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Department of Social Services Reviews
Reviews by Department of Social Services graduate employees
- starstarstarstarstar3.9GradAustralia surveyed 43 graduates working at Department of Social Services. Read on to get an insider’s view on life as a graduate. 43 responses.
- The friendly atmosphere, the people you get to work with, the opportunities to be challenged and work on issues that affect our community.
- You get to work across a wide range of communications areas
- There are many good things about DSS. There is the flexibility, a great friendly culture, opportunities to gain experience in other roles within the department & good working conditions.
- You get a sense of helping vulnerable people through targeted policies / programs / initiatives
- The breadth of policy issues that DSS is responsible for - it offers a wide variety and plenty of opportunities to work in different areas.
- Government of the day changing the agenda
- Like all large organisations, the bureaucracy to do certain things.
- I miss living in a big city! Don't necessarily get a say as to where you are placed.
- Working in the Australian Public Service involves adhering to a lot of bureaucratic processes.
What insiders say about…
As a graduate I have been given the opportunity to work in three different areas of the Department. My responsibilities have included drafting Minutes and Briefings for the Senior Executive and our Minister, responding to Ministerial Correspondence, secretariat, assisting with procurement processes, stakeholder engagement and contributing to policy issues.
Good level of connection with peers and superiors. Opportunities for socialization amongst colleagues. Contributions and opinions are accepted and valued.
Long process but a good variety of assessments which is beneficial if you are not as strong in a particular area. Gives recruiters more of an opportunity to see what you have to offer. Assessments included reasoning tests, phone interviews, an assessment centre and a panel interview.
Whilst leadership is important, DSS is an organization for team players. As you take initiative also be willing to value and include others.
We have Flex-time. Which means that if you work more than your standard hours of work in a week, you get credited with those hours which can be used at a later time. So if there is a busy period at work, you might be able to accrue enough Flex-time to then take a day or two off at a later time. Work is generally pretty flexible with your start and finish times for the day as long as you work enough hours in a week. However the flexibility depends on how busy your Section is and the nature of the work you do.
The graduate wage at DSS is relatively competitive. All the public service wages are available online in their Enterprise Agreements so it's easy enough to see what wage you will be paid! Don't forget you get 15.4% superannuation too, which can make a big difference to your total remuneration package! The Department also pays for all graduates to do a Diploma of Government.
Flex time! Something unheard of in the private sector. Very generous leave entitlements including Christmas shutdown (when the office closes from 12pm on Christmas Eve until New Year�s Day and you don't have to use any leave!).
DSS staff maintain strong workplace relationships with their manager through individual performance agreements. Middle and senior managers are readily available when needed and frequent communication bulletins ensure all staff are aware of relevant developments and issues.
The Department offers some in-house training which is pretty good, but numbers are limited. I have not yet been able to get into a particular course that I would like to do.
As we are a fairly large organisation with thousands of staff there is a fair bit of movement in staff (e.g. people retiring, going on maternity leave etc.) which in turn can create an opportunity for someone to be promoted to their place. There are cases where people advance fairly quickly but most do so at a more standard speed. I believe that a lot of your ability to advance depends on what area of work you are in, timing, seeking out opportunities and a little luck
From what I've seen the Department has been very accommodating to women. There also appears to be a considerable amount of women and mothers in the department filling a variety of roles including management. The department seems to be very understanding if a mother has to leave to care for her child, or has to start/finish work at particular times because of her child's needs. The department does employ a very large portion of people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, and I am aware of staff members who are from a LGBT background. All a treated with complete respect.
There is vague talk about this and in some areas (notably Women's Safety) we're alright but the rank and file seem to view corporate responsibility as an unnecessary hurdle.
The main DSS building is located in Tuggeranong which is the deep south of Canberra. It is VERY different from working in a city environment. Sitting in the work "cafe" which is full of couches and has dart boards etc.. you stare out onto towards the bush and the mountains and it can feel like you're actually at a country retreat as opposed to work! The dress code is business attire, but there is no expectation for the kind of corporate dressing you might be used to seeing in the cities.
The department encourages its employees to recycle and use compost bins. It also encourages staff to bike, or use public transport to get to work.Join us to bookmark!
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You'll be able to save searches and much more if you register for free today!Why Sign Up?Personalised alertsWe’ll remind you when course or scholarship deadlines are approaching, so you’ll have time to prepare the perfect applicationOpen days and eventsWe’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest information on open days and other events at institutions you’ve shown interest in.Your own applications dashboardKeep track of all your course applications in one place. We’ll let you know when application deadlines are approaching.People also viewed...When you apply for PM&C’s Graduate Program, you’re not just applying for a job; you are opening the door to your career.Teach For Australia is an innovative non-profit organisation and part of a global movement dedicated to improving equity in education.