Frequently Asked Questions

Page last updated: 13 February 2017

Question 1. Where are the positions located?

Health Graduate Development Program positions are located in Canberra and for the most part graduates will work in the Central Office at Woden (Phillip); Canberra. Canberra is the nation’s capital and the centre of Australian Government activities.

If you are considering coming to Canberra with the intention of returning to your home state at the end of the Graduate Development Program, you should bear in mind that opportunities arising in our State/ Territory Offices are extremely limited. Upon successful completion of the Graduate Development Program you are eligible to compete, on merit, for any advertised position in the Australian Public Service.

Question 2. When would I start?

The Graduate Development Program commences in February each year.

Question 3. What are the benefits of completing a 'development' program?

Our Graduate Development Program is a great way to begin your career. It provides good skills and knowledge to help you make the most of your career opportunities. It also guarantees you a permanent position in the department, upon successful completion. Through your rotations, you will be exposed to a wide range of work activities and the health and ageing issues being targeted by the Australian Government.

On a more social level, you will have access to the Canberra Social Network of Graduates (SnoG). You will be 'in good company'—hundreds of graduates commence work with various government departments in Canberra each year. This network is a useful source of both work and social contacts.

Question 4. Where do I get my permanency granted at the end of the Graduate Development Program?

You will undertake three workplace rotations and the first rotation is generally in the Division that has undertaken to place you at the successful completion of the Graduate Development Program. In your second and third rotations you will experience a variety of work in different areas of the department. At the end of the GDP you will generally return to your first rotation.

Question 5. Why this department?

One of the best reasons to work for the department is that our programs have a direct everyday impact on the community. As a graduate with Health, you will have the opportunity to assist in developing and implementing policies and programs across a vast range of issues. We develop evidence based policy and deliver well targeted programs and best practice regulation. You will contribute ideas and learn new skills in an environment which draws upon diversity and fosters innovation and high performance. Your work will affect the lives of real Australians.

Initially, your role will involve learning and assisting, and your responsibilities will increase as your skills and knowledge grow. Work is normally undertaken in a team environment allowing for the development of administrative, interpersonal and personal project management skills.

Terms and conditions for Department of Health employees are provided under Enterprise Agreement 2016-19. This agreement will remain in operation until it is replaced by a new enterprise agreement.

Question 6. Would I get help with my costs relocating to Canberra?

For graduates relocating from interstate, we will provide some assistance with fares and removal expenses associated with your relocation. We will arrange for the removal and storage of furniture and personal effects. Further details will be provided about this when the selections have been finalised.

We will also assist with some short-term accommodation expenses, upon your arrival, to allow you time to find somewhere suitable to live. If your family is moving to Canberra with you, the department will provide some assistance in their relocation as well.

Question 7. Where can I go to ask a question or leave a comment?

Questions may be addressed via email to the Graduate Coordinator.

Question 8. What happens if I am unsuccessful?

If you are unsuccessful for our Graduate Development Program you are still welcome to apply for jobs with the Department. Vacancies will be advertised on the Health website. In addition, you are able to reapply for our program the following year.