Graduate Program

Department of Finance Graduate program

Welcome to the 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.

Our responsibility for advancing public sector reform is delivering excellence and value – ultimately enabling the government of the day to deliver and provide for all Australian citizens.

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.

You’ll 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.


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.


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


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.


Enjoy a wide view and gain exposure to extensive networks and influencers who can help expand your career in countless directions.

From interstate relocation and day one inductions, through to ongoing job training, support and mentorship, Finance has provided a very supportive program at every step - Simon

About the program

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

As a member of our team, 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.

As a graduate, you will join the department as an ongoing employee at the APS3 level and will be paid $63,283 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 levels 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 member of our graduate team you will be expected to relocate to Canberra, where our central office is located.

We understand this may be a big move for you, especially 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.

The capabilities we look for in our graduates are:

Capability Definition
Organisational alignment Expresses appropriate motivation for working in the department
Self-awareness Approaches tasks and own development in a logical, organised, professional manner to ensure delivery of consistently high-quality work
Collaboration and delivery /
client serviceh
Builds and maintains relationships with colleagues, clients, and a range internal and external stakeholders that facilitate open sharing of information
Results oriented /
Works consistently and independently, persisting despite setbacks or changing priorities to achieve goals within tight timeframes
Research and analysis Gathers information from a range of different sources and analyses it to inform thinking on a particular topic
Verbal communication Communicates clearly and confidently and actively listens to others in a range of settings
Written communication Writes persuasively and provides clear written advice in a range of styles

Life after the graduate program

After your graduate year has ended, the opportunities don’t stop! We will continue to support your career development and offer study assistance for further training.

With ongoing support from my managers, I’ve been able to work on the capabilities and skills that I’m most interested in developing - Herbert

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 five diversity 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.

You can also join the Finance Social Club, a team committed to empowering the Finance community to take ownership of and steer the social culture.

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.

Finance has encouraged me to take ownership of my ideas and think of innovative solutions - Timara

Application Process

Are you ready to make an impact? Applications for the 2020 Graduate Program open on Friday 26 April 2019 and close 11.30pm (AEST) Monday 27 May 2019.

To give you a little more information about your application and the recruitment process, we’ve created a Candidate Guide for you to download.

Step 1: Apply online

The online application is your first opportunity to show us your motivation for wanting to work with us. You will also be asked to upload your resume, academic transcripts and proof of your Australian citizenship at this stage.

Step 2: Online exercise

If you make it through the online application stage, you will be asked to complete an online assessment. This assessment will help predict how quickly you will learn new information during the graduate program and how effectively you use this information to solve problems in the workplace.

Step 3: Video Interview

If you make it through the online exercise stage, you will be asked to complete a video interview. This assessment will give you an opportunity to show us your motivation for wanting to work with us and demonstrate your capabilities that align with our program.

Step 4: Assessment Centre

Congratulations, we want to meet you! If you successfully progress from video interview, you may be invited to attend an assessment centre. These assessment centres will be conducted in Canberra or your closest capital city. The assessment centre provides you with an opportunity to step up your game and showcase your capabilities, find out more about the graduate program and your graduate year.

Assessments on the day may include but are not limited to:

  • a work sample
  • a team activity

Step 5: Offer of employment

Well done, you’ve made it! If you impress us in the assessment process, we will contact you to discuss an offer of employment with the department.

Employment eligibility

To be eligible for our graduate program you must:

  • be an Australian citizen, or are going to be granted Australian citizenship before commencement
  • be completing your final year of study or have completed your Bachelor’s degree or higher in the last five years or by the end of 2019
  • have maintained a credit average throughout your university undergraduate degree
  • be willing to relocate to Canberra.


Applications for our 2020 Graduate Program are now closed.

Download the Candidate Guide and begin your application today!

For more information, contact the graduate recruitment team.

Call us on 02 6215 1717
Email us at
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My work at Finance has helped me begin to understand the role of the public service more broadly, and helped me to feel like I’m contributing to the wider community - Emily

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?

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 have a full security clearance at the Baseline level 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 full security clearance is granted.

Applications currently closed

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Call us: 02 6215 1717

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