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Graduate and entry-level pathway careers

Are you interested in making a positive difference in the lives of First Nations people? At NIAA, you can follow your passion, shape your career, and make a real difference. Find a career pathway that suits you.

NIAA Graduate Program

The thing I love most about my role at the NIAA is that I have the chance to engage in meaningful consultations and develop authentic relationships with Indigenous Australians.  I am continually learning to challenge my thinking, which challenges me to think creatively and bring my own ideas to the table to solve issues and develop our projects. Danielle.

The NIAA Graduate Program runs for 12 months. It is open to graduates who have completed a 3-year undergraduate degree within the past 8 years.

The program provides access to professional and personal development opportunities. It also provides a dedicated graduate pastoral care and support program.  The program:

  • starts at the APS 4 classification
  • can be based in Canberra, Brisbane, Darwin or Perth 
  • consists of three rotations through various work areas
  • includes a potential rotation in one of our metropolitan, regional or remote locations
  • provides an opportunity for advancement to the APS 5 and APS 6 at the end of the 12 months.

For more information, view NIAA Graduate Program.

Indigenous Apprenticeship Program

I chose the NIAA because it's an Indigenous orientated organisation, they offer great support and benefits for our mob and myself. So far, NIAA has encouraged and inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and gain self-confidence, and also the opportunity to build a career. Zipporah, 2023 IAP participant.

The Indigenous Apprenticeship Program (IAP) is 12-month Australian Government program. It is a pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to start their careers in the Australian Public Service. Apprentices can contribute to our Agency's vision and make a real difference in their community. 

We offer placements across Australia. Apprentices   start at the APS 2 or APS 3 classification in an ongoing role. During the program they:

  • are supported to obtain a formal qualification
  • receive pastoral care, including a buddy and mentor
  • have on-the-job training.

If this program sounds like something you would be interested in applying for, visit Services Australia Careers or contact

Australian Government School Leaver Program

The best feature of the NIAA is the team culture and the opportunities and support the Agency provides for School Leavers. Everyone is passionate in achieving and contributing to the Agency’s goals and vision as we continue to work towards closing the gap. Amelia, 2023 Career Starter.

This entry-level pathway program gives school-leavers the chance to grow and develop their skills in a supportive and flexible environment. Placements are in Canberra and other advertised locations.

The program runs for 12 months. Participants:

  • start at the APS 1 classification in an ongoing role 
  • are supported to study a Certificate IV in Government or Human Resources
  • receive pastoral care, including a buddy and mentor
  • may advance to APS 2 at completion of the program. 

You can apply for this program if you have completed a Year 12 certificate (or equivalent) in the previous two years.

For more information visit the Autralian Government School Leaver Program or contact

Abilities Program

The Abilities Program aims to create pathways for people with disability into ongoing employment in the Australian Public Service (APS). It is a stepping-stone towards a long-term career in the APS.

As part of this program, we provide placements in Canberra and other advertised locations.

The program runs for 12 months. Participants:

  • start at the APS 3 classification in an ongoing role
  • are supported to complete study options as part of the program
  • receive pastoral care, including a buddy and mentor
  • may advance to APS 4 at completion of the program.

For more information, visit DSS Ability Apprenticeship Program or contact

Digital Traineeship Program

The Digital Traineeship Program aims to increase digital employment opportunities in the APS.  

This is a new program that will run for 12-months. Participants:

  • start at the APS 5 or APS 6 classification in an ongoing role
  • are complete a Certificate IV or Diploma (or equivalent) in a digital or ICT discipline.

For more information, visit the DTP page on APS Jobs or contact

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