for their graduate programs.
Positions are also available within defence, and are not limited to combat or field-based roles. Administrative, legislative, policy, research and development, science, engineering, IT, health, law and environmental roles exist in most defence departments, including Army, Navy and Air Force. Scholarships to support work and study are often open to students and graduates.
What you need
- A degree (generalist degrees are fine)
- Usually you will need Australian citizenship
- Excellence in communication, cultural sensitivity, organisation, flexibility and resourcefulness
- A willingness to travel
Inspectors & Regulatory Offices
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