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Published: 12 May 2023

The Murray–Darling Basin Authority 2024 Graduate Development Program is now open for future leaders.

We encourage applications from all disciplines, with a focus this year on recent graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics as the MDBA drives world-leading water reform.

Chief Executive Andrew McConville said it was an exciting time to be joining the MDBA.

“It’s our job to gather the best evidence base and advice to support decisions about sustainable water management at the Basin-scale,” Mr McConville said.

“With so much on the horizon, recent graduates who are accepted into the program have an opportunity to be part of the teams delivering important and engaging work in the national interest, including the 2026 Basin Plan Review. We’re looking for people who share our passion for natural resource management, science and the environment, including those with a desire to live and work in a Basin community.

“During the program, graduates undertake formal and on-the-job training, plus development activities designed to prepare them for career progression. This great program has seen all the MDBA graduates over the past 3 years stay on with the agency.” 

At the strategic level, the program broadens graduates’ understanding of Australian Government water policy, the agency’s corporate context, and the Australian Public Service generally.

At the operational level, graduates could be knee deep checking river health, learning from First Nations people, interpreting water data, assisting with information gathering or helping to organise listening tours.

As part of the 11-month program, graduates will have 3 rotations across different program areas to gain a broader understanding of the Murray–Darling Basin and to build networks.

The MDBA strongly encourages applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and offers an Indigenous Affirmative Measure recruitment process.

This process provides a valuable opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to use their knowledge, insights and capabilities to contribute to the important work that we do to achieve a healthy working Basin.

“We are an organisation committed to better reflecting the diversity of the Australian community and are pleased to have graduate positions available in 2024 under this important Affirmative Measure,” said Mr McConville.

Applications for the MDBA 2024 Graduate Development Program close on 31 May 2023.

Go to our careers page to apply: Careers.


Further quotes from our Grads

Recent members of the Graduate Development Program have shared their experience

Meet Joel Mak – 2021 MDBA Graduate Development Program participant and Assistant Director

After spending 5 years in various countries as an English and French teacher, Joel Mak came back to Australia and completed a Master of Public Policy and Management.

Joel said he applied for the MDBA’s Graduate Development Program because he wanted a rewarding work environment.

“I wanted a fresh perspective on the world, and above all to be part of an organisation that deals with the challenging questions of our time,” Joel said.

“The program did that, giving me a breadth of experience from groundwater policy to project and program management.

“When I started, people at the MDBA were supportive and welcoming, and this hasn’t changed. My graduate cohort were a pleasure to work with and those strong connections are still there.

“Since finishing the program, I’ve been in a variety of roles in executive support and policy planning. I’m now an Assistant Director for the Basin Plan Review – a big step away from my role as an English and French teacher not that long ago.”

Meet Amber Craig – 2020 MDBA Graduate Development Program participant and Senior Eco-Hydrology Analyst

When Amber Craig completed her Masters in Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, the Murray–Darling Basin was experiencing its worse drought in 125 years.

Amber said her master’s degree looked at sand in the Murray Basin and how the climate, oceans and movement of the Australian continent created a series of sand dunes 5 to 10 million years ago.

“My passion has always been on the health of people and the planet, with a focus on climate change action,” Amber said.

“I thought it was the right time to join an influential agency like the MDBA to do my part to address water resource issues and the direct impacts of climate change. So I applied to join the MDBA’s Graduate Development Program.

“After the program, I spent 2 years in a team responsible for the long-term management of the River Murray and I’m currently looking at possible climate change scenarios and the impact on flows. 

“I enjoy connecting with many people from different backgrounds and office locations, who all shared an enthusiasm and unwavering passion for the work they do at the MDBA.”

Meet Sirous Safari Pour – 2022 MDBA Graduate Development Program participant and Ecohydrology Analyst

After completing a mechanical engineering degree, Sirous pursued his passion in fluid mechanics through a PhD with CSIRO and RMIT University.

Sirous said the MDBA’s Graduate Development Program was a perfect opportunity to continue his passion for environmental fluid flow, and to apply his engineering skills while contributing to the community and the environment. 

“I value ethical conduct and integrity, that’s why I’m focused on working in areas that achieve sustainable social and ecological outcomes. This made the program a highly rewarding opportunity,” Sirous said.

“During my graduate year, I undertook a variety of placements that provided a range of experiences not offered outside the program.

“The mentoring support and fantastic buddy friendship program has enabled me to feel confident and safe to explore what the organisation does and how I can be part of it.

“The trips during this period were fun, and the friendships I developed with other graduates are still going strong.

“I now work across two teams. I analyse hydrological model results, test different ecohydrology assessments for future scenarios, and engage with state governments, universities, and consultancies to ensure the best available science is used in my daily work.

Related information


Contact the MDBA Media office at or 02 6279 0141



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