Policy Futures graduate program

The Policy Futures graduate program provides a challenging, rewarding career experience for recent university graduates who are passionate about making a real and tangible difference in their community.

By participating in this leading graduate development program, you will use your expertise to shape the Queensland Government's approach to addressing major challenges in health, education, environment, infrastructure and more.

You will emerge from the 2-year program as a high-performing, outcomes-focused policy professional, with experience working across a range of diverse and complex policy environments.

Successful candidates will be offered a 2-year temporary contract commencing in February 2020.

About policy

Policy is the 'big picture' strategic thinking and planning that guides government activities. Policy shapes how the Queensland Government addresses the important, and sometimes difficult, issues facing the community. From reducing crime to improving Queenslanders health to boosting trade and investment, most initiatives, programs and activities carried out by government will have been shaped by policy.

Who we are looking for

As a graduate in the Policy Futures program, you will learn to apply your knowledge and work with expert teams to develop policies for the Queensland Government. Your day-to-day responsibilities will include conducting research, liaising with stakeholders, analysing results and mapping out courses of action.

It's a dynamic space that will see you directly responding to the big issues facing Queensland.

We’re looking for graduates who have a keen interest in government policy and programs. You will display a genuine desire to make a difference to the communities of Queensland.

Along with an interest in big picture issues, you'll be a good fit for the program if you are:

  • high performing
  • outcomes focussed
  • forward thinking
  • customer focussed and community minded
  • resilient, resourceful and agile.

Read the Graduate Policy Officer position description (PDF, 302KB) for more information.

Benefits and conditions

In a Policy Futures placement you will receive:

  • a starting salary of $60,604 per annum (as at 1 September 2019)
  • flexible work arrangements
  • up to 12.75% employer superannuation contribution
  • 17.5% annual leave loading.


Policy Futures is open to graduates from all degrees and disciplines who have a keen interest in policy. Eligibility requirements for the program are:

  • completion of a bachelor's degree or higher in the last 2 years – graduates who complete their qualification this year will need to provide proof of completion before starting the program
  • Australian citizen, New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • successful completion of a criminal history and employment check – will be completed as part of the selection process.


The Queensland Government is committed to developing a more inclusive workplace environment that values and respects diversity.

As part of this commitment, the Queensland Government is creating an inclusive culture that promotes the skills and insights of our people irrespective of gender, ethnicity, generation, sexual orientation or disability. This includes:

  • gender equity
  • Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people
  • people with impairment (disability)
  • culturally and linguistically diverse groups
  • young people
  • older people
  • LGBTIQ+.

We partner with Job Access to support graduates who identify as having an impairment (disability). Support and reasonable adjustments can be provided throughout the selection process as required.

How to apply

To register your interest in the 2020 program visit the Graduate Portal.

Applications close on 22 September 2019.

Hear from previous graduates

Meet Maea Buhre

Maea studied a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Asia-Pacific Studies at Australian National University in Canberra. Since starting Policy Futures, Maea has completed 1 rotation at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and another rotation at the Department of Energy and Water Supply. Her third rotation was at the Department of Education and Training.

Meet Alex Phillips

Alex is from New South Wales and graduated from University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management. He undertook his first rotation at Arts Queensland and his second rotation at Biosecurity Queensland in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Alex remained within Biosecurity Queensland for his third rotation.

Meet Robbie Slape

Robbie graduated from the University of South Australia with a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning. He relocated to Brisbane from Adelaide to take up his position on the program. Robbie's first rotation was with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and was at Arts Queensland for his second rotation. Robbie was then placed within the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning for his third rotation.

Program placement

As a Policy Futures graduate, you will be involved in the following activities.


You will participate in an in-depth orientation which includes professional and personal development sessions and networking designed to get you ready for employment in the Queensland Public Sector.

Learning and development

Our aim is to shape tomorrow's policy makers. We'll provide you with the foundations for a range of career possibilities through formal and informal learning opportunities like on the job training, supervisor and manager support, rotations and mentoring.

You will also participate in a 24-month formal learning and development program that will build both soft and technical policy skills.


You will have the opportunity to undertake rotations in different departments giving you exposure to diverse and complex policy environments across the Queensland Public Sector.

In the first year you will undertake two 6-month rotations, and in the second year, you will undertake a 12-month placement.


You will be matched with a highly experienced mentor from the Queensland Government who will share their experience and career insights while guiding and supporting you through the program.


You'll be allocated a local buddy for each rotation who will provide informal guidance, encouragement and support to help you settle into your new role, build relationships with colleagues, and make the transition from university to the public sector.


You will be invited to attend networking events and participate in professional development sessions with your fellow graduates throughout the year. You can also collaborate with your fellow graduates through our online graduate portal.

Selection process

There are 6 stages in the selection process.

Before starting your application, read the position description and eligibility requirements (PDF, 302KB).

Stage 1: Online application

Register your interest in the program by midnight 22 September 2019 through the Queensland Government Graduate Portal.

After registration you will receive an email from our recruitment partner requesting further information to finalise your application.

To register, complete the following steps:

  1. Register now for graduate opportunities.
  2. Logon with your existing Graduate Portal or SmartJobs account or create an account.
  3. Complete the online form under My applications, ensuring that you upload a copy of your resume and cover letter.
  4. Click Submit.

Stage 2: Initial screening

We will assess your application against the eligibility requirements for the role.

Stage 3: Online assessments

Successful graduates from stage 2 will be invited to complete online assessments. These assessments look at your general verbal, numerical, logical reasoning and behavioural skills and capabilities.

Stage 4: Video interview

Successful graduates from stage 3 will be asked to develop a short video. Your video should outline your motivation for applying for the program and your interest in a career with the Queensland Government.

Stage 5: Assessment centre

Successful graduates from stage 4 will be invited to an assessment centre where you will participate in a group exercise, presentation and interview.

Assessment centres will be held on 23, 24 and 25 October 2019 in the Brisbane CBD and will run for approximately 3 hours. You must be able to attend in person at your own cost.

Stage 6: Reference, criminal history, employment checks and offer

Successful graduates from stage 5 will undergo reference, criminal history and employment checks. Following successful completion of all checks, graduates will receive an offer of employment. Unsuccessful graduates will be notified by email.

You can request feedback if your application was unsuccessful. However, feedback won't be available until the recruitment process has been completed.