A NSW Government website
Public Service Commission

Functional areas of interest

Learn more about the areas of work you’d like to try roles in.

The NSW Government Graduate Program is open to all disciplines and backgrounds! In the primary stream, you can nominate functional areas of interest you'd like to try roles in.


Policy is the overreaching body of work that helps create and deliver better outcomes for the people of NSW. Working on policy means that you will need to readily apply your research, analytical and communication skills to support the formulation of policy advice and recommendations to deliver advice on key programs or issues managed by your team. You’ll gain accelerated exposure to policy or programs design, facilitating consultation with stakeholder and community groups, developing research and insights, managing public relations and budgeting.

While working at the Department of Communities and Justice, graduate Emily Thomas found herself providing input on policies in review, cabinet submissions, and project planning, as part of her team’s role in implementing the NSW response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Service Delivery

Are you interested in applying your knowledge to create better services and enhance user experiences? Service delivery is about creating solutions for citizens of NSW across a broad range of portfolios. You may be involved with designing and delivering an online patient data system or build a digital licence platform for the wider NSW community. You’ll learn how to apply a ‘citizen first’ approach to solutions and drive process improvement across the state.

At the NSW Public Service Commission, graduate Bridget Taylor worked on a project that identified ways to improve the recruitment experience for candidates with disability. “On this project I was able to expand my human centred design skills, including persona mapping, storytelling and journey mapping. We gained invaluable insights from people with disability throughout this process and presented our findings and recommendations to key disability champions at Communities and Justice.” 


NSW Government is responsible for delivering public projects that have a huge impact on the community. To make these projects happen, decisions are made on who is best skilled to deliver these services or products. Procurement involves identifying and engaging the most appropriate suppliers to deliver these services or products on behalf of the government. You will gain exposure to developing strategies and guidelines, enhancing procurement capability across the sector, building stakeholder and budget management.

In his rotation at NSW Treasury, 2020 graduate Lucas O’Brien consulted with other government agencies to ensure that all NSW Government purchases adhere to the statewide procurement policies. ”More specifically, I have been involved in creating more efficient data collection methods to make the reporting process easier for government agencies.” 

Audit and Risk

Do you consider yourself an enabler? Audit and Risk is all about understanding how to help project teams deliver better results and outcomes. You’ll get access to a network of senior decision makers and gain accelerated exposure to key business areas. You’ll learn how to exercise your analytical skills to profile, manage and advise on risks, develop audit strategies and procedures, and manage stakeholder relationships across key departments to contribute unique insights.

Kennedy Nguyen was able to learn from experienced auditors within the Department of Customer Service during his second rotation as a 2020 graduate. Part of Kennedy’s work included mapping out audit processes to ensure information was timely and relatable. “In working on internal audits across the cluster, I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside experienced auditors and learn from them. I was also able to help determine the effectiveness of implementing a new data analysis software and how it would help us in our work.”


Budgeting, macroeconomic policy and sustainable social enterprise – these are some areas which you will gain exposure to as part of this rotation. Whether your interest lies in formulating business strategy, forecasting financials, or analysing interest rates, you stand to gain unique and transferrable experience across broad range of areas. You’ll learn how to present your advice to diverse stakeholders and decision makers and contribute to driving innovation and incentives for the NSW economy.

While on placement at the Ministry of Health, Tom Harvey worked in the finance division, assessing new and existing capital projects from a financial perspective and providing advice to local health districts (LHDs). “In this placement, I gained a deeper insight into the diverse problems different LHDs may experience and how to manage, advise and forecast the best courses of action.”

Communications and Marketing

Communications and marketing in government is about engaging and talking to the right audience, with the right message, at the right time. When done effectively, communications can help positively influence a community and allow citizens to better engage with government programs or policies. Communications professionals need to be at the forefront of the latest thinking and innovations to keep up with the constantly evolving way people consume information. This field is suited to those who have a passion for creativity, behavioural insights, and ability to create interesting and relevant content across digital, social, print and journalistic platforms.

Graduate Alicia Child had the opportunity to assist in NSW Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, working on the communication campaign for NSW citizens. “I worked across all channels and audiences in the campaign, including Culturally and Linguistically Diverse audiences, to ensure that everyone had access to clear and accurate information surrounding changing government restrictions and advice.” 

HR (People)

People management is at the centre of all decision making and work delivered by the NSW Government. This key area involves designing and delivering strategies to attract, develop and retain people into the NSW public sector. You’ll gain experience in building a diverse workforce and help enable people to deliver their best work. You’ll also contribute to workforce initiatives and programs which are helping build the workforce of tomorrow.

As a HR graduate at Department of Communities and Justice, Gillen Serrano helped to embed new organisation-wide leadership programs across the business by developing a program management guide and procedures. She has also worked in the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Corporate Services, assisting with internal communications and information flows through the business. “This placement has allowed me to gain exposure to the business operations and the inner workings of government.” 


Data Analytics, Data Science and Big Data – you’ll stand to gain exposure to it all. Analytics and data do not operate in isolation to other government functions. It is valued as a strategic contributor to helps inform key decision makers in the NSW government. In this rotation, you’ll learn to analyse and present complex information and deep dive on trends to inform future directions of key initiatives and policies such as tackling crime, combatting obesity or addressing housing affordability.

Project Management

Project management is a key contributor to how NSW Government achieves its policy outcomes. It involves applying skills and connecting people and skills towards a unifying goal and enables you to develop critical skills including stakeholder management and communication, budgeting and forecasting, and leadership and negotiation. You’ll stand to gain these skills in rewarding and supporting environment and help contribute to world class projects which range from clean energy initiatives, school infrastructure and regional development programs.

While at the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment in Water Utilities, graduate Saqib Soherwerdy was involved in ensuring the people of NSW have safe and secure water to drink. “This involved liaising with councils, looking at the inspection of water treatment facilities, providing technical consultation to Local Water Utilities and maintaining tradewaste regulations systems.”


Are you interested in applying your knowledge of science and mathematics to find effective solutions to problems? Whether your background is in Software, Civil, Mechatronics or Environmental Engineering, this rotation will provide you with invaluable experience in analysing and addressing problems and coming up with practical ways to change things so they perform better. You will gain exposure and contribute to critical high-profile initiatives that impact the citizens of NSW.

Syed Hashmi was able to apply his knowledge in civil engineering to his work at the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation as part of his rotation at the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. ”I’m part of the Newcastle Urban Transformation Program’, which is all about transforming the “steel city” into a smart city, providing support to local businesses and creating more opportunities, developing public domains and enhancing the quality of life.” 

Whether you are interested in applying the knowledge gained from your degree or are keen to learn something new, our Program offers you the choice to help build your own graduate experience by tailoring rotations to suit your interests.

Working in different areas will help to broaden your experience and discover how NSW Government works in a variety of different contexts which is an important component of your career development and progression.

You will be rotated across various agencies in any of the above areas over the 18-month Program, however, if you have a particular career aspiration that you wish to pursue, please let us know in your application. You are able to nominate up to three functional areas of interest from the list above.

We’ll try our best to accommodate your preference to enhance your graduate experience. Whilst we can’t guarantee you will receive all your preferences, we work with agencies to ensure that all placements are designed to develop your capabilities and skills.