Updating Results

Department of Defence

4.1
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Department of Defence Graduate Programs & Internships

  • Government & Public Service

Bring your unique skills and experiences to a world of opportunity at Defence. No matter your pathway, your contribution leaves an imprint at Defence that is uniquely yours. 

You'll work with a diverse group of dedicated experts and access cutting-edge technology designed to protect Australian interests.

As a graduate, you’ll have a chance to support Australia’s security and humanitarian efforts.

Defence is the winner of the Graduate Employer award for Government & Public Safety by Prosple. 

Join one of the Top 100 Graduate employers and kick-start a future with purpose.

What you’ll do

The Defence Graduate Program offers you a real part in keeping Australia safe and secure.

The Program offers has 4 pathways based on skills and areas of study. Each provides unique learning experiences and career development:

  1. Technical Pathway
  2. Intelligence Pathway
  3. Research and Innovation Pathway
  4. Policy and Corporate Pathway

The pathways help you to launch your Defence career with confidence and purpose. You will get: 

  • career development opportunities that enhance your specialist and generalist acumen
  • hands-on experience and immerse yourself in a diverse group of dedicated experts, and
  • access cutting-edge technology designed to protect Australian interests.

As a Defence Graduate, you will:

  • support intelligence operations nationally and internationally
  • provide scientific and technical advice through research
  • sustainment and procurement activities, and
  • support Defence’s workforce through delivering vital corporate services.

In the application form, you will need to choose 2 preferred pathways and job role or area of interest. Learn more about the 4 Graduate Pathways.

Who we’re looking for

This program is for graduates who:

  • are Australian citizens, and hold citizenship for at least 3 months before applying
  • have completed a minimum 3-year Bachelor’s Degree in the last 5 years. This must be recognised in Australia. If you're currently studying, you must completing your final year of tertiary study.
  • are capable, flexible, resilient, team-focused, results-oriented and committed.

Successful candidates will also need a security clearance. The level of clearance will depend on which pathway you are accepted into.

If you’re offered a position in a high-security environment, you will likely need to undertake a psychological assessment. They type of assessment depends on which area of Defence you're accepted into.

Read more about eligibility.

Key dates

  • 26 February 2024: Applications open
  • 10 April 2024: Applications close
  • March to April 2024: Online assessment – Applicants will receive details about this assessment via email. This is usually sent within 5 days of submitting their application. Applicants will have 4 days to complete the assessment.
  • Mid-May to August 2024: Virtual assessment centre

Please note: Intelligence pathway applicants may need to complete extra suitability assessments. This may extend the time before you find out the outcome of your application.

  • August - September 2024: Offers and outcomes announced on a rolling basis
  • February 2025: Defence Graduate Program commencement
  • June 2025: Defence Graduate Program Intelligence pathway commencement

Recruitment Process

Before you apply

  1. Check that you’re eligible before you start your application. 
  2. Watch the Application Process video to understand the steps, timeframes and documents required. 
  3. Read about 4 graduate pathways and choose your 2 preferences.
  4. Update your resume/CV and gather the documents you need. 

Application form

  1. Once you've checked that you're eligible, click the ‘Apply Now’ button to start. This will take you to the Defence Careers website. 
  2. Follow the prompts to complete the Defence Graduate Program Application Form.

Online assessments

If you're eligible, you’ll be invited to complete 2 online assessments. These should take around 20-30 minutes total.

These assessments help the Recruitment Team to match you with potential pathways

Virtual Assessment Centre

Based on your eligibility and the results of online assessments, you may progress to a Virtual Assessment Centre. You'll receive an email invitation to book a preferred time and date.

Anyone who is not suited to the Defence Graduate Program won't progress any further in the selection process. These candidates will be notified via email.

Outcomes and offers

If you're successful at the Virtual assessment, you'll be notified by early September.

Please note: If you apply for the Intelligence Pathway you will have to complete extra suitability tests. This may extend the time before you find out the outcome of your application.

Remuneration & Career Growth

What’s in it for you

Competitive salary and benefits

All successful candidates start the Graduate Program on a salary of $73,343 plus 15.4% superannuation (increasing to $76,277 upon the Fair Work Commission approval of the Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement – 2024). If you successfully complete the Program, you will advance to a higher salary. The amount depends on which training pathway you've completed. Defence’s generous remuneration package, conditions of service, flexibility and leave benefits contribute to a happy work/life balance.

Comprehensive learning and development

You will experience a tailored learning and development program, that is grounded in foundational, social and experiential learning. The program will give you the knowledge and skills to propel you into an exciting and challenging career. 

All graduate pathways will include:

  • rotation placements across work areas
  • work on senior office briefs with members of Defence’s Senior Executive Service
  • internal and external training and learning opportunities, and
  • exposure to military capability.

Relocation support

Defence offers opportunities across Australia, but it’s important to note that you may need to relocate if you’re successful. If you need to relocate, Defence can support you with the cost of moving. 

Diversity and inclusion

Defence is committed to diversity and inclusion, and building a workforce that reflects the community we serve. Defence relies on a capable and talented workforce, regardless of background, gender, age, culture, religion, ability or sexual orientation. 

Employees strive to uphold and demonstrate respectful, professional and inclusive behaviours.. A diverse workforce:

  • supports an inclusive culture
  • encourages innovation
  • enables you to adapt in a rapidly evolving security environment

Graduate Reviews

Overall Score
4.1
Overall score based on 48 reviews
They Score Best in…
8.0
Culture
7.8
Diversity
7.9
Satisfaction
9.1
Work Hours
8.0
Culture
7.8
Diversity
7.9
Satisfaction
9.1
Work Hours
What Graduates Say About Them
  • Being able to work on matters that you simply can't get exposure to elsewhere. National security, international law and interaction with the ADF have been incredible to work on throughout my time with Defence.
  • Love the working environment at Defence. The people are great, the workload is good, the variety of work and training opportunities are great.
  • The number of opportunities and different paths you can take within Defence is amazing. The graduate program allows you to experience various aspects of Defence and gain knowledge from different areas.
  • Defence has very flexible working arrangements and take care of you when you have medical issues, kids and anything personal you need.
  • People are welcoming and friendly. Workplace culture is generally positive (e.g. flexible working hours, values mental health, good work-life balance, etc.). Many benefits regarding leave, superannuation etc.
  • The size and scale of the organisation can be overwhelming sometimes.
  • Culture of particular areas, reports of low remuneration compared to whole-of-government.
  • Large size can sometimes create inefficiencies and it can be hard to know who your internal stakeholders are.
  • Working with old systems and limitations on applications that are available, due to security and monetary constraints.
  • Red tape and sometimes you can feel like a cog in the system.

Jobs & Opportunities

Locations With Jobs & Opportunities
  • Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Cairns, Darwin, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth and Sydney
Hiring candidates with qualifications 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
Current Jobs & Opportunities

Graduate Job

Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Bendigo, and Perth
Make your mark in the Intelligence pathway working on planning, strategy and operations at one of Defence's 3 intelligence agencies.
Salary
AUD 76,277 / Year

+ 15.4% superannuation (promotion and salary advancement upon successful completion of the program)

Internship, Clerkship or Placement

Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth (Rockingham) and Sydney
The Defence STEM Cadetship offers you a head start in your career. Play a part in keeping Australia safe while you complete your tertiary studies.
Salary
AUD 54,232 / Year

($12,475 based on 60 work placement days) plus 15.4% superannuation


Videos


Defence Graduate and STEM Cadetship Program

Bring your unique skills and experiences to a world of opportunity at Defence.

How to apply for the Defence Graduate Program

If you're applying for the Defence Graduate Program, this video will answer any of your questions on what to expect in the application and assessment process.

Defence Graduate and STEM Cadetship Program

Bring your unique skills and experiences to a world of opportunity at Defence.

How to apply for the Defence Graduate Program

If you're applying for the Defence Graduate Program, this video will answer any of your questions on what to expect in the application and assessment process.