What our grads say

​Applications are now open for the department’s 2018 intake for the Graduate Development Programme. Apply now and become part of our story.

Jacob Tapp

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2014 graduate programme alumni member Jacob Tapp, said his time at the department has been incredibly worthwhile and encourages others to join the experience.

The Biripi native joined the department through the Indigenous Pathway Program in 2013 and joined the main graduate cohort undertaking three rotations.

‘The department’s graduate programme was really good—it was very different to academic life, but I got to use a lot of skills I acquired from my studies,’ Jacob said.

‘It was a fun challenge and a rewarding experience.’

Jacob said he when he graduated from the program he moved on to be a Policy Officer in the Multilateral and Migratory Stocks team.

‘I did a rotation through fisheries, working on an election commitment to establish a peak fisheries body and a rotation in the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) managing a compliance program into quota evasion,’ he said.

‘My third rotation was with Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) Task Force, getting cats and dogs into the new PEQ.’

Jacob said he highly recommended people apply for the graduate programme, as he’s found a job that’s his ‘personal calling’.

‘One of the things we need to emphasize is that our department does a range of work not many people know about,’ he said.

‘It’s not just people with an agricultural or fisheries background,’ he said.

‘I have met and worked with lawyers, policy officers and people with security backgrounds for compliance issues.

‘Don’t discard us because you haven’t studied agriculture or water resources—we do a lot more than that.’


Alex Poxon

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2016 graduate turned application developer, Alex Poxon said the graduate programme not only broadened his horizons, but gave him a clearer understanding of what direction he wants his career to go in.

‘I have a computer science degree from Charles Sturt University and I administer the general running of our SharePoint, websites, some of the applications we use and do some development on those,’ Alex said.

‘My job is rewarding and challenging, most of what I do is to help people solve their IT problems.’

Alex said by joining the graduate programme he gained a good overview of the how the department functions.

‘I would absolutely recommend people apply for our graduate programme, it can lead you to better understand what career you want to go into and give you some direction for the future,’ he said.

‘You make a heap of new friends and get experiences which can expand your knowledge both inside and outside of work.’

He said upon completing the graduate programme you automatically join the alumni network, which is a forum for graduates to stay connected and share their knowledge and experiences.

‘The graduate programme is awesome, I’m going to Sydney in March to try and recruit more IT graduates,’ he said.

‘Working for the department is great because you get to learn from so many people.’


Richard Niall, 2015 Graduate

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The graduate programme vastly stretched my imagination about what I could achieve with my veterinary degree.

Over the past twelve months, I have helped co-ordinate national laboratory surveillance for exotic and emerging animal diseases, liaised with industry stakeholders on their quality assurance systems and was involved in the ratification of an international fisheries treaty.

I received a suite of internal training on management methodologies and legislation that will enhance my career opportunities as a veterinarian.



Laura Johnson, 2015 Graduate

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My graduate year was full of rich, valuable experiences like the industry visit and working independently on a project that was pitched to the department's executives.

My supervisors were very supportive and gave me lots of opportunities to learn and develop. The best thing about the year was coming into the vibrant culture that’s characteristic of the agriculture portfolio and working with people who are passionate about what they do.

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