Nick - Graduate profile

Year joined


Current position

Indigenous Cadet - 2011 Policy Graduate . Desk Officer,  Management Strategy Conduct & Diversity Section. I am currently working in the Queensland State Office on the final placement of my Indigenous Cadetship. In February 2011 I will commence the two-year Policy Graduate training program.

Where did you live and what were you doing before joining DFAT?

Before joining DFAT I was studying full time at Griffith University in Brisbane doing a Bachelor of Business in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations. During the beginning of my studies, I was also employed over a five year period with a private air and hydraulic company, Haskel Australasia Pty Ltd, in various positions from accounting through to warehousing.

Why did you apply to DFAT?

I applied to DFAT as I have always had an interest in working in government and international relations. Both my parents work in government and have always supported and encouraged me to consider government employment. Upon research of government departments, DFAT provided a variety of opportunities across numerous divisions within the domestic and international environments. DFAT delivers foreign and trade policy that plays a critical role in strengthening Australia’s security and enhancing prosperity. DFAT is also fundamental in helping Australian travellers and Australians overseas. These key departmental objectives fit closely with my personal aspirations and the opportunity to contribute to delivering DFAT objectives is something that I value immensely.

What was the most challenging aspect of the recruitment/selection process?

The initial most challenging aspect of the recruitment and selection process was to gain a deeper understanding of DFAT and how it operates. The second most challenging aspect was the time-consuming process of obtaining the appropriate security clearance which is critical to employment within the Department. However, both of these challenges were easy to overcome with the support of DFAT and APSC staff.

Do you have any tips for applicants on how to approach the application process?

My key tip for anyone who is applying for a position in DFAT would be to really engage in researching about the Department and its structure and to also understand trade and foreign policies. In addition, it is important to gain as much work experience, knowledge, skills and abilities that will contribute to successfully securing a position within the Department.

Has the reality of working in DFAT differed from your perceptions of what it was going to be like?

The reality of working in the Department is much different than my original perceptions. Due to my limited knowledge of the Department and working in government in general, I did not know what to expect upon commencing my employment. The most interesting aspect of working in DFAT is the fact that the Department covers a lot of different issues and there are various opportunities to experience different cultures and to work in many countries throughout the world.

What has been the highlight of your career with DFAT so far?

My main highlight of working in DFAT so far is that I have been able to meet many amazing and talented people and build upon my personal and professional networks.

Why would you recommend DFAT as a career?

I would definitely recommend DFAT as a career to anyone who is interested in international relations and experiencing different cultures and working with organisations and governments all over the world. Furthermore, my degree is in human resources and employment relations and there are many opportunities for human resource professionals with a variety of domestic and international aspects and challenges.

How do you enjoy living in Canberra?

Canberra is definitely the working city of Australia! I have really enjoyed meeting a wide range of people who have come from all over Australia to work within DFAT and other Federal Government departments. Canberra is a small and interesting city that has a lot to offer through national history, social networking and events. In addition, Canberra is a pleasant and well-planned city in which to pursue a lifelong career with the Federal Government.

Have you any other insights for potential applicants?

DFAT is an excellent workplace that strongly supports staff in encouraging employment that is flexible and balances working and life commitments. DFAT provides an interesting variety of work and assignments and there are many opportunities to meet amazing people and to travel around the world. I highly encourage anyone who is considering a career with DFAT to apply and work hard in achieving their personal and professional aspirations and goals.

Last Updated: 22 February 2013