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Graduate program

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is looking for high-achieving graduates with well-rounded skills who are keen to develop their career and become part of our team. If you're an innovator, creative thinker, communicator or problem solver then we'd love to hear from  you.

Our ideal canditate will have:

  • excellent academic results
  • outstanding skills in communication, liaison, collaboration, leadership, and critical self-awareness
  • the ambition and passion to help achieve sustainable management of the Murray–Darling Basin
  • a desire to work in a dynamic and relationship-oriented environment
  • a strong interest in learning our business.

Qualifications in the following areas are highly desirable:

  • policy
  • engineering
  • environmental science
  • hydrology
  • social science, focusing on socio-economic planning
  • economics
  • law
  • indigenous studies
  • natural resource management

Even if you don't have a qualification in these areas we still encourage you to apply. We're an equal opportunity employer — Indigenous Australians, mature-aged graduates and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

You must be an Australian citizen or gain citizenship before commencement of the program.

What will you get to do in your year as a graduate?

Our program is 11 months of learning and development, on the job training and off the job training that will lay a solid foundation for your career.

On-the-job training

During your 11 months, you get to try 3 jobs on for size, staying with each team for just under 4 months. Each work area will provide you with varied opportunities for on the job training.

In your rotations, you could attend training to develop the skills and knowledge you need, be actively involved with Basin meeting stakeholders, or help to run the River Murray.

You'll also be exposed to a variety of internal seminars and events relating to our core business.

Other training opportunities

You will participate in training which will provide you with an understanding of the public sector and build a foundation for your development as a future APS manager and leader.

There are also a number of whole-of-government graduate networking events organised by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC).

The program is intensive and focused on developing your understanding of the MDBA and the APS, so we encourage graduates to defer further tertiary studies until after the program is completed.

Field trip

Towards the end of the program as a graduate, you will plan a week-long field trip of the Basin, taking in sites such as Hume Dam, Lake Victoria and Barmah–Millewa Forest. The aim of this trip is to learn about some of the systems and challenges for managing the Basin and its resources. It also allows graduates to gain an appreciation of the complex interaction between federal, state and local governments and other stakeholders.

What we offer you?

We're a small agency with around 300 staff, so it's quite reasonable to say you'll get to know everyone in some way or another!

We have a big focus on learning and development, with many people on hand to help you develop your career.

We're committed to providing working conditions that help you to strike your work life balance. We offer excellent employment conditions and benefits including:

  • a comprehensive induction and formal graduate program, including work rotations, internal and external training and development, and support through buddy and mentor programs
  • a permanent position in the Australian Public Service (APS) on successful completion of the graduate program
  • competitive salary with opportunities to advance at the completion of the program to a higher salary level
  • access to study assistance and leadership programs after successful completion of the graduate program
  • excellent working conditions
  • experience in unique and rewarding work
  • flexible working arrangements to support a healthy work-life balance
  • opportunities for continuing personal and professional development
  • a commitment to equity and diversity
  • assistance with relocation to Canberra.

Apply for the graduate program

Our graduate coordinator is available to answer any enquiries you may have. Please email or phone (02) 6279 0100

Applications for the MDBA Graduate program are open from May 2018

View the current vacancies and apply online

Selection process

Selection for the graduate program is merit based. You will be assessed against prescribed selection criteria, which are part of the online application form.

Short listing is based on some or all of the following:

  • your academic results
  • your online application
  • online cognitive testing.

Final selection is based on an interview and practical exercises undertaken at an assessment centre held in Canberra. If you successfully progress to the assessment centre, we will contact you in mid-August.

If your application is successful, we will contact you during September, and make you an offer of employment.

Salary and conditions

We pay our graduates a competitive salary during their development year.

Once you successfully complete the graduate program, you will move into a permanent position with a higher salary. You will have an opportunity at the end of the graduate year to be assessed for a move to the APS 5 level (subject to work availability).

Our employees are all members of the Australian Public Service. Our enterprise agreement details our conditions of service, including salary and working conditions.

Relocation assistance

If you are moving to start the graduate program, we provide a relocation package, which normally includes:

  • travel costs for you and your dependants
  • removal and storage costs of your personal effects
  • temporary accommodation for up to three weeks.