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Department of the Environment and Energy Graduate Programs and Jobs

The Department of Environment and Energy designs and implements Australian Government policy and programs to protect and conserve the environment, water and heritage, promote climate action, and provide adequate, reliable and affordable energy. Our portfolio responsibilities are high profile, diverse and interesting. We are passionate about delivering sustainable work programs that span environmental regulation, program delivery and scientific research.

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About Us

Department of the Environment and Energy


The Department designs and implements Australian Government policy and programs to protect and conserve the environment, water and heritage, promote climate action, and provide adequate, reliable and affordable energy. Our portfolio responsibilities are high profile, diverse and interesting. We are passionate about delivering sustainable work programs that span environmental regulation, program delivery and scientific research.

Our work is developed and implemented through a lens of economic, social and environmental considerations. We want experts from a range of fields so that our advice, policies and programs meet the needs and expectations of the community, industry, governments and stakeholders.

Our Graduate Program

Department of the Environment and Energy


The Department of the Environment and Energy Graduate Program is a 16 month program aimed at people seeking a career, not just a job. Our graduates reflect a broad range of backgrounds, study areas and work and life experiences. We are interested in all high achieving and motivated graduates.

Our program combines the GradAbility, Indigenous, General and Internal streams to create one diverse and supportive cohort. The time you spend in our graduate program is designed to give you experience in several different areas within the Department. The program provides a number of benefits to graduates including:

  • Four work rotations in different divisions throughout the Department.
  • Exposure to work that challenges you – and at the same time provides you with opportunities to use and develop your skills.
  • An innovative, dynamic and supportive workplace with diverse responsibilities.
  • Flexible work arrangements and excellent work conditions that promote work/life balance.
  • Relocation assistance if moving from interstate.
  • A competitive remuneration package with salary/level advancement during, and on successful completion of the program.
  • Access to a network of people including a dedicated Graduate Team who will provide guidance and support.
  • Comprehensive learning and development opportunities.
  • One on one mentoring from Executive and Senior Executive Staff.

About the Rotations

While in the program you will complete four rotations, each in different areas to allow you to experience the diversity of our Department. While all graduate positions are located in Canberra there is also the exciting possibility of work placements outside of the Canberra office environment for your second, third and fourth rotation. Locations may include:

  • the Australian Antarctic Division and the Parks Division in Tasmania

Dumont D’Urville Station, Antarctica. Credit: Phillip Danze.

Dumont D'Urville Station, Antartica. Credit: Phillip Danze.

  • Christmas Island

Red crab migration, Christmas Island National Park. Credit: Max Orchard, Parks Australia.

Red crab migration, Christmas Island National Park. Credit: Max Orchard, Parks Australia.

  • Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay

Cape St George Lighthouse, Booderee National Parl. Credit: Parks Australia

Cape St George Lighthouse, Booderee National Park. Credit: Parks Australia.

  • Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory

Jim Jim Falls – wet season, Kakadu National Park. Credit: Parks Australia.

Jim Jim Falls - wet season, Kakadu National Park. Credit: Parks Australia

  • the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ACT)
  • the Science Division and Parks Division in Darwin.

You will work in a supportive environment with the help of an experienced team who are committed to your development. The work you do in each rotation is real; with tangible outcomes and departmental impacts. Our supervisors are experienced and committed to providing unique opportunities for you in their teams.

Learning and Development

As part of our program, graduates participate in a comprehensive formal learning and development program which has been specifically designed to complement and expand on what you are learning in your daily work.

As part of the formal learning, graduates will undertake a Diploma of Government in the first 12 months of the program.

Remuneration

We offer a competitive program with graduates engaged as full-time employees commencing at the APS3 level ($65,363 per annum plus superannuation) and progressing to the APS4 level ($65,877 per annum plus superannuation) part way through the program. On successful completion of the program graduates will advance to the APS5 level ($71,862 per annum plus superannuation).

Indigenous Graduate Stream

Indigenous programs diversity icon

Department of the Environment and Energy


We are seeking Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander graduates from a range of disciplines who are motivated to establish their careers while contributing to the Australian community to join the Department’s 16 month Graduate Program. The Department recognises the valuable and significant contribution that can be made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through their connection with and responsibility for land, water and heritage.

You will be supported by a cohort of previous Indigenous graduates as well as the Indigenous Staff Network (ISN) who aim to:

  • Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees working in the Department.
  • Share information and experiences between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in the Department.
  • Inform the Department of trends or key issues identified through ISN business.
  • Promote cultural awareness and respect across the Department.

The best thing about working for us is the workplace culture. To prepare you for the future workforce requirements we will leverage the unique expertise you bring to the organisation and provide you with the skills and experiences you need to fulfil your career with the Department. We have a committed, dynamic and positive workforce where people are supportive, energetic, respected and valued. You will develop your personal and professional skills with interesting and meaningful work, and through our one-on-one mentoring program. Learning and development is encouraged and innovation is critical to achieving our goals.

We look for graduates who can demonstrate:

  • Strong people skills and a team focused approach.
  • Resilience and the ability to embrace and adapt to change.
  • Sound judgment, common sense and the ability to think strategically.
  • Energy, enthusiasm and initiative.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills.

We recruit high achieving and motivated graduates from all disciplines, however we particularly welcome graduates with the following degrees:

  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Technology

Indigenous graduates are encouraged to apply for the graduate program through the online application portal.

GradAbility Stream

Disability programs diversity icon

Department of the Environment and Energy


Our GradAbility stream is an initiative which assists the Department to remove barriers that prevent participation by those who identify as having a disability. GradAbility supports the Department to remain a disability confident organisation. We value the differences of our people and provide adaptive work practise which take into account the individuality of our staff. In this program you will be supported and have access to facilities and opportunities that lead to a productive and rewarding career.

Under GradAbility you will have to access to a range of services that support your adjustment to the workplace and ongoing professional development including a dedicated Disability Coordinator and the Department’s Disability and Careers Network. This Network contributes to the Department’s capacity to attract, induct, develop, support and retain people with disability. In addition, the Network seeks to assist the Department to develop systems, processes and policies that work better for people with disability and also people with caring responsibilities. You will have access to reasonable adjustment assessments and provision of workplace equipment including assistive technology such as screen magnifier Zoomtext, speech to text application Dragon Naturally Speaking and Ghotit.

Where applicable, hours of work will be negotiated with successful candidates.

For a definition of disability, please see the APSC Disability page.

The best thing about working for us is the workplace culture. To prepare you for the future workforce requirements we will leverage the unique expertise you bring to the organisation and provide you with the skills and experiences you need to fulfil your career with the Department. We have a committed, dynamic and positive workforce where people are supportive, energetic, respected and valued. You will develop your personal and professional skills with interesting and meaningful work, and through our one-on-one mentoring program. Learning and development is encouraged and innovation is critical to achieving our goals.

We look for graduates who can demonstrate:

  • Strong people skills and a team focused approach.
  • Resilience and the ability to embrace and adapt to change.
  • Sound judgment, common sense and the ability to think strategically.
  • Energy, enthusiasm and initiative.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills.

We recruit high achieving and motivated graduates from all disciplines, however we particularly welcome graduates with the following degrees:

  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Technology

GradAbility graduates are encouraged to apply for the graduate program through the online application portal.

General Graduate Stream

Department of the Environment and Energy


Our general stream is designed for candidates from all types of disciplines who want to work in a diverse and exciting portfolio. Our program will equip you with the skills and knowledge that places you in a competitive position within the Department and the Australian Public Service.

The best thing about working for us is the workplace culture. To prepare you for the future workforce requirements we will leverage the unique expertise you bring to the organisation and provide you with the skills and experiences you need to fulfil your career with the Department. We have a committed, dynamic and positive workforce where people are supportive, energetic, respected and valued. You will develop your personal and professional skills with interesting and meaningful work, and through our one-on-one mentoring program. Learning and development is encouraged and innovation is critical to achieving our goals.

We look for graduates who can demonstrate:

  • Strong people skills and a team focused approach.
  • Resilience and the ability to embrace and adapt to change.
  • Sound judgment, common sense and the ability to think strategically.
  • Energy, enthusiasm and initiative.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills.

We recruit high achieving and motivated graduates from all disciplines, however we particularly welcome graduates with the following degrees:

  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Technology

Graduates are encouraged to apply for the graduate program through the online application portal.

Our Graduates

Department of the Environment and Energy


Our graduates and their experience

Sebastian – 2018 Graduate

As a Graduate at the Department of the Environment and Energy I’ve had a range of opportunities to work across different areas of public policy, and with the support of a well organised program. Like many graduates, I moved to Canberra a little unsure about where I wanted to go, but with what I suspected was a slightly idealistic goal to work somewhere I could make a meaningful contribution.

My time as a graduate started out in a team charged with implementing the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, even getting a taste of the work the Department does on international negotiations for the Protocol. I’ve also seen government through the lens of a smaller portfolio agency at the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), taking lessons from projects ARENA has funded to help future projects across the renewable energy industry.

A highlight in 2018 was working in the National Waste Strategy Taskforce, a small team tasked with updating the 2009 National Waste Policy. The team worked with states, territories and industry to reach agreement on a high priority area of public policy, and gave me exposure to the type of work I couldn’t imagine, and certainly gave me an experience few other workplaces could offer. The Taskforce successfully developed a policy which was agreed upon by Australia’s environment ministers in November, and it was great to be a part of improving the way Australia manages its waste. Coming into such a unique Department as a Graduate has given me a wide range of perspectives on the way government works, with the benefit of working alongside a cohort of graduates and colleagues from widely varying backgrounds, and with the support to develop valuable skills on the job.


Sarah – 2018 Graduate

As a graduate in the Department of the Environment and Energy, I have had the pleasure of working on a range of exciting and important initiatives. After graduating university with a degree in organic chemistry, I thought my career might be limited to working in a laboratory. This has definitely not been the case. During my time with the Department, I have assessed chemicals and genetically modified organisms, travelled to Melbourne to meet with leading stakeholders in the public and private sectors to review climate change policy, and supported the Government on one of their key priorities – reducing electricity prices.

My highlight of the program wasn’t a particular event, but how I was able to use the skills I developed through my technical degree to solve diverse challenges. Through the excellent mentoring program, training opportunities and on-the-job development, I have also gained several new skills. From stakeholder management to policy development, and even dabbling in economics, the graduate program has truly excited me every step of the way.

The graduate program has also provided me with the opportunity to engage with the broader Australian Public Service through training courses and participation in an APS-wide Graduate Data Network. Not only did this develop my passion for improving data literacy, but also provided me with the unique experience of meeting and working with other graduates from 23 different agencies.


Taha - 2018 graduate

Joining the Department of the Environment and Energy as a graduate in 2018 has been an amazing opportunity. The program offers 4 rotations within the Department and so far I have worked in biodiversity conservation, Antarctic fisheries, and climate change adaptation. Coming in as a graduate you are given real responsibilities and often the autonomy to work on projects that you can make your own.

The highlight of the program for me was going on an external rotation in Tasmania to the Australian Antarctic Division. I was very fortunate in that I was able to be a part of the Australian delegation to a two week long international meeting. It was an amazing learning experience and it felt great to be able to engage at the same level as others, no one asked me to get them coffee. The experience allowed me to develop skills in international negotiations, working under pressure and it widened my connections in other Australian Government Departments.

The graduate program provides a well-structured experience that teaches you everything you need to know about working in the public service and with the Diploma of Government you get a qualification to prove it.


Brad – 2017 graduate

During my time as a graduate with the Department of the Environment and Energy, I was given the chance to experience the breadth of the Department and take ownership of some amazing projects. I completed three rotations during my graduate year – the first with the Office of Water Science, the second with Parks Australia on Christmas Island and the third with the Environmental Standards Division.

The highlight was my time on Christmas Island where I worked with the National Park to plan, conduct, and report on the annual survey of a Critically Endangered Flying Fox. The work was very rewarding, helped to sharpen my problem solving skills and lead me to some spectacular parts of the Island.

The graduate program provided me with the opportunity to develop transferable writing and communication skills, and exposed me to Government practices in a structured learning environment. It also allowed me to meet some amazing people and experience the great culture of the Department as I moved throughout the year.

How to Apply

Department of the Environment and Energy


Seeking

If you are a graduate that can demonstrate:

  • Strong people skills and a team focused approach.
  • Resilience and the ability to embrace and adapt to change.
  • Sound judgment, common sense and the ability to think strategically.
  • Energy, enthusiasm and initiative.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills.

Please apply online through our website www.environment.gov.au/about-us/employment/graduate-program

Degree/Disciplines

We recruit graduates from all disciplines, but we particularly welcome graduates with the following degrees:

  • Economics
  • Engineering 
  • Environmental Science 
  • Technology 
  • Mathematics 

When to apply

We recruit early in the year and our applications are open from February/March each year. Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date. 

Eligibility

  • Have completed at least a three-year degree by 31 December 2018 or have completed a degree in the last five years(January 2014 onwards).
  • Be an Australian Citizen, or will be granted Australian citizenship before January 2019.
  • Can provide evidence of your Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islander Heritage (if applying through the Indigenous Stream). 
  • Relevant disability information (such as a letter from the Disability Services Unit at your University) (if applying through the GradAbility Stream). 
  • Be willing to relocate to Canberra, ACT.

Position locations

All graduate positions are located in Canberra, ACT.

Further information

Please visit our website
http://www.environment.gov.au/about-us/employment/graduate-program

We look forward to receiving your application!

Applying

Department of the Environment and Energy


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