University Vacation Employment Program

Quick overview

Level: APS1, around $45,800

Duration: November 2019 – February 2020

Location: Canberra, ACT

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The department

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development is looking for interns with a strong vision for Australia's future and a willingness to identify problems and implement innovative solutions.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development is at the forefront of the Australian Government's efforts to secure the nation's economic future and improve living standards.  We do this by building stronger communities through major infrastructure planning, investment advice and delivery, and through the strategic development of policies and programs.  We also support a thriving aviation industry, connecting even our most remote residents with the rest of the country and the world and we work to ensure all transport users benefit from a safe and secure transport system.

We also manage some of Australia's most significant infrastructure projects which contribute major benefits to the wider community.  This includes implementing the Smart Cities Plan, developing Western Sydney Airport and establishing a rail freight corridor in regional Australia between Melbourne and Sydney. 

Program overview

Our University Vacation Employment Program is an internship designed to provide an opportunity for university students to experience a taste of Government with placements across areas including maritime and aviation, program management, policy development, national transport systems, finance, communications, human resources, and regional development.

We encourage applications from all disciplines and you can be sure that your work will be contributing to the future productivity, livability and sustainability of Australia.

The benefits

You will gain valuable, on the job experience, the opportunity to develop networking skills, contacts and social skills required in a professional environment, and the chance to showcase your skills and knowledge in the workplace.

You will work alongside a leadership team with a vast array of subject matter expertise across a range of fields.

This is a paid internship and, if successful, you will be employed on a non-ongoing (temporary) basis and receive a minimum annual base salary of $45,802 per annum (pro rata).


To be eligible for the University Vacation Employment Program, you must:

  • be an Australian Citizen at the time an offer is made.
  • be completing an undergraduate degree as a minimum. Applications accepted from students at any point in their study.
  • be available for your placement between November 2019 and February 2020.
  • be available for a minimum of 8 weeks and up to 12 weeks.
  • have maintained at least a credit average.
  • be able to obtain and/or maintain a Baseline security clearance.

Our positions are located in Canberra and any successful interstate candidates will be responsible for their own travel, accommodation and associated costs.

Indigenous Affirmative Measures Stream

The Department has a number of dedicated affirmative measures positions in the University Vacation Employment Program each year. Our positions are located in Canberra, ACT and as part of the Indigenous Affirmative Measures Stream, the department is offering a number of interstate students an opportunity to undertake the University Vacation Employment Program with a full relocation assistance package.
This opportunity will include:

  • Travel to Canberra, ACT in November 2019 to commence the program, including dependants
  • Up to 12 weeks short-term accommodation in a one bedroom self-contained apartment within walking distance to our Canberra office
  • Travel back to your home state at the completion of the program.

Please note: that all other associated costs incurred whilst on the program, such as meal expenses, will be at the responsibility of the employee.

Please note: the number of positions we are offering that include relocation assistance is limited. Candidates who are not offered a relocation package may still be selected as a successful candidate in our UVEP program, but will be responsible for their own travel, accommodation and associated costs for the duration of the program.

Please note: In addition to other eligibility requirements, this vacancy is only available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, intended to constitute an affirmative measure under section 8(1) of the 'Racial Discrimination Act 1975'.

How to apply

Applications for the University Vacation Employment Program 2019-20 and the Indigenous Affirmative Measures 2019-20 University Vacation Employment Program are open from Friday 26 July 2019 to Friday 23 August 2019.

All applications must be received through the department’s online recruitment system.

If you have any questions, please contact the Capability Development Team on 02 6274 6161 or via email at


“The best experience so far working for the department has been seeing how your work makes a meaningful impact on the department and the people that it serves. I sought a graduate role in the Australian Public Service as I wanted a career where I could make a contribution to society. I had expected to see this only from a big picture perspective—particularly as a graduate. However, I have been surprised by the opportunities I have to make a positive contribution on a day-to-day basis. In my first rotation, it was rewarding to see my research influence decisions made by the department in relation to the Indian Ocean Territories. In my current rotation with the department’s Evaluation, Audit and Risk team, I am able to assist in ensuring that the department carries out its activities in an effective and accountable fashion. These experiences with the department, so early in my career, has demonstrated to me the fulfilling career offered by the department.”
- Katherine Lee

“The culture of the department is supportive and dynamic. There’s such a diversity of professional and educational backgrounds, and many people who are happy to take the time to answer my questions and assist with new and challenging work. I’m part of the 2018 Graduate Development Program cohort, currently in my second rotation placed in Northern Australia Infrastructure Investment, which is a Program Management role. I respond to proposals from the northern jurisdictions (QLD, WA and NT) for road investment projects, and draft input for ministerial correspondence, speeches and a variety of briefing materials, such as for senate estimates and question time. The varied nature of the audiences I need to write for, and the tasks I need to do, means that I’m constantly learning and adapting what I do to communicate more effectively, and it really helps that my section and branch are supportive and patient in helping me to complete tasks to the highest possible standard, and to always be striving to improve my writing and program management skillsets.”
- Joseph Clifford

“Hello, my name is Kevin. I am a current Graduate at the department. Whilst studying at university I completed 3 internships at the department. These internships were in the department’s (former) Office of Transport Security and Corporate—Ministerial and Parliamentary Services. Following my last internship I was offered employment in the department. My graduate program rotations have been in the Aviation & Airports and Norfolk Island Branch. I highly recommend applying for the University Vacation Employment Program. Internship programs are an excellent opportunity to prove your ability and build your networks within the department. The intern cohort will also provide a valuable support network for those who are travelling from interstate. The department is an excellent place to work and has a very good culture.”
- Kevin Martin

“I’m Casey, I am currently completing my second rotation in my Graduate program with the department. During my time I have had the privilege of working in the Regional Development and Local Government space in the Local Government NT/ACT team, and in Infrastructure Investment in the National Partnerships Agreement Taskforce. The biggest surprise to me is absolutely the sheer breadth of the work that the public service engages in. To say we do a lot of things is an understatement. There is a real opportunity to experience a lot of different areas you will never get bored. There is also real genuine support for employees to continue learning more while working. Finally, I am surprised at just how much engagement we do for ministers. You can’t get any closer to the decision makers than this.”
- Casey Scott