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Policy and program

Graduate program stream

As a policy and program graduate, you can expect to work on a variety of thought-provoking and challenging work, such as improving the family law system's response to domestic violence, working to better protect children or older Australians from abuse and collaborating with the private sector, states and territories and international partners to improve community safety and national security.

Placement rotations

Policy and program graduates will participate in rotations across the department, working on policy and programs in areas that may include:

  • civil justice
  • family law and legal assistance
  • criminal justice
  • law enforcement
  • crime prevention
  • national and protective security
  • international law
  • human rights
  • native title
  • constitutional law
  • protective security and integrity
  • industrial relations policy

You may also rotate through our corporate areas including:

  • human resources
  • strategy and governance
  • finance

You may also have the opportunity to experience a rotation in one of our portfolio agencies.

Your role

As part of your role you may:

  • help to develop and implement legislation, policies and programs
  • undertake analysis, research and critical thinking
  • prepare written briefs, submissions, reports and ministerial correspondence
  • manage events including ministerial and council meetings.

You will also:

  • participate in development activities including a major project, which you will present to senior leadership
  • contribute to a range of cultural and social activities including a high profile speaker series and fundraising initiatives
  • receive support from supervisors
  • get access to learning and development activities, including the opportunity to complete further study.


We invite applications from graduates of all university disciplines including arts, business, commerce, communications, economics, humanities, international studies, law, management and science.

To be eligible for the policy and program stream you must:

  • be an Australian citizen.
  • have completed (or be completing by December 2020) your relevant degree no more than four years before the program commences (on or after December 2016) with a credit average or higher

Police checks and security clearances

If we offer you a position on the program, you will also need to:

  • pass a police record check
  • get and keep a security clearance at the appropriate security level.

Interstate relocation

All policy and program graduate positions are based in Canberra. Financial assistance may be offered where graduates are relocating from their home state.

Get more information

Visit our Graduate profiles to find out more from our most recent graduates.

Policy stream - Patrick

The support network in the Graduate Program is superlative. Your buddy is a former AGD grad who can help you through anything grad-related.
Link to Patrick's graduate profile page

Policy stream - Nish

One of the best things about working in the APS is the flexibility. I have been supported to explore opportunities, so I suppose my other daily practice is to be open to what comes, and be enthusiastic about each and every day!
Link to Nishi's graduate profile page

Policy stream – Grace

The graduate experience was not without its challenges, but when I look at how far I've come, I know how valuable this experience has been for both my personal and professional development.
Link to Grace's graduate profile page