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Graduate program

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is looking for high-achieving graduates who are keen to develop their career and become part of our team. If you're an innovator, creative thinker, communicator or problem solver then we'd love to hear from you.

The MDBA is responsible for:

  • preparing, implementing and reviewing activities for the sustainable use of the Murray–Darling Basin’s water resources
  • operating the River Murray system and efficiently deliver water to users on behalf of state governments
  • measuring, monitoring and recording the quality and quantity of water resources
  • supporting, encouraging and conducting research and investigations about the Basin’s water and dependent ecosystems
  • advising the Australian Government Minister for Water Resources on the accreditation of state water resource plans
  • providing water rights information to facilitate water trading across the Basin
  • engaging and educating the Australian and international community about the Basin’s water resources.

Once you successfully complete the graduate program, you will move into a permanent position with a higher salary. Our graduates also have an opportunity at the end of program to be assessed for a move to the APS 5 level (subject to work availability). Your position will be based at one of our office locations including Canberra, Goondiwindi, Griffith, Mildura and Murray Bridge.

We're an equal opportunity employer – Indigenous Australians, mature-aged graduates and people with disability are encouraged to apply.

You must be an Australian citizen or gain citizenship before commencement of the program.

What will you get to do in your year as a graduate?

Our program consists of job training and ongoing learning and development opportunities designed to lay a solid foundation for your career.

On-the-job training

During your 11 months, you get to try 3 jobs on for size, staying with each team for just under 4 months. Each work area will provide you with varied opportunities for on-the-job training.

In your rotations, you will have the opportunity to:

  • attend training to develop the skills and knowledge you need
  • be actively involved with Basin meeting stakeholders
  • help to run the River Murray.

You'll also be exposed to a variety of internal seminars and events relating to our core business.

Other training opportunities

You will participate in training which will provide you with an understanding of the public sector and build a foundation for your development as a future APS manager and leader.

There are also a number of whole-of-government graduate networking events organised by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC).

Field trip

Towards the end of the program, you will plan a week-long field trip in conjunction with a graduate project. The aim of this trip is to learn about some of the systems and challenges for managing the Basin and its resources. It also allows graduates to gain an appreciation of the complex interaction between federal, state and local governments and other stakeholders.

Why choose the MDBA?

We're a small agency with around 300 staff, so it's quite reasonable to say you'll get to know everyone in some way or another!

We have a big focus on learning and development, with many people on hand to help you develop your career.

We're committed to providing working conditions that help you to strike your work life balance. We offer excellent employment conditions and benefits including:

  • a comprehensive induction and formal graduate program, including work rotations, internal and external training and development, and support through buddy and mentor programs
  • a permanent position in the Australian Public Service (APS) on successful completion of the graduate program
  • competitive salary with opportunities to advance at the completion of the program to a higher salary level
  • access to study assistance and leadership programs after successful completion of the graduate program
  • excellent working conditions
  • experience in unique and rewarding work
  • flexible working arrangements to support a healthy work-life balance
  • opportunities for continuing personal and professional development
  • a commitment to equity and diversity
  • assistance with relocation.

Apply for the graduate program

Our graduate coordinator is available to answer any enquiries you may have. Please email

View the current vacancies and apply online.

Selection process

Selection for the graduate program is merit based. You will be assessed against prescribed selection criteria, which are part of the online application form.

Short listing is based on some or all of the following:

  • academic results
  • online application
  • video interview
  • online cognitive testing

If your application is successful, we will contact you in September and make an offer of employment.

More information

Indigenous Graduate Pathway banner

Indigenous Graduate Pathway

This year we are participating in centralised recruitment through the Indigenous Graduate Pathway. As an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander you will be able to complete one application and be considered for multiple Agencies and Departments within the Australian Public Service (APS). Whether you start your career with us, or somewhere else in the APS you will do meaningful work from day one.

Find out more about the Indigenous Graduate Pathway or apply online.

Does working for the MDBA specifically interest you? Keep an eye on our Careers page – applications direct to the MDBA’s Graduate Development Program open in May.

Updated: 17 May 2021