Parliament of Australia Graduate Program


Each year three of the parliamentary departments offer engaging and challenging placement opportunities to graduates of Commonwealth departments and agencies. The 2024 Parliament of Australia Graduate Program (the program) offers opportunities for personal learning, career development, and intrinsic rewards from contributing to the effectiveness of democracy for the people of Australia. The program offers passionate and committed graduates an opportunity to expand their knowledge of the Australian Parliament and develop the skills and experience that will provide a foundation for a career in the Commonwealth Public Sector.

Applications for placements are currently closed

Applications for the Parliament of Australia Graduate Program generally open in October each year. So please check back then or get in touch for more information.

About the program

2023 graduates

Placements are open to graduates who have been accepted into, are in, or have recently completed an existing Australian government department or agency graduate program. The program is designed to expose graduates to the parliamentary departments' work in supporting the Parliament. The Department of the House of Representatives, the Department of the Senate and the Parliamentary Budget Office are offering placements, for periods ranging from three months for the Department of the House of Representatives, a minimum of four months for the Parliamentary Budget Office and six months for the Department of the Senate.

The skills and knowledge graduates obtain through the program are designed to contribute to 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.

General information about the participating Parliamentary departments

Department of the House of Representatives

The Department of the House of Representatives supports the House of Representatives, and the wider Parliament, in the role of a representative and legislative body primarily by providing advice and services, and through engaging with the community and other parliaments. The department provides high quality advice and services to support the efficient and effective conduct of the House of Representatives chambers, its committees and certain joint committees. The department also provides a range of services and facilities for the 151 Members of the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives chamber

More about the Department of the House of Representatives

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 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 also provides specialised advice and logistical support to senators so they may undertake their duties.

The Senate chamber

More about the Department of the Senate

Parliamentary Budget Office

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) is a small, high performing agency of around 44 staff. The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) was established in 2012 to inform the Parliament by providing independent and non‑partisan analysis of the budget cycle, fiscal policy and the financial implications of proposals.

We do this in 3 main ways:

  • responding to requests made by senators and members for costings of policy proposals or for analysis of matters relating to the Australian Government's budget.
  • publishing a report after every election that provides transparency around the fiscal impact of the election commitments of major parties.
  • conducting and publishing self-initiated work, including interactive tools, that enhance public understanding of budget and fiscal policy settings.
The Great Hall in Parliament House

More about the Parliamentary Budget Office

Placement opportunities

Where possible, graduate placements will be in areas which complement the graduate's work in their home departments or agencies. Placements may involve:

  • working with a committee secretariat providing research and administrative support to parliamentary committees
  • providing support to meetings of the House of Representatives or the Senate
  • supporting the Department of the House of Representatives corporate functions
  • promoting the community's understanding of, and interaction with, the work of the Houses and the Australian Parliament, or
  • working in the Parliamentary Budget Office preparing costings of policy proposals, undertaking budgetary and fiscal policy research, or supporting the Parliamentary Budget Office's corporate functions.

Parliament House stands on the traditional lands of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, also known as Canberra. Successful applicants will need to undertake their placements in Canberra.

Professional development

Placements offer graduates valuable learning opportunities 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 placement. A placement in a parliamentary department is a graduate's opportunity to be involved in the work of the Parliament without being political. Graduates are offered a diverse range of challenging and rewarding work in a variety of work areas.

Performance assessment

At the end of the placement, the graduate will be provided with an assessment of their work performance against set work objectives. This assessment will be conducted by the graduate's supervisor in consultation with the graduate. A written assessment will be forwarded to the graduate's home department or agency at the completion of the placement.

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.

Other conditions while participating in the program include:

  • extensive training and development
  • experiences unique to working in Parliament House
  • flexible working conditions
  • health and wellbeing initiatives, and
  • support network including managers and other graduates.


Graduates who have been accepted into, are undertaking, or have recently completed an existing Australian government department or agency graduate program are eligible to apply. The endorsement of the home department or agency must be confirmed through the application process. Applications without this confirmation will not be considered. Graduates are assessed based on their academic achievement and work experience.

Given the diverse work of the Australian Parliament, graduates from all relevant disciplines are encouraged to apply for placements with the Department of the House of Representatives, the Department of the Senate or the Parliamentary Budget Office. In addition, placements within the Parliamentary Budget Office require demonstrated analytical, research, evaluation and/or project management skills in the areas of economics, finance, statistics or commerce and have, or be in the process of obtaining, a baseline security clearance.

Successful applicants will be placed in work areas that complement their experiences while meeting operational demands of the relevant parliamentary department.


We encourage graduates from all backgrounds to apply, including those with a disability. We value differences and flexible thinking and aim for all graduates to feel supported to do their best work.

The Australian parliamentary service strongly encourages applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates are able to join the Parliamentary Service Indigenous Employees Network while working in the Australian parliamentary service.

How to apply

Applications for a placement in 2024 are now closed.

Further information

For further information please contact:

Helen Ward
Assistant Director, People Strategies Office
Department of the House of Representatives
Telephone: (02) 6277 4745

Dijana Seminara
A/g Assistant Director, Human Resource Management
Department of the Senate
Telephone: (02) 6277 3157

Lauren Bullman
Senior Corporate Support Officer, Corporate Strategy Branch
Parliamentary Budget Office
Telephone: (02) 6277 9515