The work we do touches the lives of every Australian, every day. We help to drive a stronger Australian economy.

Beyond Australia, our work impacts millions of people, we are relied on by billion dollar industries. Our department contributes to Australia’s farming, fishing and forest industries, making them more resilient, competitive and productive. We support the health, sustainability and productive use of Australia’s water systems. We safeguard Australia from animal and plant pests and diseases. We work to improve market access for Australia’s international agricultural, fisheries and forestry exports.

We are specialists

Our department is one of the few government agencies to have science, economics, regulation, policy, service delivery and financial specialists under one roof.

We make a difference

  • We have over 4 500 employees located across the country and overseas.
  • We are one of the largest employers of scientists in Australia.
  • Our department was voted in the Top 100 Graduate Employers across the country
  • We support agricultural exports forecasted to be worth more than $43 billion this financial year.
  • We are implementing two white papers focused on Australia’s sustainable farming future.
  • We help primary producers gain and maintain access to overseas markets.
  • Every month we process more than 1.49 million passengers arriving by plane.
  • In 2015 staff and detector dog teams seized more than 180 000 items of biosecurity concern.
  • On a typical day during 2015 we had 70 cats, 160 dogs and 52 horses in quarantine.

Key Facts


Government & Public Sector


Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences
Environmental Science
Fisheries Management

Position Locations



To be eligible for a graduate entry level position with the department you must be an Australian Citizen. The online application form, including opening and closing dates, can be accessed here for Graduate Programs and here for Career Opportunities. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people with disability are encouraged to apply.
Closing date is currently 2pm, 3rd May 2016

Citizenship / Eligibility Requirements

Australian citizens ONLY

Additional Eligibility Information

Please consult the website.


1800 900 090
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The Job

In 2017 the department is offering a vibrant new 12 month graduate programme, across four professional streams:

  • Generalist
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Finance and accounting
  • Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Entry Level Professional Programme. Please note the ABARES ELPP has variations to its programme and also has a separate recruitment process, please visit the ABARES career page for further information.

We may also use this process to fill graduate positions in other agencies within the agriculture portfolio.  This will include the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA). For further information please visit AFMA’s website.


Highlights of the programme

Through the department’s Graduate Development Programme you will receive:

  • a five day industry visit, providing you with a rich on the job learning experience, and the opportunity to meet with stakeholders and complete a research project
  • workplace rotations, allowing you to experience the diversity of work undertaken by the department
  • a Diploma of Project Management
  • an opportunity to compete for a four to six week work placement within one of the department’s portfolio agencies or offices outside of Canberra
  • a targeted suite of training to become an effective policy or programme officer
  • a visit to the Minister’s Office and opportunity to gain exposure to parliamentary proceedings
  • an attractive remuneration package, including promotion on successful completion of the programme.

We are looking for motivated and dynamic graduates from a diverse range of disciplines, who want to make a real difference to Australia’s agriculture, fisheries, forestry and water resources.


Desirable qualifications

Accounting, Agriculture, Arts, Business/Commerce, Communications/Media, Economics, Environmental Science, Finance, Fisheries Management, Human Resources, IT/ICT, Law/Paralegal, Veterinary Science, Entomology, Plant Science and Statistics and Analysis.



To be eligible for the department’s Graduate Development Programme you must:

  • be an Australian citizen or receive Australian citizenship status by the programme’s commencement in early 2017
  • complete your Degree before commencement of the programme
  • note that there is not a timeframe as to when you completed your degree. Although a minimum academic standard will not be set, grades will be taken into consideration as part of the assessment process
  • be willing to undergo and maintain a police check and security clearance
  • be willing to undergo a health check
  • be willing to relocate to Canberra.


What the department is seeking

We are seeking graduates that will promote and uphold the Australian Public Service (APS) Values, Employment Principles and Code of Conduct.

Further, to help us achieve our goals and foster our positive workplace culture we are seeking graduates with the following characteristics:

  • aspiring leaders – you willingly tackle important issues
  • creative minds – you are open to doing things differently to achieve success
  • future thinkers – you anticipate and adapt to new situations
  • compassionate – you are mindful of the impact you have on others
  • responsive and collaborative individuals – you make things happen and build on partnerships to succeed.

To complement these characteristics we are also seeking candidates with the following skills and attributes:

  • high motivation
  • well developed written and oral communication skills
  • strong interpersonal skills
  • the ability to work well in a team
  • well developed critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • the ability to use initiative and to be a flexible team member.

If you think you have the characteristics, skills, attributes and qualifications we are looking for, we encourage you to apply for the department’s Graduate Development Programme. Our graduates come to the department from all across Australia and have a broad range of academic qualifications, work and life experiences. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and people with disability are encouraged to apply.​