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Who to contact?

For further information about the Graduate Program, please contact:

Department of the House of Representatives
Samantha Robertson
Assistant Director, People Strategies
Department of the House of Representatives
Telephone:  (02) 6277 2372

Department of the Senate
Natalie Rose
Assistant Director, Human Resource Management
Department of the Senate
Telephone:  (02) 6277 3475

Parliamentary Budget Office
Andrew Spencer
Director, Corporate Strategy
Parliamentary Budget Office
Telephone: (02) 6277 9523

Parliament of Australia Graduate Program

General Information about the 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 supports 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 secretariat to the Senate – enabling its legislative and accountability activities – and to dozens of parliamentary committees, whose work encompasses the Senate’s scrutiny functions and its exercise of Parliament’s broad investigative powers.


In doing so, departmental officers provide the Senate, its committees, the President and other senators expert, impartial advice about Senate and committee operations.


The Department of the Senate also publishes the Senate’s records, and produces an array of information resources so that people may understand and engage in its work. With colleagues across the Parliamentary Service the Department of the Senate also provides specialised advice and logistical support to senators so they may undertake their duties.


Further information about the department can be found at the Parliament of Australia website.


Parliamentary Budget Office


The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) is responsible for providing independent and non-partisan analysis of the budget, fiscal policy and the financial implications of proposals. The PBO engages with members of the Parliament and with a range of external experts to help improve the integrity of the policy development process, better inform public policy debates and improve budget and fiscal policy transparency. The work of the PBO includes understanding and modelling the budgetary implications of policy proposals a parliamentarian wishes to bring forward, across all area of expenditure or revenue. It also includes conducting and publishing research to improve the public understanding of the medium-term pressures on the budget.


The Graduate Placement Program

The Department of the House of Representatives, the Department of the Senate and the Parliamentary Budget Office 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 Parliamentary Budget Office expects placements to commence in February 2019.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 high performing graduates from a range of disciplines who are highly motivated with sound research and analytical skills, effective communication skills and good interpersonal skills.

Professional Development

Placements offer graduates a valuable opportunity in a high-profile environment with relevant professional development opportunities. The parliamentary departments are committed 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.

Placement Opportunities

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
  • work promoting the community’s understanding of, and interaction with, the work of the Houses and the Commonwealth Parliament, or
  • work in the Parliamentary Budget Office preparing costings of policy proposals and undertaking budgetary and fiscal policy analyses.       

Performance Assessment

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 written assessment findings will be forwarded to the graduate’s home department or agency at the completion of the placement.


Graduate Image 2

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 achievement and work experience.  Graduates from all disciplines are encouraged to apply for placements with the Department of the House of Representatives and the Department of the Senate. The Parliamentary Budget Office will be specifically seeking applicants with qualifications in economics, commerce or finance. Applicants to the Parliamentary Budget Office must hold a Negative Vetting Level 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.

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 correctly rendered tax invoice from the graduate’s home department or agency.

Selection Process

Applications are subject to a merit-based selection process. As a minimum requirement applicants must:

  • be participating in a current 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, and
  • be an Australian citizen.

Note: Placements with the Parliamentary Budget Office also require a Negative Vetting Level 1 security clearance (the application may be underway or completed).

To be successful in obtaining a position as a graduate with a parliamentary department, applicants will need to possess:

  • appropriate academic degree
  • 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.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2019 Parliament of Australia Graduate Program closed on Wednesday 31 October 2018.