Department of Defence

The Department of Defence offers civilian graduate positions that will see you contribute to protecting Australia and our national interests.

Would you like a career where you can make a difference? Definitely Defence.

The Department of Defence is seeking graduates from across all academic disciplines to take up the challenge of working for one of Australia's most dynamic organisations with the challenge of protecting Australia and our national interests. As a graduate in Defence you will enjoy experiences that, as a civilian, you wouldn’t find with any other organisation.

Defence offers the opportunity to play a real part in keeping Australia secure, to support intelligence operations and peace keeping missions overseas. We are one of Australia's largest government departments and as such, we are able to offer rewarding opportunities across the career spectrum.  You name it, we do it.

As a civilian Defence graduate, you will have the opportunity to undertake a development program targeted to suit your knowledge and skills to best prepare you for an exciting and challenging career. Defence offers a unique development program with four Pathways from which to choose.  They are:

  • Defence Corporate Pathway
  • Defence Capability Pathway
  • Defence Policy and Intelligence Pathway
  • Defence Science and Technology Pathway

Other opportunities include the Naval Civilian Engineering Development Program.

Each Pathway offers differing career development streams that are either specialist or generalist in nature  Each Pathway also comprises of rotation placements, internal and external training, and are tailored to suit your needs  and those of the organisation.

The Department of Defence is committed to developing a workforce that represents the diversity in Australian culture. We strongly encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people and people with a disability.

Candidates must be Australian citizens to be eligible for employment for the Department of Defence graduate program.

For further information regarding any of the Department of Defence graduate job streams, including additional eligibility requirements, please visit our website.


Position type

All of our graduates are employed as permanent full-time employees upon commencement of the program. Once employed, provided you complete the program successfully, you will have a permanent position within the Department at the end of the development program.

Ongoing Training and Development

A career in the Department of Defence will support you from entry and onward as you professionally develop and progress. Our logic is simple - as you grow and develop your skills and experience, so does the contribution you make to corporate and team goals. You will receive training and development specific to your graduate development Pathway.  Further study is supported once you have completed the development program.  We value our employees and place importance on further career and knowledge development, achieved through such programs as Studybank and access to degree programs at the University of NSW ADFA campus.


We offer a starting salary of $63,236, plus an additional 15.4% employer contribution to superannuation.  

Leave Entitlements

As a  full-time Defence employee, graduates are offered generous leave entitlements, including 20 days annual leave per year, personal leave, public holidays, and a paid Christmas stand-down.  You will also be entitled to three months long service leave after 10 years of recognised service.

Flexible Work Options

Flexible work hours are offered as an alternative to the traditional 9–5 work day and allow staff to vary their daily arrival or departure time to fit within their work area requirements and their lifestyle. Generally, the span of time within which staff can work their required hours on a flexible basis is 7am–7pm, but individual arrangements should be negotiated to fit in with your team and work requirements. Access to flexible working hours is predominantly available to employees at the classification of APS Level 6 (or equivalent) and below, but local arrangements can be entered into for Executive Level staff.

Relocation Expenses

Transition from study to career can be a challenging one. For many of you, it is also first time you have lived away from home, and most graduates are moving interstate.  We work hard to make the whole process as easy as possible for you, we offer a generous package to provide assistance with relocation.