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Thank you for considering a career with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The department’s purpose is to help make Australia stronger, safer and more prosperous by promoting and protecting our interests internationally and contributing to global stability and economic growth.
The department provides foreign, trade and development policy advice to the government. We work with other government agencies to ensure that Australia's pursuit of its global, regional and bilateral interests is coordinated effectively.
To carry out this mandate, the department employs over 4,000 people on a permanent basis, of whom about 800 are serving overseas at any one time. We also employ a large number of locally engaged staff at our overseas missions.
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The department operates in a complex and highly dynamic international environment. We look for, and value in our employees:
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There are several different avenues for entering the department. Each year, we conduct several general recruitment rounds for foreign and trade policy and corporate generalists, as well as ad hoc specialist rounds.
Our policy and corporate graduate programs are a popular avenue for both new graduates and others.
We also recruit Indigenous graduates, cadets and trainees.
We employ non-ongoing (temporary) employees to fill short-term vacancies in Canberra and our State and Territory offices.
It is also possible to work for an Australian embassy, high commission or consulate overseas by responding to one of their 'locally engaged staff' (LES) advertisements. All LES recruitment is managed by the relevant post.
The department manages an overseas network of around 95 embassies, high commissions, consulates-general and multilateral missions. Some of these are large missions with more than 100 Australian-based staff including staff from attached agencies such as Treasury or the Department of Defence. Others are small, some with just one or two Australian-based staff.
Ongoing (permanent) employees of the department can apply for overseas postings, which are usually for a period of three years. Employees are not required to go on postings, although for most officers postings are an integral part of their service with the department.
Working overseas is one of the most interesting and challenging parts of a DFAT employee's career. Overseas service provides unique professional and personal opportunities, which most staff and their families find extremely rewarding.
However, there are a number of factors relating to overseas service that potential employees should carefully consider before contemplating a career with DFAT. Issues to consider are:
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