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The Generalist stream is designed to give you a bird’s eye view of the diverse work Defence carries out. This stream will give you a solid base to build your career on, as well as develop a professional network within Defence and industry.


  • Tailored suite of training that covers leadership, technical, communication, departmental and general skills, needed in the Australian Public Service
  • On-the-job and off-the-job training along with other development activities
  • Senior Officer Briefing series where you will meet and hear from a range of our Senior Leaders, including the Secretary, Chief of the Defence Force and Service Chiefs (Navy, Air Force and Army)
  • Week-long Study Tour of military establishments and Defence facilities outside of Canberra; and
  • In each rotation you will have real tasks and responsibilities, and be fully integrated into the work team to make sure you contribute to your full potential


The Generalist stream gives graduates a thorough understanding of what Defence does, and the opportunities it offers.

This stream takes 12-months to complete and consists of three rotations of four months each. The first of these is undertaken in Canberra, with the possibility of one in a regional area for those who want a further challenge. Rotations are offered across the entire Department.

Our successful candidates are professional, self-motivated team players, who possess high level communication and interpersonal skills and adapt easily to change. You will be committed to your own learning and development and share Defence’s values and vision for the future. We will provide you with experiences in three work rotations covering a variety of roles within the Department and will help you develop the necessary professional skills required for a long-lasting career. In each rotation you will have real tasks and responsibilities, and be fully integrated into the work team to ensure you reach your full potential.

We are committed to helping you develop further by providing a suite of training designed for the Program covering personal, technical, departmental and public-service wide skills.

Areas you may work in include:

  • Strategic management in Navy, Army or Air Force
  • Tender and contract negotiations
  • Capability analysis
  • Event coordination
  • Strategic policy
  • Ministerial and Parliamentary liaison
  • Environmental issues
  • Administrative and business support
  • Educational services
  • Corporate governance
  • Public affairs and media liaison
  • Project management
  • Contracting, program and project administration
  • Purchasing
  • International engagement policy
  • Long-term planning on future force structure and capability
  • Legal, para-legal and legal administrative positions for law graduates

Next steps

Ready to apply? Find out more about applying at the How to Apply page.

You might also want to check out the following general information:

Quick Details

  • Degree types: All Degree disciplines
  • Salary: $68,442 pa + 15.4% superannuation. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will advance to APS 4: $76,215 pa + 15.4% superannuation.
  • Program:
    • 12 months – 3 x 4 month rotations
  • Eligibility: View eligibility requirements
  • Intake: February
  • Location: Canberra (interstate rotations outside of Canberra are available)
  • Benefits: Why Choose Defence
“Throughout the graduate year, I was supported within my teams to develop skills in areas that I had not had much exposure to before.”


GDP - Generalist
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