Careers for indigenous Australians

​​In this page

We are committed to the attraction, recruitment and retention of Indigenous Australians. With more than 100 office locations, both nationally and internationally, working for the Department offers an exciting and unique opportunity for all Indigenous Australians.

There are a variety of career path opportunities available for Indigenous Australians within the Department including, cadetships, traineeships and graduate positions. We recruit through the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) Indigenous pathways programme and advertise all vacancies through APS Gazette and on our website.

We acknowledge Indigenous Australians as the traditional owners of this land and recognise the importance of learning about our shared histories, cultures and achievements. We are committed to creating a workplace that is culturally aware and to providing support to our Indigenous staff to maximise their potential. The following initiatives and support are accessible to all our Indigenous staff:

  • an Indigenous Employee Network which provides an opportunity to discuss issues and plan future goals for Indigenous staff within the Department.
  • a Reconciliation Action Plan as part of the government-wide agenda of 'Closing the Gap', which aims to create respectful and supportive relationships between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians.
  • a mentor and buddy programme for all Indigenous staff.

Indigenous recruitment

We are committed to providing employment pathways to Indigenous Australians, including employment opportunities at multiple qualification levels.

We are committed to improving outcomes for Indigenous Australians through our Reconciliation Action Plan that aims at building mutually beneficial relationships with our Indigenous staff and creating a culture of respect, opportunity and support.

We have a strong relationship with our corporate partner, the APSC, and participate in bulk APSC recruitment initiatives. We also provide learning and development opportunities, and mentoring and support throughout your career pathway to makes sure you are receiving the most out of your employment experience.

We are currently involved in a range of targeted recruitment programs:

  • APS Indigenous Traineeships
  • APS Indigenous Cadetships
  • APS Indigenous Graduate Programme​

APS Indigenous Traineeships

The APS Indigenous traineeships are designed to recruit Indigenous Australian applicants who have limited experience in the Australian Public Service into ongoing APS employment. This fifteen month training programme involves staff undertaking a combination of on the job and formal training that will result in a nationally recognised certificate level IV in Government that will assist in future career decisions and aspirations.

How to apply

The recruitment process for the APS Indigenous traineeships are a joint exercise between the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and participating agencies, including the Department. The programme is advertised on the APS Jobs website, regional papers (including Koori Mail) and on the APSC website. Applicants submit an online form through the APSC website, and participating agencies shortlist and interview applicants.

APS Indigenous Cadetships

The Department’s Indigenous cadetship programme assists eligible students to gain the professional qualifications and experience necessary to move into APS employment.

Indigenous cadetships aim to recruit and retain Indigenous students with the intention of providing financial support during their studies and offering practical work placements during the long semester break. Cadets are allocated positions within the Department after successful completion of their qualification.

Cadetships support full-time study and completion of 12 weeks of work in an area of the Department that complements your studies. Cadets study throughout the academic year at the educational institution at which they have gained entry for their course.

We value a range of degrees as well as the transferable skills and abilities developed through a course of tertiary study. The study must be related to the work of the Department, and work place activities.

Characteristics we seek:

  • high standards of probity, ethics and accountability
  • leadership skills
  • strong goal orientation and commitment to continuous improvement
  • sound communication and interpersonal skills.

APS Indigenous Graduate Programme

Are you an Indigenous University graduate looking for a dynamic and rewarding career in a high profile organisation?

The Department’s APS Indigenous Graduate Programme offers Indigenous graduates the opportunity to undertake a variety of diverse work placements within the Department. As a participant in the APS Indigenous Graduate Programme, you'll be supported in your transition from university into the workforce and encouraged to explore your potential through work placements and ongoing professional development
Work placements will provide a diverse range of experiences and roles including: 

  • introduction to policy development and government processes
  • research assignments or project work 
  • opportunities to work in regional offices.

This programme also offers access to a great support network of managers, senior executive staff, other graduates and the Department’s Indigenous staff.

How to apply

The recruitment process for the APS Indigenous graduate programme is a joint exercise between the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and participating agencies, including The Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The programme is advertised on the APS Jobs website, regional papers (including Koori Mail) and on the APSC website. Applicants submit an online form through the APSC website, and participating agenci​​​es shortlist and interview applicants.

More infor​​mation

For more information about any of our Indigenous employment programmes, please contact the Indigenous Employment Team Indigenous.Employment.Team@border.gov.au