Department of Agriculture
  • Environment & agriculture
  • Government & public services

What it does: Assists the agriculture, aquaculture and forestry industries
Staff stats: 5000 employees
The good bits: Variety of work available
The not so good bits: The department has gone through lots of change recently
Hiring grads with degrees in: Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration; Health & Medical Sciences; Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; Law & Legal Studies; Sciences

The Department of Agriculture 
The Department of Agriculture is the latest in a long line of government departments responsible for the policies and programs aimed at Australia’s agriculture, aquaculture and forestry industries. The department came into being in 2015, shortly after Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister and shifted the...

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What it does: Assists the agriculture, aquaculture and forestry industries
Staff stats: 5000 employees
The good bits: Variety of work available
The not so good bits: The department has gone through lots of change recently
Hiring grads with degrees in: Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration; Health & Medical Sciences; Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; Law & Legal Studies; Sciences

The Department of Agriculture 
The Department of Agriculture is the latest in a long line of government departments responsible for the policies and programs aimed at Australia’s agriculture, aquaculture and forestry industries. The department came into being in 2015, shortly after Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister and shifted the water portfolio to the then Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.

Department of Agriculture is committed to supporting agricultural communities, growing agricultural, seafood and forestry exports, protecting water and other natural resources and managing biosecurity and imported food risk. Department of Agriculture staff can be found working in airports, abattoirs, laboratories mail centres, offices and shipping ports throughout the country.

The culture
One of Department of Agriculture’s key priorities is increasing the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff, and ensuring their cultural safety. The Reconciliation Action Plan 2017-19, is about building respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider Australian Community, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy 2018-2020 outlines a target of 4 per cent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff by 2020.

Department of Agriculture is also committed to being an employer of choice for LGBTIQ+ employees, and participates in the Australian Workplace Equality Index every year. This index is a national benchmark on LGBTIQ workplace inclusion, and helps gauge the impact of inclusion initiatives and informs further measures.

The department is also focused on ensuring gender equality through the Gender Equality Implementation and Delivery Plan.  This plan outlines a commitment to a workforce where opportunities do not depend on an individual's gender, and the aspirations and needs of all genders are considered.

Department of Agriculture is also a member of the Australian Network on Disability.

Department of Agriculture has a number of active Employee Networks that play a key role in promoting an inclusive workplace. Within the five networks identifying staff and allies can share experiences, build relationships and promote awareness of diversity in the department through events and other initiatives.

Social Contribution
Having a thriving agriculture and aquaculture industry, plenty of timber and a reliable water supply is crucial both to the country’s ability to survive and prosper economically. As a Department of Agriculture staffer, you’ll be helping support and grow vital industries.

The recruitment process
If you’re interested in Department of Agriculture’s Graduate Development Program, you need to make an online application. This will involve uploading your CV and academic transcript, as well as a one page pitch.

If you are shortlisted after application, you will be invited to undertake other assessments. A shortlist will be produced after each assessment at which time you will be notified of the outcome. These assessments can take many months to complete, with official offers being made in September/October 2018. These assessments are designed to test your leadership potential, creativity and collaborative disposition. Department of Agriculture seeks staff who are motivated, good communicators, team players, critical thinkers and willing to use their initiative.  

Department of Agriculture offers a number of graduate streams. They are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Human Resource Management
  • Science
  • Generalist
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Information and Communication Technology stream
  • ABARES Entry Level Professional Program

We may also use this process to fill graduate positions in other agencies within the agriculture portfolio, including the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)

The program runs for 12 months, with all positions based in Canberra. You will be required undergo a medical assessment and obtain and maintain a security clearance to a Negative Vetting 1 level.

Whichever stream you nominate, you’ll get a comprehensive overview of how the department operates. You’ll also experience a five-day industry visit where you will meet with stakeholders, undertake a research project. You can also apply for four week work placement within one of the department’s portfolio agencies or regional offices.

Remuneration
The 2020 intake graduates receive a salary of $64,592 plus 15.4 per cent employer superannuation. Department of Agriculture staff get flexible working conditions, paid leave entitlement, reimbursement for health and fitness activities and paid study leave. Graduates also receive generous relocation assistance.

The vibe of the place
If you’re worried about leaving friends and family behind to move to Canberra, rest assured you’ll have plenty of support and opportunities to socialise with your fellow grads and other Department of Agriculture staff members. Department of Agriculture’s Graduate Alumni Network hosts meetings and events for past and present grads. There are also lots of formal and informal opportunities to network with people doing grad programs at other government departments.  

If you like interacting with a wide variety of people, doing work that has a real impact on people’s lives and are the passionate type, you should enjoy working at Department of Agriculture.

 

From the Employer:

In 2020 the department is offering a 12 month graduate program designed to provide you with the kick-start to your career in the Australian Public Service.

The program includes:

  • Three workplace rotations across the department
  • A five day industry visit, providing you with a rich on the job learning experience, and the opportunity to meet with stakeholder and complete a research project
  • Executive engagement
  • An opportunity to apply for a work placement within one of the department’s portfolio agencies or regional offices
  • A visit to the Minister’s Office, Senate Estimates and Parliament House to gain exposure to parliamentary proceedings
  • Inclusion into our graduate network, access to a buddy and senior executive Graduate Champion
  • A targeted suite of learning and development to support your development throughout the program

Professional Streams

The department offers a number of graduate streams each working directly on projects to achieve our objectives. These streams include:

  • Generalist 
  • Science 
  • Finance and Accounting 
  • Human Resources
  • Veterinary Science
  • Legal
  • ICT 
  • ABARES Entry Level Professional Program 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. We encourage all suitably qualified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates to apply for our specialist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stream. These positions will be recruited under the government’s affirmative measures policy.

We may also use this process to fill graduate positions in other agencies within the agriculture portfolio, including the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

Who we are looking for

We are seeking graduates with the following characteristics:

  • Aspiring leaders – you willingly tackle important issues
  • Creative minds – you are open to doing things differently to achieve success
  • Future thinkers – you anticipate and adapt to new situations
  • Compassionate – you are mindful of the impact you have on others
  • Responsive and collaborative individuals – you make things happen and build on partnerships to succeed.

To complement these characteristics, you will also have the following skills and attributes:

  • High motivation
  • Well-developed written and oral communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • The ability to work well in a team
  • Well-developed critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Ability to use initiative and be a flexible team member.

Applications

Applications for the 2020 Graduate Development Program open on 14 March 2019 and close 23 April 2019. You will need to submit your application through our online application process for it to be considered.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources ABARES Entry Level Professional Program (ELPP) for graduates has its own application process. For information on eligibility and how to apply for this program go to the ABARES Careers webpage.

Reasonable adjustments

Should you require any equipment or assistance to participate in our selection process, please nominate through your application form. Alternatively you can email agriculture@igniteco.com if you require any information.

Recruitment Process

The recruitment process involves several assessment tasks that form gateways to the next. Each task is designed to assess your demonstrated ability to, or have the potential to develop the required skills, knowledge and qualifications to perform the graduate role.

The process is very in-depth and as such can take several months to complete.  All applicants will be notified of their progress throughout the process.  Successful applicants are likely to be notified in August 2019 and start the program in February 2020.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the 2020 Graduate Development Program you must be an Australian citizen or have been granted citizenship prior to 1 January 2020.

You must have completed a Bachelor’s degree (or high qualification) at a minimum, prior to the program’s commencement in February 2020. There is no timeframe as to when you completed your degree.

You must be able to obtain and maintain a Negative Vetting Level 1 security clearance issued by the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA).

International qualification

If you received your degree overseas, you will need to have it recognised by the office of International Education, this website provides contact details for each state and territory. 

Security clearance and medical examination

To be offered a position on the 2020 Graduate Development Program, you will need to obtain a AFP police records check. If you are cleared to be offered a position you will them be required to undertake the following

  • Undergo a security clearance to the Negative Vetting Level 1 which involves a series of assessments and background checks conducted by AGSVA.
  • Undergo a medical examination by the department’s external health provider to determine if you are medically fit to undertake an APS position (this will include a Q Fever vaccination)

Failure to undertake these processes or achieve the appropriate clearance may jeopardise your employment.

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