Parliament of Australia Graduate Program

General information about the Parliamentary departments

Department of the House of RepresentativesGrad in Reps Chamber


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.


Parliamentary Budget Office


The Parliamentary Budget Office 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 areas 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

Grad Group

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, or who are in, or have recently completed existing Australian Government department and agency graduate programs. The Program is designed to expose graduates 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 learning opportunity in a high-profile environment with relevant professional development. The parliamentary departments are committed to developing 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 or the Senate hearings
  • 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 research or supporting the Parliamentary Budget Office's corporate functions.

Performance assessment

At the end of the placement, an 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 can be forwarded to the graduate’s home department or agency at the completion of the placement.


Grad in Senate Chamber

Graduates participating in a 2020 or 2021 program with Australian Government departments or agencies are eligible to apply. The endorsement of the home department or agency must be confirmed through 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 relevant 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 demonstrated analytical, research and evaluation skills in the areas of economics, finance or statistics. When applying, applicants interested in a placement with the Parliamentary Budget Office must hold a Baseline 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. The Australian Parliamentary Service is committed to achieving a diverse workforce and strongly encourages applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates. The Parliamentary Service Indigenous Employees Network includes in its membership any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates working in the Australian Parliamentary Service.

Salary and conditions

Salary and employment conditions 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.

Selection process

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

  • be participating in, or having recently completed, a 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 Baseline security clearance (the application may be underway or completed).

To be successful in obtaining a placement as a graduate with a parliamentary department, applicants will need to possess the following core skills:

  • an 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 2021 Parliament of Australia Graduate Program closed on 31 October 2020.  
Applications for placements in 2022 will open in October 2021.

Need more information?

Download the 2021 Graduate Program brochure (PDF 2MB)

Graduate Program Cover 

Got a question about our Graduate Program? Check our FAQs and read the testimonials of some of our past Graduates.



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 4565

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

Parliamentary Budget Office
Karen Nothard
Corporate Support Officer, Corporate Strategy
Parliamentary Budget Office
Telephone: (02) 6277 9515