Indigenous Australian Government Development Program (IAGDP)

Kick start your career with the Australian Government with the Indigenous Australian Government Development Program (IAGDP).

On this page:

Indigenous Australian Government Diploma Program

Interested in making a difference to your community? Join the Australian Government and have an experience of a lifetime with endless opportunities for you.

The IAGDP is an entry-level employment program open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with an interest in working for the Australian Public Service (APS).

The diverse 12-month program offers you learning, development and opportunities to expand your personal capabilities and confidence to build a career in the APS. You will have the opportunity to complete a Diploma of Government qualification and focus your studies on a topic area whilst working full time.

Applications for the 2021 Indigenous Australian Government Development Program (IAGDP) have now closed.

Applications open early 2022

Who we’re looking for

We’re looking for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are keen to make a difference and to contribute their unique life experiences, perspectives, and capability to the Australian Public Service.

The Public Service is also excited by applicants who are:

  • Passionate about working for the community
  • Interested in the workings of Government and the public service
  • Eager to take on new challenges and learn new things.

We recruit for potential, not just experience – so don’t be afraid to apply.

Why should you apply?

There are a range of benefits for successful applicants including:

  • a competitive starting salary at the APS3 level plus superannuation
  • a permanent, full-time position at the end of the program
  • structured learning opportunities to help build your career
  • gain a nationally recognised Diploma qualification specialising in;
    • Diploma of Government - Project Management
    • Diploma of Government - Procurement and Contract Management
    • Diploma of Government - Human Resources
  • flexible arrangements to help you balance study and work
  • access to peer support, mentoring and coaching.

How does the program work?

  • You submit a written application, include your CV and a confirmation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage.
  • Successful short-listed applicants will be invited to participate or complete a range of assessment activities including;
    • Interviews
    • Aptitude testing
    • Agency “Meet and Greet” sessions
  • If your application is successful, you will start work at an APS3 level (or equivalent) in one of the participating APS agencies (Host)
  • At the successful completion of the program, you will continue to work in your host agency, with a promotion to the APS4 level (or equivalent).

The work

Where will I be working?

You will be invited to nominate a preferred APS agency (Host), and you may be matched with any of those agencies participating in 2021. The diverse range of agencies who have previously participated include;

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission
  • Australian Trade and Investment Commission
  • Bureau of Meteorology
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
  • Department of Defence
  • Department of Finance
  • Department of Education, Skills and Employment
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Department of Home Affairs
  • Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
  • Department of Infrastructure. Transport, Regional Development and Communications
  • Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Murray-Darling Basin Authority
  • National Disability Insurance Agency
  • The Treasury

You may be placed in a role in Canberra, another capital city or a large regional centre.

Applications for the 2021 Indigenous Australian Government Development Program (IAGDP) have now closed.

What work will I be doing?

Your work could involve answering enquiries from the public, records management, data entry, human resources management, communications, project management, contract management, procurement, and other general administrative, clerical, operational or systems support.

How to apply

Your application

You will need to submit a written application outlining why you are suitable for the program and attend an interview. You can find advice and resources on how to make a quality application on the Australian Public Service Commission website.


To be eligible for the program, you must:

  • Be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • Be able to obtain a security clearance
  • Be prepared to study a Diploma-level qualification
  • Be an Australian Citizen
  • Be prepared to relocate – with potential for relocation assistance

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Australian Public Service?  

The Australian Public Service (APS) is one of Australia’s largest employers, it encompasses all of the people who support the delivery of public administration, public policy and public services for the Australian Commonwealth Government. All employees of Government departments and statutory agencies are part of the APS.

I missed out last year – can I apply again?

Yes! But you will need to go through the recruitment process again.

Do I have to show my connection to Country?

Yes, Confirmation of Heritage is a requirement of participation and employment through IAGDP.

You need to provide confirmation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage. If you do not have this at the application stage, a statutory declaration will be accepted until confirmation documentation can be provided.

Please note, you must provide Confirmation documentation before you are officially offered a position in the program.

If you need information or have any concerns about how to obtain Confirmation of Heritage you can find further details on the Australian Institute of Aboriginal website.

How many people usually apply each year?

We often receive over 500 applications per year.

How many positions are on offer? 

Positions available varies from year to year and depends on the number of APS agencies participating in the program.

Do I need to be a certain age to apply?  

Yes, applicants must be over the age of 17 at the time of commencement in the program. Applications are welcome from all groups above this age limit.

Do I need to travel to attend an interview?

While potential travel may be required during the selection process the department is continuously monitoring the impacts of the COVID-19 environment. The department will endeavour to advise at the earliest opportunity whether travel to participate in any stage of the assessment process will be required.  

What if I have preference for a certain city or position? 

We’ll take your preferences into consideration during the matching process and our best efforts will be made to match you with your agency (Host).

I’m already studying my Diploma – is that a problem? 

No, your current studies may contribute to your Diploma, this will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Applications for the 2021 Indigenous Australian Government Development Program (IAGDP) have now closed.

Question not answered here?