General Information about the participating Parliamentary Departments
Department of the House of Representatives
The Department of the House of Representatives provides services to support the efficient conduct of the House of Representatives, its committees and certain joint committees as well as a range of services and facilities for Members in Parliament House. The department also promotes the work of the House in the community and is responsible for the conduct of the Parliament’s international and regional relations. The Department of the House of Representatives is Investors in People accredited. Investors in People is an internationally recognised quality standard that sets a level of good practice for improving performance through people. Investing in people gives us a practical link between our personal development and corporate goals.
Department of the Senate
The Department of the Senate provides the Senate, its committees, the President of the Senate and senators with a broad range of advisory and support services related to the exercise of the legislative power of the Commonwealth. In supporting the operations of the Senate and its committees, the Department of the Senate provides services in four main categories: Senate support, committee support, senators’ services and public education and awareness. The Department of the Senate is responsible, not to the government of the day, but to the Senate and all senators, and maintains impartiality in serving all senators equally.
Parliamentary Budget Office
The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) is an independent and non-partisan institution of the Parliament responsible for providing independent and non-partisan analysis of the budget cycle, fiscal policy and the financial implications of proposals. Through this mandate, the PBO engages with the Parliament to help improve the integrity of the policy development process, better inform public policy debates and strengthen budget and fiscal policy transparency.
Department of Parliamentary Services
The Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) – the largest of the parliamentary departments – directly supports the work of the Parliament and Parliamentarians, manages Parliament House, and makes the building and parliamentary activity accessible to the community. DPS activities include the provision of broadcasting and Hansard services, information and research services, security, visitor services, strategic asset management and ICT systems; and through the contracting of various retail services across Parliament House.
The Graduate Program
The Department of the House of Representatives, the Department of the Senate, the Parliamentary Budget Office and the Department of Parliamentary Services are offering placements, for periods of three to six months, to graduates who have been accepted into existing Australian Government department and agency graduate programs. The Program is designed to give graduates exposure to the parliamentary departments’ work in supporting the Parliament
The skills and knowledge graduates obtain through the Program may assist in building the foundation for career progression and professional development. We are looking for outstanding graduates from a range of disciplines who are highly motivated with sound research and analytical skills, effective communication skills and good people skills.
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Placements offer graduates a valuable opportunity in a high-profile environment with excellent professional development opportunities. The parliamentary departments have a strong commitment to the development of their people and graduates will have access to parliamentary-specific training during their placements.
A placement in a parliamentary department is a graduate’s opportunity to be involved in the work of the Parliament without being political. A diverse range of challenging and rewarding work for graduates is offered through a variety of work areas.
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Where possible, graduate placements will be in areas which complement placements in their home departments or agencies. Placements may involve:
- work with a Committee Secretariat providing research and administrative support to Parliamentary Committees;
- work with offices providing support to the House of Representatives or Senate Chambers;
- work promoting the community’s understanding of, and interaction with, the work of the Houses and the Commonwealth Parliament;
- work in the PBO undertaking budgetary and fiscal policy analysis in either the Budget Analysis Division or Fiscal Policy Analysis Division; or
- DPS employs staff with a very wide range of skills to deliver its services. These include: research and report writing; broadcasting; parliamentary reporting; risk management and governance; operational policy making; security planning and service delivery; knowledge management; contract and project management; strategic asset planning; corporate services and other parliamentary support expertise. Placements can therefore be in general management, change management or technical areas ranging from the Parliamentary Library, ICT, Parliamentary Recording and Reporting, Corporate Services to Building Management and Visitor Services.
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At the end of the placement, a formal assessment of the graduate’s work performance against set work objectives will be conducted by the graduate’s supervisor in consultation with the graduate. A report outlining the assessment findings will be forwarded to the graduate’s home department or agency at the completion of the placement.
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Graduates participating in existing graduate programs with Australian Government departments or agencies are eligible to apply. The endorsement of the home department or agency must be gained as part of the application process. Applications without this endorsement will not be further assessed.
Graduates are assessed on the basis of their academic achievements and work experiences. Graduates from all disciplines are encouraged to apply for placements with the Department of the House of Representatives, Department of the Senate and the Department of Parliamentary Services. The Parliamentary Budget Office will be specifically seeking applicants with qualifications in economics, commerce or finance. Applicants to the PBO must hold a Negative Vetting 1 security clearance, or have an application for this underway. Successful applicants will be placed in work areas that complement their experiences while meeting operational demands of the relevant parliamentary department.
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Salary and Conditions
Salary and conditions of service will continue to be administered by the graduate’s home department or agency. At the completion of the placement the relevant parliamentary department will reimburse the graduate’s associated salary costs on receipt of a tax invoice from the graduate’s home department or agency.
Applications are subject to a merit-based selection process. As a minimum requirement applicants must:
- be participating in an existing graduate program with an Australian Public Service department or agency;
- hold, as a minimum, a bachelor degree from an Australian university or a degree recognised by the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition as equivalent;
- be an Australian citizen; and
- hold a Negative Vetting Level 1 security clearance (or have an application underway) for placements with the PBO.
To be successful in obtaining a position as a graduate with a parliamentary department, applicants will need to possess:
- appropriate academic qualifications;
- proven high level analytical, research and evaluation skills;
- demonstrated excellent written and oral communication skills;
- a proven ability to contribute ideas and demonstrate initiative and flexibility;
- a proven ability to organise, schedule, prioritise and complete assigned tasks; and
- an interest in parliamentary procedure and practice.
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How to Apply
Applications for the 2015 Parliament of Australia Graduate Program open on 1 October 2014 and close on 31 October 2014.
Applications will need to include:
- a résumé, including the names and contact details of two work-related referees;
- a copy of your academic transcript;
- endorsement from your home department or agency; and
- a statement addressing each selection criterion (a maximum of 300 words).
Referees may be contacted at any time throughout the process.
Selection documentation and information on how to apply may be obtained from each of the parliamentary departmental websites: