Opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

DESE’s Entry Level Programs offer pathways and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at any life stage to build and launch a successful career in the Australian Public service. Additionally, DESE provides many opportunities for your skills to be applied in different ways in the Department and more broadly through a career in the APS.

We are looking for motivated people who want to launch a career and join the Australian Public Service to make a difference and contribute to the lives of all Australians.

On this page:

Supporting your career

‘I have been lucky enough to join the department through an entry level program and have now been with the department for almost six years.

The culture at the department values difference and culture and always strives to be all-inclusive. As such, we are looking for people that are dynamic, agile, inclusive and be willing to share their unique life experience.

The department has a number of support mechanisms in place for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees such as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee network, Indigenous Champions, a Yarning Room and myself as the Indigenous Liaison Officer.

I would encourage anyone to apply for a position in the Department that is looking to create a fulfilling career that also gives back to the community.’ - Leanne of the Wiradjuri Community, DESE Indigenous Liaison Officer

By embracing these strengths we help create culturally responsive environments where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are empowered to achieve their full potential in the workplace.

The department promotes a culture where Indigenous business is everyone’s business ― across its work practices, values and business. Employees are also supported through the provision of a number of learning opportunities to build their cultural capability. 

We welcome applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, mature-age people and people with disability, regardless of sex, sexuality or gender identity.

Indigenous Graduate Pathway

We are a participating agency in the AGGP Indigenous Graduate Pathway which is part of the Australian Government Graduate Program (AGGP). Application for the Indigenous Graduate Pathway have now closed however you are more than welcome to apply for the 2023 DESE Graduate Program

Who we are looking for

DESE welcomes applications from all degree disciplines to join our DESE Graduate Program. Graduates should have:

  • tertiary qualifications in any discipline
  • strong written and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively, problem solve and work as part of a team
  • well-developed interpersonal skills, including the ability to actively engage with co-workers and stakeholders
  • enthusiasm, a strong work ethic, and an attitude open to learning and innovation.

The department strives to create a workforce that reflects the diversity of the Australian community and recognises the important knowledge and skills Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples bring to the work we do.

Wherever you start your public service career as a graduate, you’ll do meaningful work from day one. You will be asked to contribute, share your perspectives, and make a difference to the Australian community we serve.

What our Indigenous graduates do

As an Indigenous graduate, you will find yourself working in various roles that may include policy development and advice, project and contract management, program implementation, governance and communications.

Some of DESE’s strategic priorities, which you may work on, include:

  • improving learning outcomes by enabling quality, affordable and accessible early education and care for families
  • improving schooling outcomes for our children
  • equipping the workforce of the future through globally competitive tertiary education, training and research sectors
  • helping people find and keep a job, create their own job, change jobs, reskill and enjoy fulfilling careers
  • developing a strong evidence base for effective policy that reflects and understands the varied needs of the Australian population, business and industry.

Additionally, all graduates in the DESE Graduate Program will undertake a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration as the formal learning and development component of the program. This additional tertiary qualification offers all graduates a strong foundational understanding of working in the APS and in a policy agency.

Please see our website for further information on the department’s ongoing programs and initiatives.

Eligibility –  AGGP Indigenous Graduate Pathway

To be eligible for Indigenous Graduate Pathway you must submit a completed application prior to the closing date and time and provide evidence or confirmation of the following:

  • be an Australian citizen by 30 June 2022
  • have completed (or will complete) at least an Australian Qualifications Framework Level 7 qualification (a Bachelor degree), equivalent, or higher equivalent by 31 December 2022
  • have completed your most recent degree no more than 5 years ago on the date you lodge your application
  • be able to obtain and maintain a valid Australian Government security clearance once accepted onto the program when required. Further information on security clearances is available from Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA)
  • be willing to undergo any police, character, health or other checks required.

Through the AGGP Indigenous Recruitment Pathway, successful applicants will be placed in a merit pool that will be considered by the APS and Commonwealth entities. Please note that agencies and departments and will offer different employment conditions and graduate program features.

Applying for the 2023 DESE Graduate Program. 

Applications are now open for the 2023 DESE Graduate Program.

If you apply direct through our graduate process the first step in the application process is to submit your application by Sunday 26 June 2022.  You will be advised at each stage of the process if you have progressed further.

If you have any questions, email entrylevel@dese.gov.au

Other opportunities

Other entry level pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples include: 

IAGDP is a 12-month entry-level employment and development program open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are interested in working in the Australian Public Service. Participants have the opportunity to complete a Diploma of Government qualification while working full time.

Run by the Department of Finance, the Career Starters Program is for students who have recently completed Year 12.

  • DESE Apprenticeships Program

This program supports participants to build their capability by providing training qualifications to help them develop both personally and professionally at any life stage including individuals starting their career, individuals re-joining the workforce and individuals re-inventing their career.

Provides opportunities for Year 12 graduates to enter a Human Resource (HR) career in the Australian Public Service (APS).

For more information, visit the  Indigenous Careers Website.

If you have any questions, email entrylevel@dese.gov.au

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