Graduate Careers Campaign
The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) is committed to implementing the Government’s policies and programs to improve the lives of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Our team includes people across Australia who work closely with communities to make sure policies, programs and services address the unique needs of each community.
We liaise closely with State and Territory governments, Indigenous peak bodies, stakeholders and service providers to ensure that Indigenous programs and services are delivering for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as intended.
The NIAA is responsible for a number of functions, including:
to lead and coordinate Commonwealth policy development, program design and implementation and service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
to provide advice to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Indigenous Australians on whole-of-government priorities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
to lead and coordinate the development and implementation of Australia’s Closing the Gap targets in partnership with Indigenous Australians; and
to lead Commonwealth activities to promote reconciliation.
What work will you do?
The NIAA leads and coordinates Commonwealth policy development, program design, implementation and service delivery, and important initiatives such as Australia’s Closing the Gap targets. As an NIAA graduate, you will have the opportunity to work on a wide range of complex, important and fulfilling work at the forefront of Indigenous Affairs.
Working at the NIAA will give you the opportunity to develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the Government’s key priorities and initiatives relating to Indigenous Affairs. Our responsibilities span policy, programs and service delivery. As such you will work across a wide range of functions and areas, gaining valuable experience in both development and implementation.
You will contribute to advice to be provided to the Minister for Indigenous Australians, The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP on priority issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
As part of the NIAA team you will have the opportunity to build partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in communities across Australia.
'My biggest take away was an understanding of how Government engages with different stakeholders to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.'
The NIAA is in an exciting time of change and growth. Using our shared values & behaviours as the foundation, we strive to be one team looking to the future. As an important part of this team, you will be exposed to a range of professional and personal development opportunities to launch your APS career, develop your capabilities and work to improve the wellbeing of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
All NIAA graduates will have the opportunity to undertake professional development including writing for APS, resilience, Indigenous Affairs policy, stakeholder management, economics for non-economists and problem-solving.
To provide you the tools to navigate your rotations across the Agency, you will also have the opportunity to attend business fairs, panel discussions and networking events. In addition, you will be able to access development offerings focused on building your personal brand and how to pitch for projects or jobs you would like to undertake.
Throughout the program we want you to develop key capabilities that will contribute to the rest of your career.
'It has been a really rewarding experience to be part of the standing up of a brand new agency, and to be part of one team that embeds our shared values and behaviours.'
What we offer
NIAA is a flexible, diverse and inclusive workplace with attractive remuneration packages including generous employer superannuation contributions. We are responsible for a wide range of important and fulfilling work both in Canberra and across the country in the communities we serve.
Our graduates start as full-time, permanent employees at the APS 3 level. After 6 months you may be eligible to advance to the APS 4 level, and on successful completion of the Program, you will be assessed for advancement to the APS 5/6 level.
Starting APS level
APS Level 3
Personal leave (such as sick leave)
38 hours per week
*Correct as at December 2019 under the National Indigenous Australians Agency Determination 2019/001 (Non-SES Employees) pursuant to Section 24(1)
The NIAA also offers relocation assistance to successful candidates.
More information about the program
For more information on the NIAA Graduate Program you can email us at EntryLevelPrograms@niaa.gov.au or call us on 02 6271 6000.
More Information about NIAA
Who we are looking for
Our shared values and behaviours underpin how we work. To make a significant contribution to an Australia that respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and peoples with fairness in economic and social participation, we are one team with a culture that positions us with the right capability, people, passion and pride to make a difference
NIAA employees need to embody our shared values and behaviours:
- We respect multiple perspectives
- We are authentic
- We are professional and act with integrity
- We invest in each other’s success
- We deliver with purpose
If you wonder what it is like to be a NIAA graduate, check out ‘a day in the life of a graduate’ to discover some of the interesting work you could be doing.
Willingness to be a ‘self-starter’
- You are a motivated, and want to make a difference to the future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- You have an understanding of the work of the Agency.
- You take initiative, are self-motivated and driven.
Demonstrated ability to embody our shared values and behaviours
- You respect multiple perspectives
- You are authentic
- You are professional and act with integrity
- You invest in other’s success
- You deliver with purpose
Demonstrated strong communication and interpersonal skills
- You write simply, clearly and concisely in a well-structured and logical way.
- You adapt your communication style to suit different people or situations.
- You can communicate opinions, information and evidence with influence to gain the agreement of others.
- You are able to work and achieve outcomes both independently and as part of a team.
- You contribute ideas and are willing to listen and to expand on the ideas of others.
- You have strong relationship management skills and can establish positive rapport with people at all levels, and are able to build, maintain and use networks of contacts.
Demonstrated analytical ability
- You understand the relationship between issues and how they might be part of a larger complex problem.
- You can gather and analyse data from multiple sources of information, and probe for further information where required, allowing you to make rational and considered judgements and decisions.
- You critically analyse information from multiple sources and can analyse what information is important, how it should be used and can make a decision based on your findings.
- You approach problems creatively to find workable solutions.
Commitment and openness to professional learning and continuous development
- You are able to quickly learn new technology, processes and information.
- You actively seek out opportunities for personal, professional and organisational improvement.
- You have a willingness and commitment to continue to develop cultural competency.
- You are aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, and identify opportunities to develop and broaden your skills and knowledge.
Ability to be agile and resilient
- You demonstrate resilience in the workplace.
- You accept constructive criticism and feedback without becoming defensive or emotional.
- In the face of obstacles, you persevere to achieve personal and professional goals and objectives.
- You work productively in a high pressure environment and adapt and respond well to change and ambiguity, and make the most of the opportunities they present.
- You know how to utilise your strengths to get through busy and difficult times in the workplace.
- You are able to quickly process and understand new information.
Foster an inclusive and diverse workforce
- You show respect and sensitivity towards cultural and religious differences.
- You can communicate sensitively and effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- You demonstrate an understanding of the issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- You embrace and respect diversity, and diversity of thought.
Working across the NIAA our Graduate Program will develop your knowledge and understanding of the Agency’s key priorities. Key facts about the program:
- 12 months duration
- Based in Canberra with a potential rotation in one of our various metropolitan, regional and remote locations
- Choose from our Policy & Programs, Operations & Delivery or Corporate Stream
- Professional and personal development opportunities
- Contribute to meaningful policies, programs and services
- Formal pastoral care and support program
“Its been really good to feel like you are doing work that has actual impact and significance in Australia and will really help people” – Sai Lyons, 2019 Graduate
Policy & Programs / Operations & Delivery Streams
At the NIAA we work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and across the public service to implement policies and programs.
The Policy & Programs and Operations & Delivery streams will allow you to work in various areas of the Agency. These are for Graduates who are inquisitive, flexible and comfortable with change and ambiguity.
Our expertise spans across Community and Economic Development Housing, Land and Culture Policy, Education and Youth Policy, Community Safety and Health and Wellbeing, Recognition, Policy and Empowered Communities, Closing the Gap Policy and Evaluation, Legal Policy Analysis and Evaluation, Grants and Funding. You will embrace all opportunities as you navigate through the Agency to better understand your strengths, capabilities and interests.
You want to work at the NIAA because you are passionate about improving the lives of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
'Joining as a Graduate in the commercial law team exposed me to a broad range of areas in the Agency, offering a unique experience compared with traditional legal career paths'
For the NIAA to implement policy, programs and services to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples our staff need the best capabilities and support to succeed. Our staff are supported by the Agency’s enabling functions which are integral to the achievement of the NIAA’s key priorities. Our Corporate stream has opportunities in human resource management, communications and media, IT and financial management.
The Corporate stream is for individuals who are excited by the opportunity to provide high quality services to support the work of the Agency.
To apply for a role in the NIAA Graduate program is simple. All we need from you is to fill in a simple application form and attach an updated resume. Applications will officially open Wednesday March 25 2020.
If you are an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander graduate or a graduate with a disability, we invite you to apply through our affirmative measure process.
To be considered for the NIAA Graduate program the following eligibility requirements apply:
- Completed at least a three-year undergraduate bachelor degree obtaining a credit average within the last eight years. All degrees must be complete by 31 December 2020 and be recognised in Australia.
- Be able to obtain and maintain an Australian Government security clearance to a minimum of Baseline level.
- Be an Australian citizen by 30 June 2020. You will need to provide evidence to verify impending citizenship.
As all positions are located in Canberra, relocation to Canberra is integral to your participation in the program.
The assessment process for applying for a Graduate position at the NIAA will comprise of the following:
- Online application, including your resume with referees and academic transcript
- Online behavioural and cognitive ability testing
- Online video interview
- Assessment Centre
Offers are made shortly after the Assessment Centre, with commencement in February 2021. If you are rated suitable but unfortunately do not receive an offer for the Graduate Program, you may be considered by specific areas of the NIAA to join their team directly as an APS 3 employee.
You can also join us through the following whole-of-government graduate programs:
- Australian Government Digital Graduate Program – for Information Technology graduates.
- APS Indigenous Graduate Program – for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are also encouraged to apply directly to the NIAA’s program.
If you are a person with disability, you can opt in to the APSC’s RecuitAbility scheme. If you choose to opt in and meet the minimum assessment requirements, you will go straight to the next stage in the recruitment process.
At the NIAA we respect multiple perspectives and actively build a workplace that promotes the sharing of skills, opinions and experiences from people of all backgrounds.
We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people; those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, mature age people and those with disability.
Diversity at PM&C
At PM&C, our diverse and inclusive culture supports people to reach their potential, feel valued and are able to be themselves at work. We actively build a workplace that promotes gender equality and harnesses the skills and experiences of people from all backgrounds.
We believe everyone has the right to feel valued, safe and included at work. Diversity is a proven strength of high-performing teams and organisations. The strength gained from a diverse team impacts our policy advice and solutions and helps create productive relationships.
We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people; those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, mature age people and those with disability.
'There is really no one type of PM&C Grad, so don’t be discouraged if you think that you don’t fit the mould. We all come from diverse range of economic, social and cultural backgrounds.'
As the lead Australian Public Service (APS) agency with responsibility for the Indigenous Affairs portfolio, we are proud to have representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees at all levels of our workforce and have unique opportunities to serve First Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees are 14.7% of the PM&C workforce and 11% of the PM&C Senior Executive. We leverage our position at the centre of the APS to promote reconciliation and within the organisation are ensuring reconciliation is simply ‘the way we do things around here’.
PM&C's commitment to inclusion and diversity reflects the importance we place on our people and creating a workplace culture where every individual is valued and respected.
PM&C aims to improve the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees at all levels of our workforce and foster a culturally safe workplace. To achieve this we have developed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy Implementation Plan.
Our focus is to achieve results across five key areas:
- Amplify the range of employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Capitalise on the potential of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.
- Grow the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees in senior roles.
- Enable a high level of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency in the workplace.
- Position PM&C as a thought leader and champion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment.
If you are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander graduate thinking about applying for our Graduate Program and apply through our Affirmative Measure process, you will be invited to visit our National Offices in Canberra to get a good feel of our workplace, people and city.
You will have the opportunity to meet with our Indigenous leaders, members of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network and the local Ngunnawal community. This first-hand experience will support you to determine in PM&C is the right journey for you.
Growing up, I was always encouraged to challenge myself. Whether in school, university, at home or in the workplace, I’ve always tried to take opportunities to step outside my comfort zone, and gain new experiences. It was this commitment and curiosity for the challenge of something new which motivated me to apply for PM&C’s Graduate Program, and one year in it’s safe to say that I’m glad I took the plunge.
Read Sapphire's full story…
I was the first person in my family to complete year 12 and to graduate from university. Because I didn’t have the ATAR score, I completed the University of Newcastle’s Yapug bridging course for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people before being accepted into university. I then completed a Bachelor of Business and Bachelor Laws/Diploma of Legal Practice at the University of Newcastle.
In that time, I welcomed my first child, Patrick, who is now 6 years old. After meeting my partner I became a step-mother to a now ten year old girl, Lacie, before having my second child Amari, who is currently 18-months old.
During my time at university, I enjoyed a variety of experiences. I worked at a not-for-profit, and interned at Qantas in their Qantas Loyalty Division. I also spent time working at Legal Aid and at the University of Newcastle’s Legal centre, and did my final placement for my Practical Legal Training at the Australian Taxation Office.
My mob are the Yuin (Aboriginal) and Ngāpuhi (Māori) people. I spent most of my childhood in Cessnock, NSW. My Indigenous heritage is an important part of my identity, and it’s guided the course I’ve taken in work, life and study. I remain connected with my mob despite not living on country, and I’m committed to a career which will enable me to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
That being said, my Indigenous heritage hasn’t always made life easy. I’ve faced racism in the classroom and workplace, and have struggled with the feeling of not having my opinion valued. Some have questioned my merit and remarked that I am a diversity hire – I’m proud of who I am and where I’ve come from, and feel lucky to have such strong connections with my community.
While I came to PM&C because of my interest in working in Indigenous Affairs, the Graduate Program has provided me with the opportunity to work across a range of policy areas. I’ve worked in the Office for Women and Legal Services Branch in Indigenous Affairs Group, and am now in Cabinet Division. The breadth of experiences that the Graduate Program offers really is incredible, and it’s helping me to develop into the well-rounded public servant that I want to be.
You won’t know if you’ll like something unless you give it a go. For me, giving the PM&C Graduate Program a go has been fantastic – getting to work with bright people on policies which influence the lives of so many Australians isn’t something that everyone gets to do every day.
Our focus on being a disability confident workplace is about ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for people with both physical and mental conditions. Seven per cent of our Department have shared that they experience disability. PM&C has an active Disability Employee Network of around 80 members and is supported by the PM&C Disability Executive Champion. In addition, we also participate in, and undertake a number of initiatives which support staff. These include:
- GradAccess – pathway for people with a disability into APS graduate programs,
- NextStep Trainee Program – APS traineeship for people with disability
- Gold Member of the Australian Network on Disability.
All our roles are advertised under the RecruitAbility scheme. The RecruitAbility Scheme provides candidates with disability who opt into the scheme and meet the minimum requirements of an advertised role, the opportunity to be advanced to a further stage in the selection process (this is usually through to the interview stage).
As a major initiative of the As One – Australian Public Service Disability Employment Strategy developed by the APSC, RecruitAbility is a scheme which aims to attract and develop applicants with an identified disability and also facilitate cultural changes in selection panels and agency recruitment
Working your Way
PM&C is committed to understanding the needs of staff who have disabilities. The fit-out design in our offices for Working Your Way spaces is compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act and has also applied the higher level NDIS design guidelines.
The Disability Employee Network and disability design experts were engaged to ensure the latest accessibility considerations were included in the design. Each staff member with a known disability is engaged pre and post move to ensure their needs are met. Typically this is in consultation with a physiotherapist/ergonomist.
If you are a graduate with a disability, we invite you to apply for our Graduate Program through our Affirmative Measures Disability process. Our assessment process will be tailored to meet any of your reasonable adjustments. We encourage you to contact us to discuss our process further.
PM&C is proud to be a member of the Diversity Council of Australia, the Australian Network on Disability, and Pride in Diversity as well as White Ribbon accredited. The Department has a range of networks that employees can get involved in:
- Disability Employee Network
- LGBTIQ+ Network
- Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Employee Network
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network
- Women's Network
The Disability Employee Network provides staff with a forum through which to suggest and implement ideas that help create a more diverse and inclusive workplace at PM&C and break down barriers for staff with disability.
The Network is also a channel through which PM&C can seek guidance on activities and workplace matters which impact on staff with disability. You do not need to be a person with a disability to participate in the network. Everyone is welcome and people with caring responsibilities are especially encouraged to participate.
The network recognises that disclosing a disability is a choice that everyone can make for themselves and there is no expectation for staff with a disability to make this disclosure to participate in the network. The disability network aim to make a difference.
PM&C has an active LGBTIQ+ Employee Network, supported by an LGBTIQ+ Executive Champion, which aims to support and promote a culture where all employees, including those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and/or queer + (LGBTIQ+ ), are able to participate and fulfil their potential in the workplace. PM&C has 6% of staff who chose to share that they identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and/or Intersex.
In March 2018, the Department launched its Gender Affirmation and Transition Policy. The intent of this policy is to ensure that staff who transition while working at PM&C are supported by clear guidance about how the Department can assist them.
PM&C has also met the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender. The purpose of these guidelines is to introduce new protections and practices from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. Our HR information systems have been updated to capture gender ‘X’ upon commencement.
The Department is a member of Pride In Diversity which is the national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion specialising in HR, organisational change and workplace diversity. This membership includes participation in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), Australia’s national benchmarking instrument for LGBTI workplace inclusion.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Network
PM&C is committed to creating a safe and inclusive workplace, where staff from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds are supported in an organisation that embraces and values the cultural diversity. Our Secretary, Dr Martin Parkinson is a member of the Leadership Council on Cultural Diversity and is supported in this role by PM&C CALD Champion.
This year, the Council has discussed research initiatives to boost understanding of barriers that limit the progression of people from CALD backgrounds to senior leadership positions, learning and development opportunities and public events to raise awareness of the barriers to progression for people from CALD backgrounds. Involvement in this forum supports efforts to develop and maintain the Australian Public Service as an organisation which are representative of the broader Australian population.
The CALD Employee Network in PM&C has around 150 members and celebrates cultural diversity through:
- Events and initiatives,
- Providing information to the Department's Senior Executive on ways to celebrate diversity and how to communicate CALD events and sensitivities to the Department,
- Supporting Departmental language groups,
- Providing mentoring and peer support for all CALD staff; and
Advertising existing services provided by the Department.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network (A&TSIEN)
We have an active Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network (A&TSIEN) which is supported by and Indigenous Executive Champion. The A&TSIEN plays an important role in supporting the effective operations of the Department, in particular, informing the development and implementation of policies, programmes and initiatives relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and communities.
The Department hosts NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week events each year to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history and achievements. We have also implemented the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Protocols Guide, which was developed to assist all PM&C employees to work respectfully and effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.
PM&C offers an online Indigenous Cultural Competence program called Core. Core provides a significant foundation for appropriate communication with, and understanding of, Indigenous Australians. Although not mandatory, we encourage all Departmental employees to undertake this essential development, regardless of their level of engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
PM&C has an active Women’s Employee Network of around 500 members and is supported by a Gender Executive Champion. The Women's Network champions equal opportunity on behalf of our members and is an inclusive, volunteer-based organisation built by members for members.
As a Male Champions of Change (MCC) Organisation, MCC works with influential leaders to redefine men’s role in taking action on gender inequality. It activates peer groups of influential male leaders, supports them to step up beside women, and drives the adoption of actions across private sector and government. Involvement in Male Champions of Change supports the department’s work towards gender equality and aligns with the strategic intent of the Balancing the Future: APS Gender Equality Strategy 2016-2019.
We are also a White Ribbon Accredited workplace, this is a whole of organisation commitment to stop violence against women.
'Australia is massively diverse so the more the public service and in particular the more the Department can reflect that diversity in its workforce, the better we’re going to be at bringing into being great policy advice.'
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