Graduates find endless career opportunities at DHS

Alyssa Royters’ job is nothing like she imagined it – it’s far more. 

Alyssa moved to Canberra from Wollongong last year as part of the Department of Human Services’ National Graduate Program. She’s now encouraging university students and graduates to apply for the program.

With degrees in law and education, plus 18 months of private sector experience under her belt, Alyssa applied for the program because the opportunity to contribute to the ‘bigger picture’ was too good to pass up.

“I always wanted to move into a policy area and have a larger impact with my studies and my skills,” Alyssa said.

“I love my job, and though it’s not what I thought I’d be doing when I was at university, it’s exactly where I hoped I would end up.

“I never thought I’d be able to work on the kind of matters I do, or work on public policy in such a short period of time, but you do get a unique experience as a graduate in the public service.”

The 10-month program includes two career pathways for prospective graduates. The professional pathway is designed for graduates to specialise in one area, including communication, data analytics, finance, human resources, law and social work. The generalist pathway allows graduates to experience multiple placements to learn how different areas of the department operate, as Alyssa did.

She quickly discovered it wasn’t all about on-the-job learning either with a plethora of opportunities to touch the lives of everyday Australians.

Alongside her fellow graduates, Alyssa attended Senate Estimates at Parliament House, experienced front-line community services through the Outbound Journey, and was mentored one-on-one by a high-level executive.

“I found it really valuable to see how our work in the national offices supports the work of our customer-facing staff and how all the programs and policies we’d worked on really make a difference to people’s lives,” she said.

“I also liked the social aspect of the program – there was a real sense of camaraderie and the friends I made last year meant it was a lot easier for me to move to and explore a new city.”

Senior Business Analyst Krisha Jilson-Naduvathucherry also began her public service career with the National Graduate Program in 1998, and has never looked back, rising through the ranks to become an Executive Level 1 Team Leader.

Krisha Jilson-Naduvathucherry said she’s still learning after 20 years with the department.

“There is so much to learn here, and 20 years later, I am still learning,” Krisha said.

“I was lucky to get two graduate offers when I was applying and I chose this department as I knew I could work in different areas and further my career here – and I have no regrets.

“Every day when I wear my DHS lanyard, I think to myself how lucky I am to work for this department, and serve the people of the country which gave me my education.”

Program applications are now open, and will close at 11.30pm on 4 April 2018.

Visit for more information.