Promotions within the Department are very possible, particularly at this time, but it depends on how specialised you are and what work topics you are willing to complete.
As a graduate, when I finish I move up two levels and receive a substantial pay rise. As a general rule, this department is quite easy to move both vertically and horizontally, provided you are willing to do new things.
After the Graduate Program, graduates go from being APS 3 to APS 5, which is a fantastic opportunity and privilege.
In my personal experience it has not been as easy to progress as in other areas of the Department. The area in which I work is a very popular, high-profile policy area so staff turnover tends to be much lower and vacancies/progression opportunities are rare. This is not the experience of most of my Grad colleagues, however. Some have been promoted three times in three years and now earn six figures!
I was promoted within six months of completing the graduate program. This involved a formal application process and panel interview.
Across the Australian public service there are considerable opportunities - sometimes it is very much about being in the right place at the right time, but often it is very clear what skills and experience are required - so that makes it easier to aim for. To be successful you have to be very adaptable and able to engage and communicate with a very broad range of types of people, at different levels and from very different organisations, including industry stakeholders and the lobby groups. Being efficient and being able to show that you've achieved things and can stay motivated are valued.
To be promoted, you must apply for an advertised position. There are limited options in this Department, and the number of opportunities are inconsistent, based on people moving or leaving.
Graduate position has a guaranteed promotion on successful completion of the program. Moving up appears to be contingent on working hard, proving yourself before being given promotions.
I think it is fairly easy to move up the ranks if you work hard and deliver outcomes. This seems to slow somewhat above my level however.
Acting at the next level up is reasonably easy to obtain, but substantive promotion opportunities are harder to come by (rarer, more hotly contested).
It is easy to advance to team member status, but requires someone else to move on before promotion is possible.