Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Outline of the department

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) works to advance Australia’s national interest by providing foreign and trade policy advice to the government. DFAT is the lead agency promoting Australia's international presence by managing a network of 89 overseas posts in five continents with over 3,600 staff.

DFAT officers’ work includes developing and implementing foreign and trade policy, negotiating international agreements and delivering high quality consular assistance.

Positions available

Opportunities to become involved at DFAT can be found through the Graduate Program, the Indigenous Cadetship Program or the Australian National Internships Program.

(1) Graduate Program

The Policy Graduate Program is for applicants from all academic backgrounds and prepares successful candidates for a career as a generalist policy officer. Policy graduates work to advance Australia’s interests across a broad range of areas — from security to human rights, international trade to development and aid management, and represent Australia in a formal capacity while serving overseas. The program involves a two-year professional development program in Canberra, combining work placements with formal training.

Further information is available here.

(2) Indigenous Programs

DFAT encourages suitably qualified Indigenous Australians to apply for vacancies, which are advertised on DFAT’s website, via APS Jobs and in the National Indigenous Times and the Koori Mail.

DFAT also offers a number of other employment pathways for Indigenous Australians. Applicants must meet DFAT’s eligibility requirements to apply for these programs.

Further information is available here.

(3) Australian National Internships Program (ANIP)

ANIP is a hands-on opportunity for a student to go into a workplace and undertake a research project for which they receive significant academic credit. An internship is not just work experience, or unpaid help in an office. The major focus is the completion of the Research Report. ANIP is administered by Australian National University but is open to students at any Australian university.

Through ANIP, Australian and overseas university students from any discipline can be placed with the Australian Federal Parliament, the Australian Public Service (including DFAT), the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly or Public Service, or with non-governmental organisations (including lobby groups). International Internships and Commonwealth Parliamentary Internships are offered.

Further information is available here.