Updating Results

Department of Veterans' Affairs

4.5
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

About Department of Veterans' Affairs

  • Government & Public Service

What it does: Supports and commemorates those who’ve served their country
Staff stats: Around 2000
The good bits: Working for a good cause
The not so good bits: Media and political scrutiny
Hiring grads with degrees in:  Property & Built Environment; Sciences; Teaching, Education & Human Welfare; Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration; Health & Medical Sciences; Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; Law & Legal Studies. 

Department of Veterans’ Affairs story

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) was formed in 1976 as the successor to the Department of Repatriation. It’s responsible for delivering programs for war veterans, Australian Defence Force members, Australian Federal Police staff members and their dependants. The DVA is the administrator of payments and services under several legislative acts. It fulfils its functions by administering several agencies. These include the Australian War Memorial, Specialist Medical Review Council and Veterans’ Children Education Board.

The DVA often plays an important role in the lives of its clients, who include veterans and their widows and children. The department is headed by a Secretary. The Secretary reports to the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

The culture

The DVA believes “an inclusive workplace that is understanding and respectful of differences such as gender, race, disability or age” enhances “the department’s ability to drive creativity and think innovatively”.

The DVA recruits staff members with disabilities through its participation in the Australian Public Service’s RecruitAbility scheme. Its Gender Equality Action Plan promotes greater diversity and workplace flexibility with the aim of attracting, retaining and promoting more female employees.

The department also participates in the Australian Public Service’s Indigenous Graduate Recruitment Program.

Social contribution

Veterans and their families make significant sacrifices to help defend the nation. As a DVA staffer, you will have the opportunity to facilitate Australians repaying some of the debt they owe to those who’ve guaranteed their safety and freedom.  

The recruitment process

DVA recruits a small intake of graduates each year. To be considered, you’ll need to be an Australian citizen and willing to relocate to Canberra. Graduates from all disciplines are eligible to apply. However, the DVA’s preferences for graduates with particular degrees can change from year to year.

The five selection criteria the DVA looks for are:  

  • Supports strategic direction
  • Achieves results
  • Supports productive working relationships
  • Displays personal drive and integrity
  • Communicates with influence

The recruitment process begins with an online application. This will involve uploading your academic results, referees’ contact details, employment history and a one-page statement explaining how you meet the DVA’s selection criteria.

After this comes online testing and possibly a pre-screening interview. If that goes well, you’ll be asked to attend an assessment centre. Here you’ll undertake several activities to “further assess your capability against the selection criteria”. Within a month of attending the assessment centre, the DVA will advise whether your application has been successful. If it has, you will start the program in February.  

The DVA grad program runs for 11 months. It is structured into three placements that take place across DVA’s various business areas. These include the Secretary’s office, the Health and Community Services Division, the Corporate Division and the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service.

Generalist graduates receive an overview of how the DVA operates. They contribute real work and are given the opportunity to grow their professional networks. By the end of the program, graduates are equipped with skills in policy, client service and work organisation.

(ICT graduates undertake one placement in a DVA business area but also participate in two placements within the ICT Solutions Branch.)

Remuneration

Grads are graded at the first pay point of the APS4 classification, which translates to a salary of $66,511. At the end of the program, you will be paid at the top band of the APS4 classification, which is $70,939. The DVA also offers 15.4 per cent superannuation, generous leave entitlements, salary sacrifice options, study assistance, a healthy lifestyle allowance and a relocation allowance.  

Career prospects

The DVA aspires to give grads the best possible start to their careers. They have access to orientation, support, mentoring and training. The DVA supports the continuing career development of its staff through internal training courses, postgraduate studies support and its Intra-Agency Network. (This connects employees to short work placements in different areas of the department.)

The vibe of the place

Located in the heart of Canberra, the DVA office is surrounded by cafes and shops. Grads have plenty of opportunity to socialise and the DVA will even pay your membership fee for the Australian Public Service’s Social Network of Graduates.

The DVA offers staff a good work-life balance, a positive and friendly workplace culture, accessible managers and the opportunity to get involved in diverse and meaningful projects.   

Star rating: 4.6

 

From the Employer:

"At the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, our work makes a real difference in the lives of Australia’s veterans and their families. Our clients are diverse, ranging from young children, through contemporary veterans of operations in places like Afghanistan, to war widows of First World War servicemen. We meet them during some of their most difficult times, and are there to support their wellbeing throughout their lives.

We are looking for people who are as committed to service excellence, innovation and continuous improvement as we are.

Each year, we select a small number of graduates and take a genuine interest in their development and success. In our program, you will be highly visible.

You will also be challenged, undertaking three rotations across different parts of our business and completing a major team project as part of the Australian Public Service Commission’s whole-of-government graduate development program.

We offer great working conditions to assist you with a healthy work-life balance, a generous starting salary, the support of a former graduate ‘buddy’, and help you relocate if you need to. We also offer a career in a dynamic organisation, stepping forward to meet the challenge of client-focused, connected service delivery."

 

Graduate Review

4.5
Overall score based on 9 reviews
9.2
Work Hours
9
Salary
8.9
Management
8.7
Culture
9.2
Work Hours
9
Salary
8.9
Management
8.7
Culture
  • The work - very meaningful and diverse range of projects we get to be a part of.
  • It makes you feel like you are working for a good cause Lots of variety in the work Good exposure to executives Lots of opportunities for formal and informal L&D.
  • Work-life balance, friendly colleagues who truly care about what we do, access to senior leadership, interesting work, career progression.
  • Supportive, well structured program.
  • The workplace culture is really positive; everyone knows each other and works well together.
  • Relocation to Canberra.
  • The department gets drilled by the media and certain senators on issues like veteran suicide. Sometimes DVA can be very bureaucratic and that impedes progress on important work. There are not enough linkages made between related business areas within the department and that leads to duplication of resources and insufficient stakeholder consultation on important initiatives.
  • The negative media we receive.
  • Not all ICT teams are located with the business areas.
  • Not very going with new technology.

Opportunities

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

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Graduate Success Stories


  • Graduate stories
DVA only take a small amount of grads, which means I was lucky enough to have a lot ‘invested’ in me, and a lot of support available when I moved all the way from Perth.

Natasha

  • Graduate stories
DVA only take a small amount of grads, which means I was lucky enough to have a lot ‘invested’ in me, and a lot of support available when I moved all the way from Perth.

Natasha

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
There is a wide diversity of backgrounds within the department. DVA is a very close-knit, supportive environment to be a grad and to work in afterwards.

Cassandra

  • Graduate stories
There is a wide diversity of backgrounds within the department. DVA is a very close-knit, supportive environment to be a grad and to work in afterwards.

Cassandra

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
DVA only take a small amount of grads, which means I was lucky enough to have a lot ‘invested’ in me, and a lot of support available when I moved all the way from Perth.

Natasha

  • Graduate stories
DVA only take a small amount of grads, which means I was lucky enough to have a lot ‘invested’ in me, and a lot of support available when I moved all the way from Perth.

Natasha

Read full story
  • Graduate stories
There is a wide diversity of backgrounds within the department. DVA is a very close-knit, supportive environment to be a grad and to work in afterwards.

Cassandra

  • Graduate stories
There is a wide diversity of backgrounds within the department. DVA is a very close-knit, supportive environment to be a grad and to work in afterwards.

Cassandra

Read full story

A Day In The Life Of


  • Day in the life

Callum

Callum graduated with a Bachelor of International Studies from Deakin University in 2015 and Masters of National Security Policy (Advanced) from Australian National University (ANU) in 2017 and is now Security Administrator, People and Security Section at Department of Veterans' Affairs.
  • Day in the life

Callum

Callum graduated with a Bachelor of International Studies from Deakin University in 2015 and Masters of National Security Policy (Advanced) from Australian National University (ANU) in 2017 and is now Security Administrator, People and Security Section at Department of Veterans' Affairs.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Alexander

Alexander graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in 2015, and is now Policy Officer, New Initiatives - Compensation and Income Support Policy Branch at Department of Veterans' Affairs.
  • Day in the life

Alexander

Alexander graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in 2015, and is now Policy Officer, New Initiatives - Compensation and Income Support Policy Branch at Department of Veterans' Affairs.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Callum

Callum graduated with a Bachelor of International Studies from Deakin University in 2015 and Masters of National Security Policy (Advanced) from Australian National University (ANU) in 2017 and is now Security Administrator, People and Security Section at Department of Veterans' Affairs.
  • Day in the life

Callum

Callum graduated with a Bachelor of International Studies from Deakin University in 2015 and Masters of National Security Policy (Advanced) from Australian National University (ANU) in 2017 and is now Security Administrator, People and Security Section at Department of Veterans' Affairs.
Read full story
  • Day in the life

Alexander

Alexander graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in 2015, and is now Policy Officer, New Initiatives - Compensation and Income Support Policy Branch at Department of Veterans' Affairs.
  • Day in the life

Alexander

Alexander graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in 2015, and is now Policy Officer, New Initiatives - Compensation and Income Support Policy Branch at Department of Veterans' Affairs.
Read full story