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Graduate program information for 2022

APS Graduate
Various locations
Salary starting from $63,320
Applications open from 3 May to 1 June 2021

Work where it matters

At the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) we are focused on implementing the Basin Plan and guiding the management of water resources across the Basin. Participating in the Murray–Darling Basin Authority’s graduate program is a rewarding way to develop your passion and expertise in this challenging but worthwhile environment.

In cooperation with state and territory governments, we also manage and are involved in:

  • natural resources management programs
  • operation of the River Murray system
  • water-sharing between states
  • construction, operation and maintenance of structures.

Achieving a healthy, working Basin is a big job – we need influential and passionate 'leaders of the future' to do it.

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is the Australian Government agency responsible for planning and leading the integrated management of the water resources of the Murray–Darling Basin, in collaboration with state governments, industries and communities.

Our people

The MDBA's workforce consists of around 300 people located in Canberra, with offices in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

We are committed to delivering our statutory responsibilities and we support and value our people, their skills and diversity. We are a professional, expert-based organisation that values and encourages work-life balance.

If you want to work with people who embrace and lead change, are passionate about what they do, and deliver results – the MDBA is for you!

If you have any questions, please contact the graduate coordinator at

Our values

CREATE is the organisational culture we use to meet the expectations of our stakeholders and deliver on our commitment to lead the planning and management of the Murray–Darling Basin.

Committed, connected and collaborative: we feel a shared responsibility to delivering our vision for the future

Respectful and rewarding: we are respectful, rewarding and supportive of others

Engaged and encouraged: we are motivated, courageous, inspiring and encouraging

Agile and adaptable: we welcome change and are progressive, innovative and willing to take risks

Trusted: we are honest, direct, transparent and accountable

Experts: we are confident, visible and respected for our expertise.

The graduate program

Shaping your career

The MDBA offers a tailored training and development graduate program that will broaden your understanding of the Australian Government's water reform and policy, the agency's financial and corporate context, and the public service generally.

Graduates work with talented mentors at the forefront of innovative programs, ground-breaking research and policy development.

The graduate program has consistently been voted as one of the best programs in Australia. Each year, the program attracts high-achieving graduates in the fields of policy, engineering, environmental science, hydrology, social science, economics and law.

We are particularly interested in graduates qualified in:

  • policy
  • engineering
  • environmental science
  • hydrology
  • economics
  • social science, focusing on socio-economic planning
  • law
  • Indigenous studies

Placement during the program

Your graduate position will be in one of our office locations including Adelaide, Canberra, Goondiwindi, Griffith, Mildura, Murray Bridge, Toowoomba and Wodonga. This can be discussed at the time an offer is made, should you be offered a placement. Graduates may also be able to undertake a rotation in a different office to their permanent position during the program.

Please note that priority placements will be made in Griffith, Goondiwindi and Mildura.

Remuneration and relocation package

Commencement annual salary of at least $63,320 plus 15.4% superannuation.

Upon successful completion of the program including all pre-requisites, graduates will be offered permanent employment within the APS 4 – APS 5 broadband, a salary range $70,716 – $89,133 plus super.

If you are relocating, financial assistance will be provided including:

  • travel costs for the graduate and their dependents (including domestic pets)
  • removal and/or storage costs, including personal effects, household furniture, motor vehicle
  • temporary accommodation for up to 3 weeks.

Probation and completion of the program

Probation allows you and the MDBA to assess your understanding of your role, the standard of conduct and work performance required, and to determine if this is the right career for you and that you are suitable to continue to work with us. The probation period ends upon successful completion of the program.

Our expectation of graduates

The MDBA’s workforce is flexible, dynamic and responsive, with the capacity to respond quickly to emerging issues and rapid change. We are looking for high-achieving graduates with well-rounded skills who are keen to develop and become part of our team.

Ideal candidates:

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

Selection criteria

Selection criteria describe the personal qualities, skills, abilities and knowledge you need to perform effectively in a graduate role. These criteria are based on the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) Integrated Leadership System Capabilities at the APS Level 3 and can be found on the APSC's website. It is strongly recommended that you read the APSC's detailed version of these capabilities before addressing each of the questions in the application form.


To be eligible for the program, graduates will:

  • at a minimum, have completed an undergraduate degree in the last three years in a critical discipline – all degrees must be complete by 31 December 2021 and be recognised in Australia
  • be Australian citizens or permanent residents actively seeking Australian citizenship and will have been granted citizenship by the commencement of the program
  • have achieved at least 65% average for completed units
  • satisfy all other MDBA engagement requirements, including health and character clearance.

RecruitAbility applies to this vacancy. Under the RecruitAbility scheme you will be invited to participate in further assessment activity for the vacancy if you choose to apply under the scheme; declare you have a disability; and meet the minimum requirements for the position. For more information see

Updated: 20 Sep 2021