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Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

  • #19 in Government & public services
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment- Photo collage of the environment in a globe.

About Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

  • Environment & Agriculture
  • Government & Public Service

What it does: The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment protects and strengthens the country's national resources and helps develop strong agricultural industries. The Department is tasked with managing and protecting land, water, and heritage. 

Best known for: Developing programs and policies that promote a healthy environment including managing biodiversity, ecosystems, and heritage, driving sustainable agricultural industries, and supporting regional communities. 

The good bits: Work-life balance, job security, a relatively relaxed work environment compared with other government agencies, and a chance to work on large-scale projects that make a widespread positive impact. 

The not-so-good bits: has recently undergone lots of change. 

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment story

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment was established in February 2020, following widespread public service restructuring that merged Australian Government units and reduced federal government departments from 18 to 14. The Department was developed when the Department of Agriculture consolidated functions with the Department of the Environment and Energy. The resulting department took over all the functions of the previous Department of Agriculture, as well as the environmental functions of the previous Department of the Environment and Energy. 

The Department's functions are diverse: apart from protecting Australia's natural resources, the department is also tasked with the development of strong agricultural industries and the protection and management of land, water, and heritage. The Department does this by delivering programs, administering legislation, and offering advice to the Australian Government. 

The Department prepares and coordinates responses to the outbreak of diseases, pests, and weeds; protects and sustainably manages the nation's ecosystems, heritage and biodiversity; manages and establishes Commonwealth protected areas; offers analysis and data on the environment and agriculture; supports sustainable natural resource management and secures new markets for the country's agricultural exports. 

The recruitment process

Employees are located all over Australia and take on various roles, from environmental assessors to biosecurity dog handlers, scientists, research staff, and accountants. Some employees also work overseas to maintain relationships with various trading partners and international organisations. 

Graduates are advised to read the duty statement and selection criteria before applying. Both permanent and temporary job roles are available on the company's careers page. 

To apply, graduates must submit an up-to-date resume with at least two referees. Additional screening may be required to assess suitability in some cases. To work with the Department, applicants must be Australian citizens. All applicants go through pre-employment medical assessments, reference checks, character and police checks, as well as formal qualification checks. Applicants who need special assistance (eg wheelchair access) should include their requests in their application cover sheet. 

The Department offers special programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

As a member of the Australian Network on Disability, the Department supports the career development and employment of people with disabilities by creating a more accessible workplace and training managers to support staff with disabilities.

Applicants who have recently received a redundancy from other public service agencies must wait until their redundancy period expires before applying.  

Remuneration

Graduates can expect a salary of $60,000 to $64,999. All employees are poised to receive a 2% salary increase annually every November until the year 2021.

Employees are offered fringe benefits that may include annual flu vaccinations, job dependant vaccinations, work health and safety information and training, training and development (eg internal assignments, on-the-job training, secondment opportunities, e-learning courses, study leave for approved external studies), and flexible working arrangements (eg job sharing, part-time hours, support for carers, paid annual leave, leave provisions).

The culture

The Department's commitment to promoting an inclusive workplace is evident in its support of six diversity networks: Disability Employees Network, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employees Network, LGBTI Pride Network, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Network, Carers and Flexible Employees Network, and Women's Integrated Network. 

The commitment to diversity is expressed in several ways, including but not limited to offering special entry-level job programs and Graduate Programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, creating a disability-friendly workplace and participating in the RecruitAbility Scheme, and promoting gender equality by setting targets and strategies to ensure that the aspirations, needs, and behaviours of all genders are considered and equally valued.

Social contribution

While caring for the environment is central to the responsibilities of the Department, the Department also offers assistance and grants to support the Australian community in protecting environment and heritage, promoting climate action, and boosting productivity and exports.

The Department offers financial support to help victims recover from bushfires and droughts, and provides tax concessions to organisations that work to protect the environment. Several grants are also given to support projects and initiatives aligned with their goals. 

The vibe of the place

Graduates looking for work imbued with purpose will find their stay in the Department to be personally satisfying. As a government agency, there are many opportunities to contribute to Australia's agricultural and environmental advancement. While red tape and bureaucracy are common insider issues, working in the Department has its perks. Here, minorities are poised to thrive, thanks to the department's inclusive policies, diverse workforce, and career advancement strategies. 


 

From the employer:

Our department was established on 1 February 2020. Before this, we were the:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of the Environment and Energy (Environment portfolio)

The role of the department is diverse and far-reaching. We work across the breadth of our vast and valuable resources. On the land and water and in towns and cities. We:

  • assure our clean and green status by keeping pests and diseases out of Australia
  • protect and sustainably manage Australia’s biodiversity, ecosystems, and heritage
  • prepare and coordinate our response to outbreaks of pests, diseases, and weeds
  • provide data and analysis on agriculture and the environment
  • support sustainable natural resource management
  • establish and manage Commonwealth protected areas
  • maintain and secure new markets for Australia’s agricultural exports

What to expect

As a graduate at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment you will make a valuable contribution to the protection of Australia’s natural resources and development of strong agricultural industries.

Our work delivers policies and programs for a strong economy and a healthy environment. The work we do today, matters for tomorrow.

Our commitment to diversity

Our vision is to foster a workplace where employees feel included, valued, and have access to opportunities and resources that support full participation at work. We embrace the variety of experiences, skills, and perspectives that people bring to the workplace and want to harness these to achieve the department’s objectives.

The unique perspectives our employees bring to the workplace could include how they identify in relation to their age, caring responsibilities, cultural background, disability, gender, Indigenous background, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background.

Who we are looking for

To work with us, you need to be a creative problem solver who loves a challenge. Our graduates come from all university degree disciplines, reflecting the variety of career paths available. Your work with us could range from the nation’s biosecurity safety, biodiversity conservation, National Parks and heritage, fresh produce, animal welfare, waste, and recycling or international trade.

We are committed to fostering a diverse and flexible workplace. We welcome applications from all Australian citizens, people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people who identify as LGBTIQ+.

What we can offer you

We offer our graduates a comprehensive program across a range of streams. Highlights include diverse workplace rotations, a suite of targeted training, and leadership and career development through engagement with the executive team.

Positions are also available from this process with some of our portfolio agencies, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

Opportunities

Locations With Opportunities
  • Canberra
Hiring Candidates With Degrees In
B
Business & Management
C
Creative Arts
E
Engineering & Mathematics
H
Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
I
IT & Computer Science
L
Law, Legal Studies & Justice
M
Medical & Health Sciences
P
Property & Built Environment
S
Sciences
T
Teaching & Education

Graduate Success Stories


Department of Agriculture Graduate Callum Blake
  • Graduate stories
In my section, we work on setting how we will manage the biosecurity risk of travellers arriving in Australia in the future.

Callum Blake

  • Graduate stories
In my section, we work on setting how we will manage the biosecurity risk of travellers arriving in Australia in the future.

Callum Blake

Department of Agriculture Graduate Callum Blake
  • Graduate stories
In my section, we work on setting how we will manage the biosecurity risk of travellers arriving in Australia in the future.

Callum Blake

  • Graduate stories
In my section, we work on setting how we will manage the biosecurity risk of travellers arriving in Australia in the future.

Callum Blake

A Day In The Life Of


Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment Graduate - Young male professional in shirt
  • Day in the life

Sam Baxter

Sam Baxter graduated with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Veterinary Science from The University of Queensland and is now working as a Policy Officer at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
  • Day in the life

Sam Baxter

Sam Baxter graduated with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Veterinary Science from The University of Queensland and is now working as a Policy Officer at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment Graduate - Young male professional in shirt
  • Day in the life

Sam Baxter

Sam Baxter graduated with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Veterinary Science from The University of Queensland and is now working as a Policy Officer at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
  • Day in the life

Sam Baxter

Sam Baxter graduated with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Veterinary Science from The University of Queensland and is now working as a Policy Officer at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.