Graduate Careers Campaign
Who is PM&C?
At the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) we strive to be bold, be excellent and drive change. Our role is to provide fresh thinking and sound advice to government.
Our role is to advance the wellbeing of all Australians by providing the highest-quality advice and support to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet and improving the lives of First Australians. Our expertise spans many policy areas, with special focus on Indigenous affairs, social and women’s policy, economic and international policy, defence, intelligence and national security.
'I love working at PM&C because it's really hard to neatly describe what I do. There are so many different things going on, so many different roles, and so many different functions you can be a part of.'
What work will you do?
Working in PM&C will give you the opportunity to develop a broad understanding of the Government's priorities. We believe our greatest asset is our staff. Our officers are committed to excellence, whether they are developing national security policy from Canberra or building partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in some of the most remote communities across Australia.
As part of PM&C, you will receive professional development to build and harness your role at the centre of government to promote the wellbeing of Australians.
'I started at the beginning of 2016 and went into a corporate rotation. For my second six month block I did some time in the data policy and digital transformation area. My next block was in the communications team with the speechwriters. Then I headed off to the Wagga Wagga office, and joined the Riverina Murray team.
Having the opportunity to work in so many different areas has given me exposure to things I never would have thought about doing.'
All PM&C graduates will have the opportunity to undertake foundational professional development. This includes skills such as intensive writing, resilience, economics for non-economists and problem-solving.
To provide you the tools to navigate your rotations across the Department or within your Stream, you will have access to business fairs, panel discussions and networking opportunities. In addition, you will be able to access development offerings focused on building your personal brand and how to pitch for projects or jobs you would like to undertake. We want you to finish our program with skills that equip you to navigate the rest of your career.
As part of the Indigenous Affairs Stream, you can access offerings such as Indigenous Affairs policy, global development and complex stakeholder management. In the Corporate and Government Stream, you will have access to offerings relevant to your vocation and guided by your business area. And in the Generalist Stream, you will be able to opt into a suite of available development offerings from our panel of specialists.
Fostering the approach of transformation, your Graduate Program will be what you make of it – as you engage in a range of development opportunities and challenges to test yourself and grow your capabilities.
What we offer
Our graduates start as full-time, permanent employees at the APS 3 level. After 6 months you may be eligible to advance to the APS 4 level, and on successful completion of the Program, you will be assessed for advancement to the APS 5/6 level.
|APS level||APS Level 3|
|Annual leave||20 days|
|Personal leave (such as sick leave)||18 days|
|Working hours||38 hours per week|
Read our Enterprise Agreement 2017-2020 for more details on our pay and conditions. The Department also offers relocation assistance to successful candidates.
I certainly didn’t arrive at PM&C by what some might consider to be the ‘conventional’ route, fresh out of university. I worked for 10 years as a chemistry teacher, before leaving the classroom to pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Learning has always been a big part of my life, and completing a PhD had always been a long term goal which I’m proud to have seen through.
Read Shilo's full story…
Following the completion of my PhD I worked in a post-doctoral position at the University of Queensland, before my thirst for learning new skills and forging new networks sparked my interest in applying for the PM&C Graduate Program. Working in a central agency like PM&C really appealed to me, and I liked to idea of understanding complex policy decisions, collaborating with talented individuals across government, and providing high level advice to the Prime Minister.
Some people might perceive entering a graduate program as a mature age participant to be a ‘step-down’, but that’s absolutely not the case. PM&C has a fairly flat working structure, and I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with senior advisers and senior executives who frequently get to see my work and contributions directly. I feel trusted by my colleagues, and I think that my experience in previous workplaces has meant that I’ve been given opportunities to lead on projects that those starting a new career might not have experienced right away.
That said, undertaking the program as a mature age graduate hasn’t been without its challenges. Moving interstate required a lot of effort, particularly given that I have school-aged children. There’s a significant cost, not just monetary, but I’m lucky to have a very supportive partner. We have carefully prepared budgets and lock in non-negotiable family time, and our communication has been a major tool for ensuring that we’ve managed the everyday stress effectively.
The Department was also really supportive in helping us get to Canberra, and being part of a graduate cohort has also eased that transition. I can’t speak more highly of the people I’ve met since arriving at PM&C. My graduate cohort are an exceptionally talented and passionate group of people, who have always made me feel part of the group.
My graduate experience is one that I look fondly on. PM&C has been incredibly supportive of my particular circumstances, and I’m thrilled to be working in an organisation which is full of so many bright and talented people. I would encourage anyone interested in gaining an accelerated understanding of the Australian Public Service, in an environment that is supportive and fast-paced, to apply for the PM&C Graduate Program.
More information about the program
For more information on the PM&C Graduate Program you can email us at EntryLevelPrograms@pmc.gov.au or call us on 02 6271 6000.
More Information about PM&C
Who we are looking for
To be a PM&C graduate you have a genuine sense of curiosity – a desire to know and understand more about the people we serve and the challenges and opportunities for Australians in a changing world. You will be adaptable and resilient, and willing to embrace a range of opportunities. You will bring your 'whole self' to work.
We are looking for people from a variety of academic disciplines and people with diverse experiences and backgrounds including: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people; Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people; mature age and people with disability.
'It’s not so much the content you apply from your studies. It’s more using the research skills, some of the analysis you do and a lot of the critical thinking that really come into play when you’re working for an agency like PM&C.'
If you wonder what it is like to be a PM&C graduate, check out ‘a day in the life of a graduate’ to discover some of the interesting work you could be doing.
Willingness to be a ‘self-starter’
- You are a motivated, high achiever who wants to make a difference to the future of our country and who has an understanding of Government, policy and the work of the Department.
- You are innovative, creative and offer new ideas, approaches, insights or solutions.
- You take initiative, are self-motivated, ambitious and driven.
- You navigate your own journey and experiences.
Demonstrated strong communication and interpersonal skills
- You write simply, clearly and concisely in a well-structured and logical way.
- You speak with confidence and clarity, and adapt your communication style to suit different people or situations.
- You can communicate opinions, information and evidence with influence to gain the agreement of others.
- You are able to work and achieve outcomes both independently and as part of a team.
- You contribute ideas and are willing to listen and to expand on the ideas of others.
- You have strong relationship management skills and can quickly establish positive rapport with people at all levels in any organisation, and are able to build, maintain and use networks of contacts.
Demonstrated analytical ability
- You understand the relationship between issues and how they might be part of a larger complex problem.
- You can gather and analyse data from multiple sources of information, and probe for further information where required, allowing you to make rational and considered judgements and decisions.
- You critically analyse information from multiple sources and can analyse what information is important, how it should be used and can make a decision based on your findings.
- You approach problems creatively to find workable solutions.
Commitment and openness to professional learning and continuous development
- You are able to quickly learn new technology, processes and information.
- You actively seek out opportunities for personal, professional and organisational improvement.
- You have a willingness and commitment to continue to develop cultural competency.
- You are aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, and identify opportunities to develop and broaden your skills and knowledge.
Ability to be agile and resilient
- You demonstrate resilience in the workplace.
- You accept constructive criticism and feedback without becoming defensive or emotional.
- In the face of obstacles, you persevere to achieve personal and professional goals and objectives.
- You work productively in a high pressure environment and adapt and respond well to change and ambiguity, and make the most of the opportunities they present.
- You know how to utilise your strengths to get through busy and difficult times in the workplace.
- You are able to quickly process and understand new information.
Foster an inclusive and diverse workforce
- You show respect and sensitivity towards cultural and religious differences.
- You can communicate sensitively and effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- You demonstrate an understanding of the issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- You embrace and respect diversity, and diversity of thought.
'What we’re interested in is people with good raw materials which we can work with, so people who are smart, inquisitive, can write well, those are the sort of deep skills that we can work with to turn people into first rate public policy analysts.'
For more information on the PM&C Graduate Program you can email us at EntryLevelPrograms@pmc.gov.au or call us on 02 6271 6000.
We know applying for a Graduate Program can seem like an overwhelming feat – especially when you’ve got exams, study, a social life and work. Our application process is simple.
To get started, we only need key information about you and an updated resume.
Applications for the 2020 Graduate Program have now closed.
If you are an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander graduate or an graduate with a disability, we invite you to apply through our affirmative measure process. Read more about this on our Diversity page.
To be eligible to apply, you must:
- Have completed at least a three-year undergraduate bachelor degree obtaining a credit average within the last eight years. All degrees must be complete by 31 December 2019 and be recognised in Australia.
- Be able to obtain and maintain an Australian Government security clearance to a minimum of Baseline level.
- Be an Australian citizen by 30 June 2019. You will need to provide evidence to verify impending citizenship.
As all positions are located in Canberra, you must also be willing to relocate to participate in the program.
The application and assessment process of candidates applying for the 2020 Graduate Program will include the following:
- Submission of an online application, including your resume with referees and academic transcript
- Online cognitive ability testing
- Online video interview
- Assessment Centre
Offers are made shortly after the Assessment Centre, with commencement in February 2020. If you are rated suitable but unfortunately do not receive an offer for the Graduate Program, you may be considered by areas of our Department to join their team directly as an APS 3 employee.
'There is something at PM&C for everyone—no matter what you have studied, where you have worked before, what you think you might like to pursue—because at PM&C there are so many interesting issues under one roof.'
We encourage applications from people with diverse experience and backgrounds including: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people; Culturally and Linguistically Diverse people; mature age and people with disability.
You can also join us through the following whole-of-government graduate programs:
- Australian Government ICT Graduate Program – for Information Technology graduates.
- APS Indigenous Graduate Program – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also encouraged to apply directly to PM&C’s program.
If you are a person with disability, you can opt in to the APSC’s RecuitAbility scheme. If you choose to opt in and meet the minimum assessment requirements, you will go straight to the next stage in the recruitment process.
For more information on the PM&C Graduate Program you can email us at EntryLevelPrograms@pmc.gov.au or call us on 02 6271 6000.
Diversity at PM&C
At PM&C, our diverse and inclusive culture supports people to reach their potential, feel valued and are able to be themselves at work. We actively build a workplace that promotes gender equality and harnesses the skills and experiences of people from all backgrounds.
We believe everyone has the right to feel valued, safe and included at work. Diversity is a proven strength of high-performing teams and organisations. The strength gained from a diverse team impacts our policy advice and solutions and helps create productive relationships.
We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people; those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, mature age people and those with disability.
'There is really no one type of PM&C Grad, so don’t be discouraged if you think that you don’t fit the mould. We all come from diverse range of economic, social and cultural backgrounds.'
As the lead Australian Public Service (APS) agency with responsibility for the Indigenous Affairs portfolio, we are proud to have representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees at all levels of our workforce and have unique opportunities to serve First Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees are 14.7% of the PM&C workforce and 11% of the PM&C Senior Executive. We leverage our position at the centre of the APS to promote reconciliation and within the organisation are ensuring reconciliation is simply ‘the way we do things around here’.
PM&C's commitment to inclusion and diversity reflects the importance we place on our people and creating a workplace culture where every individual is valued and respected.
PM&C aims to improve the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees at all levels of our workforce and foster a culturally safe workplace. To achieve this we have developed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy Implementation Plan.
Our focus is to achieve results across five key areas:
- Amplify the range of employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Capitalise on the potential of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
- Grow the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees in senior roles.
- Enable a high level of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency in the workplace.
- Position PM&C as a thought leader and champion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment.
If you are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander graduate thinking about applying for our Graduate Program and apply through our Affirmative Measure process, you will be invited to visit our National Offices in Canberra to get a good feel of our workplace, people and city.
You will have the opportunity to meet with our Indigenous leaders, members of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network and the local Ngunnawal community. This first-hand experience will support you to determine in PM&C is the right journey for you.
Growing up, I was always encouraged to challenge myself. Whether in school, university, at home or in the workplace, I’ve always tried to take opportunities to step outside my comfort zone, and gain new experiences. It was this commitment and curiosity for the challenge of something new which motivated me to apply for PM&C’s Graduate Program, and one year in it’s safe to say that I’m glad I took the plunge.
Read Sapphire's full story…
I was the first person in my family to complete year 12 and to graduate from university. Because I didn’t have the ATAR score, I completed the University of Newcastle’s Yapug bridging course for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people before being accepted into university. I then completed a Bachelor of Business and Bachelor Laws/Diploma of Legal Practice at the University of Newcastle.
In that time, I welcomed my first child, Patrick, who is now 6 years old. After meeting my partner I became a step-mother to a now ten year old girl, Lacie, before having my second child Amari, who is currently 18-months old.
During my time at university, I enjoyed a variety of experiences. I worked at a not-for-profit, and interned at Qantas in their Qantas Loyalty Division. I also spent time working at Legal Aid and at the University of Newcastle’s Legal centre, and did my final placement for my Practical Legal Training at the Australian Taxation Office.
My mob are the Yuin (Aboriginal) and Ngāpuhi (Māori) people. I spent most of my childhood in Cessnock, NSW. My Indigenous heritage is an important part of my identity, and it’s guided the course I’ve taken in work, life and study. I remain connected with my mob despite not living on country, and I’m committed to a career which will enable me to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
That being said, my Indigenous heritage hasn’t always made life easy. I’ve faced racism in the classroom and workplace, and have struggled with the feeling of not having my opinion valued. Some have questioned my merit and remarked that I am a diversity hire – I’m proud of who I am and where I’ve come from, and feel lucky to have such strong connections with my community.
While I came to PM&C because of my interest in working in Indigenous Affairs, the Graduate Program has provided me with the opportunity to work across a range of policy areas. I’ve worked in the Office for Women and Legal Services Branch in Indigenous Affairs Group, and am now in Cabinet Division. The breadth of experiences that the Graduate Program offers really is incredible, and it’s helping me to develop into the well-rounded public servant that I want to be.
You won’t know if you’ll like something unless you give it a go. For me, giving the PM&C Graduate Program a go has been fantastic – getting to work with bright people on policies which influence the lives of so many Australians isn’t something that everyone gets to do every day.
Our focus on being a disability confident workplace is about ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for people with both physical and mental conditions. Seven per cent of our Department have shared that they experience disability. PM&C has an active Disability Employee Network of around 80 members and is supported by the PM&C Disability Executive Champion. In addition, we also participate in, and undertake a number of initiatives which support staff. These include:
- GradAccess – pathway for people with a disability into APS graduate programs,
- NextStep Trainee Program – APS traineeship for people with disability
- Gold Member of the Australian Network on Disability.
All our roles are advertised under the RecruitAbility scheme. The RecruitAbility Scheme provides candidates with disability who opt into the scheme and meet the minimum requirements of an advertised role, the opportunity to be advanced to a further stage in the selection process (this is usually through to the interview stage).
As a major initiative of the As One – Australian Public Service Disability Employment Strategy developed by the APSC, RecruitAbility is a scheme which aims to attract and develop applicants with an identified disability and also facilitate cultural changes in selection panels and agency recruitment
Working your Way
PM&C is committed to understanding the needs of staff who have disabilities. The fit-out design in our offices for Working Your Way spaces is compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act and has also applied the higher level NDIS design guidelines.
The Disability Employee Network and disability design experts were engaged to ensure the latest accessibility considerations were included in the design. Each staff member with a known disability is engaged pre and post move to ensure their needs are met. Typically this is in consultation with a physiotherapist/ergonomist.
If you are a graduate with a disability, we invite you to apply for our Graduate Program through our Affirmative Measures Disability process. Our assessment process will be tailored to meet any of your reasonable adjustments. We encourage you to contact us to discuss our process further.
PM&C is proud to be a member of the Diversity Council of Australia, the Australian Network on Disability, and Pride in Diversity as well as White Ribbon accredited. The Department has a range of networks that employees can get involved in:
- Disability Employee Network
- LGBTIQ+ Network
- Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Employee Network
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network
- Women's Network
The Disability Employee Network provides staff with a forum through which to suggest and implement ideas that help create a more diverse and inclusive workplace at PM&C and break down barriers for staff with disability.
The Network is also a channel through which PM&C can seek guidance on activities and workplace matters which impact on staff with disability. You do not need to be a person with a disability to participate in the network. Everyone is welcome and people with caring responsibilities are especially encouraged to participate.
The network recognises that disclosing a disability is a choice that everyone can make for themselves and there is no expectation for staff with a disability to make this disclosure to participate in the network. The disability network aim to make a difference.
PM&C has an active LGBTIQ+ Employee Network, supported by an LGBTIQ+ Executive Champion, which aims to support and promote a culture where all employees, including those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and/or queer + (LGBTIQ+ ), are able to participate and fulfil their potential in the workplace. PM&C has 6% of staff who chose to share that they identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and/or Intersex.
In March 2018, the Department launched its Gender Affirmation and Transition Policy. The intent of this policy is to ensure that staff who transition while working at PM&C are supported by clear guidance about how the Department can assist them.
PM&C has also met the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender. The purpose of these guidelines is to introduce new protections and practices from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. Our HR information systems have been updated to capture gender ‘X’ upon commencement.
The Department is a member of Pride In Diversity which is the national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion specialising in HR, organisational change and workplace diversity. This membership includes participation in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), Australia’s national benchmarking instrument for LGBTI workplace inclusion.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Network
PM&C is committed to creating a safe and inclusive workplace, where staff from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds are supported in an organisation that embraces and values the cultural diversity. Our Secretary, Dr Martin Parkinson is a member of the Leadership Council on Cultural Diversity and is supported in this role by PM&C CALD Champion.
This year, the Council has discussed research initiatives to boost understanding of barriers that limit the progression of people from CALD backgrounds to senior leadership positions, learning and development opportunities and public events to raise awareness of the barriers to progression for people from CALD backgrounds. Involvement in this forum supports efforts to develop and maintain the Australian Public Service as an organisation which are representative of the broader Australian population.
The CALD Employee Network in PM&C has around 150 members and celebrates cultural diversity through:
- Events and initiatives,
- Providing information to the Department's Senior Executive on ways to celebrate diversity and how to communicate CALD events and sensitivities to the Department,
- Supporting Departmental language groups,
- Providing mentoring and peer support for all CALD staff; and
Advertising existing services provided by the Department.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network (A&TSIEN)
We have an active Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network (A&TSIEN) which is supported by and Indigenous Executive Champion. The A&TSIEN plays an important role in supporting the effective operations of the Department, in particular, informing the development and implementation of policies, programmes and initiatives relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and communities.
The Department hosts NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week events each year to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history and achievements. We have also implemented the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Protocols Guide, which was developed to assist all PM&C employees to work respectfully and effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.
PM&C offers an online Indigenous Cultural Competence program called Core. Core provides a significant foundation for appropriate communication with, and understanding of, Indigenous Australians. Although not mandatory, we encourage all Departmental employees to undertake this essential development, regardless of their level of engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
PM&C has an active Women’s Employee Network of around 500 members and is supported by a Gender Executive Champion. The Women's Network champions equal opportunity on behalf of our members and is an inclusive, volunteer-based organisation built by members for members.
As a Male Champions of Change (MCC) Organisation, MCC works with influential leaders to redefine men’s role in taking action on gender inequality. It activates peer groups of influential male leaders, supports them to step up beside women, and drives the adoption of actions across private sector and government. Involvement in Male Champions of Change supports the department’s work towards gender equality and aligns with the strategic intent of the Balancing the Future: APS Gender Equality Strategy 2016-2019.
We are also a White Ribbon Accredited workplace, this is a whole of organisation commitment to stop violence against women.
'Australia is massively diverse so the more the public service and in particular the more the Department can reflect that diversity in its workforce, the better we’re going to be at bringing into being great policy advice.'
The Graduate Program (Program) is a 12-month Program founded on flexibility and empowerment. Like University, you are provided the agency to navigate your own journey and experiences.
While our Program sets a structure for rotations, graduates will be able to:
- Choose from our Generalist Stream – where you will be provided the tools to test all areas of the Department before determining which area you would prefer to work in after the Program.
- Major in one of our other two streams; Indigenous Affairs or Corporate and Government – where you will complete rotations within your stream, complete a ‘Minor’ rotation outside of your stream to complement your skills, and you will then work within your stream after the Program.
The Program will be based in our National Offices located in Canberra, with rotations on offer across a range of business areas, including our Regional Network.
'It’s been really fantastic being able to shape my own experience in the department and choose my own adventure'
Indigenous Affairs Stream
At PM&C we work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and across governments to advance the wellbeing of First Australians.
Our own range of programs contribute to closing the gap in disadvantage between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia. We also work across governments, both Commonwealth and states and territories, to influence programs and services that impact economic and social opportunities for First Australians.
Through our Regional Network, we work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to identify and support locally-driven solutions. Working with local communities ensures Indigenous Australians have a genuine say in the services that are delivered.
We are looking for individuals from a range of academic disciplines to contribute to the development and implementation of important policies and programs. If you like managing complex challenges, identifying emerging opportunities, working with a variety of people – the Indigenous Affairs stream may be for you.
Corporate and Government Stream
PM&C is a modern, collaborative and responsive organisation that drives excellence across the Australian Public Service (APS), delivering quality outcomes for the Government and Australian public.
Our staff and the government need practical tools, service and support to excel. From building a future-ready workforce by developing our staff, supporting an activity-based working ecosystem, coordinating Cabinet meetings, enabling an agile digital environment, organising international visits, and building an enduring security culture.
This is all supported by the Department’s enabling functions, and are critical to the Department and government's operation. Corporate and Government areas cut across legal policy, parliamentary, cabinet and ministerial support, protocols and international visits, human resource management, communications and media, ICT and financial management.
We are looking for individuals who like being a part of the big picture and are committed to their following their field of study from the lecture hall and into the workplace. If you like using your skillset and technical expertise to achieve outcomes and drive high quality services, you will be drawn to the Corporate and Government Stream.
“Transformation is a journey, not a destination. It's a license, not a command.” Secretary Dr Martin Parkinson.
We value the curiosity of our staff, those who are growth focused and intent on sharing and leveraging information, resources, talent and experiences. To strengthen PM&C as a modern, responsive and fit-for-purpose organisation, we need to celebrate successes and always be open to learning.
The Generalist Stream is for the curious mind, those who do not have the end goal in sight, but who seek to be inspired on their journey of discovery. You will be drawn to the Generalist stream if you have an open mind and are interested in discovering where you can best leverage your strengths. You seek to learn and understand the Department and are humble yet tactical in your pursuit. You want to work at PM&C because you believe that there is no greater vocation than the APS.
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