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Graduate program

Young male and female participants of the Department of Justice and Regulation Graduate Program

Recruiting for the future

The Graduate Program aims to recruit and retain well rounded graduates who are seeking opportunities and careers within a highly regarded and respected department.

Over the 12-month program, you will work on a range of public issues, develop your career within an inclusive and supportive environment and make a positive impact on the wider community. 

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are able to secure ongoing positions within their ‘home’ unit.

Why work for us?

Our grads work on projects that make a real difference in our community. You’ll witness the positive impact of your efforts – that’s an everyday experience when you’re developing reports that inform criminal justice strategy, contributing to policies that help shape our state’s future, and supporting the wider department in its commitment to improving the lives of Victorians. If you join DJR, your work will help make Victoria a safer and more equitable place to live.  

In addition to these great features, our employees also enjoy benefits such as:

diagram showing benefits of the Graduate program including competitive salary, flexible working arrangements, secondments, professional development

How the program works 

The department’s graduate program has two streams. 

Graduate streams

Professional Services Graduate Stream

Professional Services graduates are located in our Melbourne offices and applicants can nominate a specific business unit based on their study discipline and career pathway

Applications have now closed for the 2018 Professional Services Graduate Program.

Register your interest for the 2019 Graduate program (External Link)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduate Scheme

This program is an exciting and unique initiative that provides employment opportunities for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander graduates. For more information call (03) 8684 1765 or email koori.employment@justice.vic.gov.au.

Apply for the 2018 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduate Scheme here (External link)

Young female participant in the Department of Justice and Regulation Graduate Program

"I'm working with passionate people and I'm constantly learning something new. I've already seen the positive difference my contribution has on the community."
- Kyeema Coombs, Department of Justice and Regulation grad

Who we are looking for 

Not only are we looking for candidates with the right mix of skills, experience and qualifications, we also want to find people who are committed to upholding the department's values and behaviours. If you would like to serve the community, act with integrity, respect other people and make it happen, then we want to hear from you.

Our graduates:

  • are resourceful and able to prioritise
  • have excellent communication and rapport-building skills
  • are flexible, resilient and open to change, new ideas or approaches
  • are team-focused, committed, and demonstrate high standards of personal integrity.

At the Department of Justice and Regulation, our goal is for our workforce to reflect the diverse community we serve. We continually seek to employ people of any gender, age, religion, sexual orientation and cultural background as well as those with a disability. In addition, we have a firm commitment to increase participation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people across our workforce.

Our graduates

Georgina Scambler - Corporate Communication, Strategic Communication Branch

Georgina ScamblerWhat did you study?

I studied Communication, majoring in Journalism, with Griffith University via Open Universities Australia.

What attracted you to apply for the graduate program?

After finishing my degree I worked part time as a journalist, and while I enjoyed the work I felt like there was little scope for me to further my career without making big personal sacrifices. The range of opportunities and potential for career advancement in the Victorian Public Service were extremely appealing. I also have family members who work for the Victorian Public Service and knew they had flexible work arrangements and an excellent work-life balance. I have two small children, so knowing my employers would be understanding of my family commitments was a huge drawcard.

How are you enjoying the graduate program so far?

The graduate program has been a fantastic experience. Not only have I used the skills and expertise I developed at university and in previous employment, I’ve picked up a number of new skills and met an amazing number of talented and enthusiastic people. I love the mix of hands-on work and training, both as part of the graduate program and within the Department of Justice. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know other grads and being a part of the Graduate Advisory Committee and the netball team.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m overseeing the production of a video that will form part of Corrections Victoria’s volume recruitment campaign, and I’m coordinating the 2014 Department of Justice Communication Academy, a course to improve the communication skills of managers. I also write news stories for J-Info (the department's intranet) and the Justice website, and assist with video editing for internal videos like Inside Report.

What advice would you give future graduates?

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Take any opportunity to try something different. Tag along with your colleagues to meetings, seminars, networking events – you never know who you’ll meet and what you’ll learn that will be useful down the track. I’d also say to mature age grads like myself – you don’t have to be in your early twenties to do the graduate program. Whatever life experience you bring with you will be valued by the people you work with.

Clara Teo - Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, Criminal Justice

Clara TeoWhat did you study?

I studied Arts and Law at Monash University.

What attracted you to apply for the graduate program?

I applied for the graduate program because the idea of working in a role that has a community focus really resonated with me. This was confirmed in my first week when I was at a meeting watching people discuss methods in which to improve policies in the area of family violence, which would then go on to have an impact on society.

How are you enjoying the graduate program so far?

I’m loving it! There’s a very social element to it, and a real focus on developing you holistically as a person, not just as a professional, which I appreciate. For example, all grads have to attend Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training and everyone in my session came away moved and with a greater empathy for others and an understanding of the intergenerational effects of events. There are activities and opportunities for everyone, and it really provides you with the tools to start building a foundation for a balanced career (work and play)!

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a whole range of (really interesting) projects alongside my team. They include:

  • developing a strategy to increase awareness of sexual assault within families
  • preparing an information brochure in line with a current streamlining of the family violence intervention order process
  • researching currently available reports and studies for ideas and strategies to strengthen the justice system response to perpetrators of family violence.

What advice would you give future graduates?

Be friendly, learn lots, and ask questions! Sleep well on weeknights so you can be alert at work to take in all the new information. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re not contributing very much to the team, even if you’re not it’s ok because no one expects you to know that much (at first)! Just keep engaging and learning.

Benjamin Muller - Regional Executive Services, Planning and Performance (Grampians region)

What did you study?

I studied a Bachelor of Arts followed by a Juris Doctor.

What attracted you to apply for the graduate program?

The way the public service is structured as a network of different departments creates a diverse range of career paths and opportunities. I applied for the graduate program to experience work within the government in a program where I would be engaged in a variety of different projects and development tasks. It is a great entry into the public service.

How are you enjoying the graduate program so far?

So far, it has been enjoyable and interesting. I relocated from Melbourne to work at the prisons in the Grampians region and it has been an exciting couple of months. The graduate development training sessions and the group project have also been a nice opportunity to work in a number of different locations and with a number of other graduates.

What are you working on at the moment?

The Hopkins Correctional Centre is currently undergoing a giant expansion. It is a great project to be a part of as a graduate. I am currently working in the human resources department while we recruit the staff necessary to operate the larger facility.

What advice would you give future graduates?

Unless you have your sight set on something very particular, I suggest going for whatever opportunity presents itself. It is hard to say where you will end up as a graduate in the Victorian Public Service, but you will probably find many things you enjoy on the way.

Joe Murfet - People and Culture (human resources)

Joe MurfetWhat did you study?

Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management) at Victoria University.

What attracted you to apply for the graduate program?

The graduate program was an opportunity to enter and gain experience in the Victorian Public Service. I also liked the look of the learning and development program.

What were your rotations during the graduate program?

My first rotation was in the Systems and Reporting Team within Department of Justice's People and Culture Unit. My second rotation was in Human Resources Services at the Supreme Court Victoria. My third and final rotation was in the Employee Relations team back at the department's People and Culture Unit.

What are you working on now?

Life after the graduate program involves me working as a Workplace Services Consultant at the department's People and Culture Unit, providing multi-disciplinary consulting services to all business units across the department.

What advice would you give current or future graduates?

  1. Remember the three R’s: relationships, relationships, relationships. They are essential to your success on the graduate program and throughout your career.
  2. Ask questions and have a go.
  3. Apply yourself and make the most of each rotation, there is always something to learn.
Kathryn Sullivan - Koori Justice Unit

Kathryn SullivanWhat did you study?

I have a bachelor in Arts with a double major in Media Communications and Creative Writing.

What attracted you to apply for the graduate program?

What drew me to the program was that it gave me an opportunity to build my real world experience. At the same time, it was an opportunity to try a different type of education as the program emphasises learning and development. 

What were your rotations during the graduate program?

  1. Koori Justice Unit, Department of Justice
  2. North and West Metropolitan Regional Office, Department of Health
  3. Social Policy Branch, Department of Premier and Cabinet.

What are you working on now?

I split my time as a Policy Officer and Community Programs Officer in the Koori Justice Unit at Department of Justice. My role involves a good deal of event management in Melbourne and out in the regions. I get to be involved in the policy process at all stages of the cycle and see how a complex Justice initiative gets implemented first hand.

What advice would you give current or future graduates?

  1. It’s possible that not all your rotations will be what you’re looking for in a job. That doesn’t mean it’s not where you should be on a rotation! You can learn a great deal from getting the opportunity to handle challenging situations.
  2. Getting into the Victorian Public Service Program is really great – remember to keep your work-life balance in check.
  3. Confidence is something you build! Be encouraged by discovering areas you’re still learning in. You’ll be amazed how far you can come in a year.
Cleo Kerama - Legal Policy, Civil Justice Division

What did you study?

I studied Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of International Studies at Deakin University.

What attracted you to apply for the graduate program?

My studies, community legal volunteer work, and internship in the US Congress inspired me to work in government and public policy. I saw the graduate program as a fantastic opportunity to explore and build on my interests.

I was attracted to the diversity of the program, particularly the rotations graduates undertake, and the many opportunities it opened for social and professional development. After speaking with friends who were past graduates and loving their current positions in the Victorian Public Service, I was convinced that the program would guide me to an exciting career, while also contributing to the community.

What were your rotations during the graduate program?

  1. Department of Justice - Judicial Policy Civil Justice Division
  2. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development - Legal Division
  3. Department of Treasury and Finance - Portfolio Analysis.

What are you working on now?

My work involves policy and legislative development in relation to Victorian judicial officers. I am currently working on matters relating to judicial entitlements including a proposal for reform of the legislation governing judicial entitlements.

What advice would you give current or future graduates?

  1. Get excited about your graduate year — by approaching it with enthusiasm and eagerness and by seeking out every opportunity to learn and practice. Say yes to every task that is given to you even if it initially doesn’t seem interesting or is unfamiliar. The more you do and challenge yourself, the more you will get out of the year.
  2. Embrace your rotations — even if you are placed in an area which is unfamiliar to you. Treat your rotations as a chance to explore new areas, find new interests, and meet new people. You never know what doors your rotations might open!
  3. Get to know your peers and your colleagues — both in your home department and your rotations. These networks will not only enhance your day-to-day experience in the workplace, but will be invaluable as they will serve as great points of contact and information throughout your career in the Victorian Public Service.
Belinda Hudgson - Liquor Policy, Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing

What did you study?

Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Business (Economics) at La Trobe University.

What attracted you to apply for the graduate program?

I was attracted to working for government as a place where I would be able to work in economics, and still be able to use my background in law by working with legislation and being involved in policy development.   

The fact that the Victorian Public Service provided a graduate program was the perfect way to begin my career, by starting with almost 100 other graduates, and having access to so much training and support.   

What were your rotations during the graduate program?

  1. Department of Justice - Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing - Gambling Policy
  2. Department of Treasury and Finance - Economic Policy
  3. Department of State Development, Business and Innovation - Policy and Research.

What are you working on now?

I returned to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing at the start of this year, and work in economics across both liquor and gambling policy. I am also involved in legislative projects and other policy work which involves both a legal and economics perspective. 

What advice would you give current or future graduates?

The more that people realise you are enthusiastic and willing to get involved, the more opportunities you’ll get to work on a whole range of different projects and visit many different places. I found that as a graduate, everyone was more than willing to talk to me, answer my questions and share their knowledge, especially if you make an effort to go and talk to them. As well as this, working in three different departments provides an opportunity like no other to create contacts in many different areas, who are invaluable both during your grad year and after.

Moving out of my department and into a new rotation, just as I was feeling comfortable and getting really involved, was the hardest part of the grad year for me. However it was these different rotations which provided me with an invaluable insight into how government works as a whole, and gave me access to such a wide variety of projects and people - so be open and ready to jump right into your new position.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander flags

The department acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and acknowledges and pays respect to their Elders, past and present.