Program information

The Science and Planning Graduate program is a joint initiative of DELWP and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR). Work with us to create a liveable, inclusive, and sustainable Victoria with thriving natural environments.

As a graduate, you will be part of an award-winning program designed to provide you with varied and meaningful development experiences to kick-start your career. You’ll gain a mix of field and policy work, exposure to research, and be involved in community engagement activities.

During the 2-year program you’ll get:

  • varied rotations across Victoria to develop your skills and explore different areas of the business
  • a starting salary of more than $60,000
  • learning and development opportunities tailored to your career goals
  • flexible working arrangements
  • a promotion and pay rise to more than $72,000 at the program’s end
  • mentoring
  • an excellent social and networking base with other graduates.

Applications are now open until Tuesday 9 August

Apply now

2023 Science and Planning Graduate Program – Key dates

Applications open: 8 July 2022

Applications close: 9 August 2022

Online assessment: 19 August 2022

Assessment centres: from 5 September 2022

Department interview: 3 to 12 October 2022

Offer stage: October/November 2022

Start day: 30 January 2023

Read about the Science and Planning roles that are available

Every year, we recruit graduates of science, natural resource management, agriculture, ecology, conservation, planning, or related fields.

Graduate roles are available all over Victoria. Read about the role descriptions and rotation locations (DOCX, 1.8 MB)

When applying for the program, you can tell us your role preference.

Positions 1 to 13 are at the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP). Positions 14 to 16 are at the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR).

Location: Heywood or Colac / Knoxfield / within Barwon South West

Have an interest in land and forest management? Want to help support aboriginal self determination reform outcomes?

Barwon South West (BSW) region is offering an exciting graduate position aimed at building skills, experiences and networks needed to kick start your career at DELWP in forest and land management. Over the program you will get experience in:

  • Forest management planning and operations include cultural heritage and biodiversity values assessments, roading and recreation upgrade projects, forest health and invasive species management.
  • Project and contract management
  • Engagement and stakeholder relationships including change management
  • Understanding of land management policy and statutory frameworks
  • Understanding of Pupangarli Marnmarnepu ‘Owning Our Future’ – DELWP’s Aboriginal Self-Determination Reform Strategy

The rotations will be in the following DELWP regional offices and teams:

  • Rotation 1: Heywood / Colac office (TBC) – FSW/ Otways District Forest and Roading team
  • Rotation 2: Knox office - Aboriginal Partnerships team, Port Phillip Regional Directorate
  • Rotation 3: TBC BSW office – rotation to complement skills interests and experiences of the graduate and BSW business needs. An opportunity may be available for this to include a secondment to a Traditional Owner Corporation (TOC) if this is of interest to the graduate and the TOC.

Location – Ballarat / Ballarat / Horsham

The Grampians region is a supportive, inclusive, and progressive team environment that allows flexibility to work across the region to deliver for government and the community.

Your introduction to DELWP will immerse you in cultural fire planning processes to assist Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV) build Traditional Owner capability within Grampians Region. The role will gain understanding of the current fuel management planning and policy framework, help assess its gaps in enabling Traditional Owners to conduct traditional fire practices on country and assist development of future policy to allow cultural fire to be used by Traditional Owners to restore or heal country.

Your second rotation will involve you in Victoria’s statutory planning functions. You will assist with reviewing planning scheme amendment requests and assist with stakeholders' relationships and providing planning advice. You will develop skills in using planning tools and tracking systems, build knowledge and application of planning scheme amendment and statutory planning processes; stakeholder engagement and report writing.

Your final rotation in Grampians Region will enable you to support biodiversity assessment and advice processes; including gaining an understanding of the Native vegetation regulations, and statutory planning processes to meet environmental advice requirements, Values checking activities relating to forest and crown management activities Assist with planning and delivery of biodiversity and community engagement activities/events.

Location: Bendigo (Epsom) / Bendigo (Epsom) / Mildura (Irymple)

Loddon Mallee Region seeks a graduate with a technical bent and a degree in science, land management, ecology, or related fields. The position will work on a range of projects focusing on developing strategies to improve bushfire management across tenures (i.e., both public and private land), how to implement these and follow-up evaluation.

While in Rotation 1 you will develop skills with one or more of the following ArcGIS, fire behaviour modelling, risk assessment (using ISO 31000 standards), working with and managing big datasets, stakeholder engagement and monitoring of fuels and environmental indicators responsive to fire.  Monitoring is likely to involve field work in remote parts of Victoria undertaking both fuel, and flora and fauna surveys.

The Rotation 2 Bendigo (Epsom) requires a suitably skilled applicant to work closely with regional, district and strategic planning teams in Forest and Fire Operations to review the completed planned burning program across the region. The applicant will assess planned burns through a range of methods including satellite and aerial imagery and ground truthing. A report will then be compiled on the completed assessments and recommendations written to help improve the planned burning program. This placement will allow the applicant to develop strong skills in fire management and a holistic understanding of how fire interacts within different landscapes.

The final rotation Mildura (Irymple) focus will see the applicant supported by the Mallee District Manager and work closely within several district Forest Fire Management teams (Emergency Preparedness, Forest Management and Roading and Fuel Management) based in Irymple, Loddon Mallee Region. The application will assess and help deliver a range of programs implementing improvement in forest management. The applicant will also be involved, trained, accredited, and deployed as an operational firefighter, participating in the planning and delivery of both the planned burning and Emergency Management programs, and be involved in various aspects of forest management, including road and construction maintenance, visitor management, cultural heritage management, biodiversity protection and community engagement.

Location: Mansfield / Melbourne CBD / Seymour or Wodonga

Over 3 placements (2 in Hume Region and one in Melbourne) the graduate will receive practical field experience in a forest and fire district; contribute to policies and reforms to help transition Victoria’s energy system to renewables; and help manage a diverse range of complex public land matters in a regional land and built environment team.

The first rotation is in the Forest and Fire Operations team at Mansfield. The graduate will be trained, accredited, and deployed as an operational firefighter, participate in planned burning and forest management including visitor management, road construction and maintenance, cultural heritage, biodiversity protection, and community engagement.

The second rotation is with the Distributed Energy Resources Team in the DELWP Energy Group in Melbourne. It will focus on development of policies and reforms to transition Victoria’s energy system to a high distributed energy resources (DER) future. Distributed energy resources are smaller forms of electricity generation, such as rooftop solar, battery storage, and electric vehicles that feed electricity back into the grid. The DER Markets & Networks team focus on three areas: unlocking the value of Victoria’s DER; supporting people to transition together; and modernising the grid.

The final rotation is in the Hume Land and Built Environment team. During this placement the graduate will contribute to management of complex public land issues including leases and licences, working with volunteer committees of management and projects to improve buildings, community facilities and environmental values on public land.

Please note that an early start (November) is required so the graduate can complete fitness assessment, training, and accreditation ahead of the fire season. Flexibility will be provided during this period for completion of studies and exams if required.

Location: Traralgon or Bairnsdale / Geelong / Traralgon

The Gippsland Region seeks a graduate with an eye for detail and the ability to think strategically. You will be exposed to a wide variety of projects and programs and take the lead on strategic projects with support from colleagues and supervisors.

You will begin your time in Gippsland supporting our workplace culture planning, and strategic workforce management with a technical focus on systems analysis and data analysis to support workplace culture, safety and wellbeing. You will collect and collate intelligence and other data and apply this to improving systems and administrative procedures that support intelligence driven decision making.

The second rotation is in the Land and Built Environments team in Barwon South West Region, based in Geelong, where you will focus on the analysis of renewable energy planning and environmental applications, using data analysis to inform process improvement. You will work with a wide variety of DELWP business units and gain a broad understanding of regional business and stakeholder management.

The final rotation is in Traralgon assisting in the collection and collation of data, applying and improving administrative procedures and tools, and identifying emerging issues, risks and trends.

Location: Negotiable in Barwon South West / Negotiable in Port Phillip / Negotiable in Port Phillip

This role will work across the Port Phillip and Barwon Southwest Regions and develop key skills to work with traditional owners in the areas of partnerships, cultural fire, and heritage management. The role will also support DELWP to meet its policy and legislative requirements for land and fire management in these 3 key areas. The successful candidate will support the implementation of Pupangarli Marnmarnepu ‘Owning Our Future’ – DELWP’s Aboriginal Self-Determination Reform Strategy.

Commencing Rotation One in the Barwon Southwest Region the role will be based with the Aboriginal partnerships Unit, helping to build cultural competency for DELWP staff to work with Traditional Owners on land, fire, and environment programs. The second and third placements will be in the Port Phillip Region, first with the Fuel Management Coordination team working with Traditional Owners to plan and deliver (where appropriate) cultural burning, and then with the Heritage Team to assist with the management and protection of aboriginal and historic heritage sites.

This is an Identified Aboriginal position where Aboriginal candidates will be given first preference over other applicants. Recent graduates with qualifications in land management, heritage management, stakeholder engagement and project management are desired. A fire role is a core part of this program, so the successful applicant will ideally commence early in November to complete mandatory General Firefighter training.

Location: Melbourne CBD / TBC / Gippsland Region

Ground your scientific knowledge by working with forest policy makers, forest spatial planners, and land managers to grapple with some of Victoria’s most complex and challenging environmental concerns. Work with high performing teams in a number of locations across Victoria and apply your environmental management skills to manage Victoria’s unique ecosystems in the context of threats such as Bushfire and climate change while promoting biodiversity, nature based tourism and enabling Traditional Owners to manage Country in line with self-determination.

The role begins in the Forest Policy Branch, responsible for forest and forestry policy. This includes the development of a contemporary policy framework for the use and management of Victoria’s forests, that addresses multiple values and leverages these assets to optimise benefits for the environment, the community and industry. The branch is also responsible for providing a framework for forestry, including providing clear policy for industry and supporting the Conservation Regulator to regulate timber harvesting activity.

Ideally, you will have knowledge of, and be interested in, geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial database implementation, and how they intersect with ground work, policy and regulation. The second and third rotations will provide the on-ground connection and regulatory application as you work with our forest planner in a DELWP Region and with the Conservation Regulator.

Location: Melbourne CBD / Melbourne CBD / Geelong

Your first introduction to DELWP will support the Conservation Regulator’s Regulatory Operations Branch in undertaking projects to establish best practice across regulatory activities. Key responsibilities include writing briefs to support good decision-making, development and implementation of reform project plans, internal and external consultation, and coordination of reporting, quality management and accountability measures within the branch.

The second rotation will involve you in the Policy and Planning Division working on Forest Policy, where you will have an opportunity to further practice your policy development, ministerial writing and stakeholder management skills developed through your first rotation. You will be able to work with forest policy makers and spatial planners on complex and challenging environmental issues.

In your final rotation in the Barwon Southwest region, you will work as a Forest and Wildlife Officer to leverage your knowledge of environmental policy and legislation to deliver compliance activities (including patrols and inspections) relating to wildlife, forestry, and public land use. You will also assist in collecting and collating intelligence and other data, to identify non-compliance trends.

Location: All Melbourne CBD

The Graduate Policy Officer will work collaboratively across the Planning Group to assist with planning policy and statutory responsibilities of the planning portfolio within State Government. They will develop a well-rounded knowledge of developing and implementing state and local planning policy and controls, as well as working in the environmental assessment for major projects.

During the first rotation, the position will focus on state statutory policy and policy implementation, policy and project support for built and natural environmental and natural resource priority initiatives (state and federal), advice to a variety of stakeholders on policy, statutory land use issues, state-wide planning scheme amendments and strategic plans. The Graduate Policy Officer will gain experience in work in State government and the role of Victoria’s planning system to deliver government policy objectives, including community resilience and adaptation to natural hazards such as bushfire and flooding, hazards in the built environment, such as planning for airports and their environs and buffers for industry and understanding government priorities and policy development process.

During the second rotation, the position will be involved in the provision of statutory services to deliver the Minister for Planning's responsibilities in relation to the authorisation and assessment of planning scheme amendments initiated by local councils, and other requirements of planning legislation and instruments. The role will also involve preparing delegated and Ministerial correspondence, providing support to officers in the preparation of Ministerial briefs, managing relationships with stakeholders including councils, government agencies and proponents and assisting senior staff.

During the third rotation, the position will have the opportunity to develop skills and experience in environmental impact assessment (EIA) for large projects across Victoria. The role will support the Minister for Planning and the government to assess and make timely, informed decisions on projects with potentially significant environmental effects. This will involve assisting the team with administering EIA processes including liaising with agencies providing advice on environmental effects and coordinating environmental assessment and statutory processes. The role will also involve engaging with proponents to evaluate and refine their proposals including advising on community engagement and environmental policy.

Location: All Melbourne CBD

The Graduate Planner will work collaboratively across the Planning Group to assist with planning policy and statutory responsibilities of the portfolio, together with the delivery of priority projects.

During the first rotation, the position will be provided with the opportunity to develop a strategic planning skill base by assisting the Planning Projects branch to deliver on key planning strategies, projects and policy development, such as the update of Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 and Regional Growth Plans.

The role may also involve providing support to officers in the preparation of Ministerial briefs, delegated and Ministerial correspondence, and Parliamentary information, as well as assisting senior staff, and managing relationships with stakeholders including councils and government agencies.

During the second rotation, the position will support the Development Approvals and Design team and give the graduate exposure to statutory planning facilitation/approvals, including approvals for priority areas where the Minister for Planning is the responsible authority. Example priority areas and projects include independent schools, ‘Big Build’ housing projects, central city, Alpine Resorts and renewables.

During the third rotation, the position will be provided with the opportunity to support the Places and Precincts Branch to deliver a range of key Plan Melbourne implementation actions and precinct projects, such as the 20-minute neighbourhoods and Future Homes programs, as well as supporting the governance and oversight of Plan Melbourne implementation.

Location: Melbourne CBD / Echuca / Melbourne CBD

This position will join a friendly and dynamic group to work on a range of water management projects that improve farm irrigation practices, reduce the impacts of irrigation on land and water resources and support healthy waterways. Placements in Melbourne and Echuca will give the successful candidate a unique perspective on catchment salinity programs, water quality policy and irrigation policy, government investment processes, and local projects that achieve sustainable irrigation and waterway health.

The rotating placements will also provide the candidate with a unique opportunity to undertake work with partner agencies. For example, in rotation two where Agriculture Victoria engages closely with a Catchment Management Authority, water corporation, or other agency (e.g. local government authority) there will be an opportunity to undertake on-ground work with that agency.

The rural water sector is rapidly adapting to climate change, irrigation modernisation and environmental watering. This makes for an unprecedented opportunity for you to play a role in assisting farmers to adapt and reduce the environmental impacts of irrigated agriculture and in maximising the benefits of environmental water through complementary waterway actions.

The DELWP Water and Catchments Group engage rural communities to achieve a productive and sustainable irrigation industry and improve the environmental condition of waterways and catchments. The program invests in practice change and catchment monitoring, and planning and works in partnership with DJPR, Catchment Management Authorities and Rural Water Authorities. The group also develops policies to deliver Water for Victoria and the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Location: Melbourne CBD / Neg. in Hume Region / Melbourne CBD

As a Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Graduate, you will develop a strong understanding of the role of DELWP and the inter-relationships between energy policy development and program delivery through three related placements - Energy Strategy, Hume region Community and Partnerships Branch, and Solar Victoria. The graduate will gain experience in developing energy policy and/or regulatory reform, hands-on work in a regional office and program delivery. Stakeholder engagement will be a strong focus of all three placements.

This role is well suited to someone who enjoys working in a collaborative team environment and who has strong analytical and communication skills. The successful applicant will also be trained and accredited as an operational firefighter during the second rotation.

Location: All in Melbourne CBD

Are you keen to use your scientific knowledge to help inform robust decision making in government?

During the first rotation, you will work in the Climate Science Team to update Victoria’s Climate Science Report, a requirement under the Climate Change Act 2017. You will work with Australia’s experts in climate science to ensure the future climate information we provide meets user needs across government and industry to inform policy outcomes.

In the second rotation, you will work in the Hydrology and Climate Science team, to will assist the team with its role in coordinating the Victorian Water and Climate Initiative, a research program with the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO that is seeking to better understand how Victoria’s water resources are changing over time.  Working with Victorian water sector stakeholders, you will also assist in the team applying the findings to a range of water sector applications.

During the third rotation, you will work in the Vicmap Spatial Services team to gain hands-on experience working with a range of remotely sensed geospatial datasets and derived products such as aerial and satellite imagery, LiDAR point clouds, and 3D datasets. You will support stakeholders and data users, including the use of the data in Digital Twins, machine learning analyses and 3D visualisations.

Location: Melbourne CBD / Melbourne CBD / Morwell

The Resources Branch is looking for a graduate to work across the Earth Resources Regulation Unit (ERR) for 24 months with placements across three areas, Statutory Authorisation (Assessments), Technical Services and Regulatory compliance.

ERR is Victoria’s regulator for exploration, mining, quarrying, petroleum, recreational prospecting and other earth resources activities. ERR’s role is to ensure earth resources activities are conducted safely to protect people, property, infrastructure, and the environment. ERR assesses and authorises earth resources projects that create business and job opportunities, particularly in Rural and Regional Victoria.

This role will offer interesting and challenging tasks and projects and an opportunity to work under the guidance of a diverse range of science and engineering professionals. The candidate will be appointed to an Ongoing VPS3 role within either the Technical Services or Statutory Authorisations (Assessments) teams, upon completion of the three rotations.

The graduate will be expected to communicate the results of their work to senior leaders and teams within the Resources Branch, and prepare written documents and presentations.

Location: Melbourne CBD / Melbourne CBD / Morwell

The Resources Branch is looking for a graduate to work across the Earth Resources Regulation Unit (ERR) for 24 months with placements across three areas, Statutory Authorisation (Assessments), Technical Services and Regulatory compliance.

ERR is Victoria’s regulator for exploration, mining, quarrying, petroleum, recreational prospecting and other earth resources activities. ERR’s role is to ensure earth resources activities are conducted safely to protect people, property, infrastructure, and the environment. ERR assesses and authorises earth resources projects that create business and job opportunities, particularly in Rural and Regional Victoria.

This role will offer interesting and challenging tasks and projects and an opportunity to work under the guidance of a diverse range of science and engineering professionals. The candidate will be appointed to an Ongoing VPS3 role within the Regulatory Compliance team in ERR, upon completion of the three rotations.

The graduate will be expected to communicate the results of their work to senior leaders and teams within the Resources Branch, and prepare written documents and presentations.

Location: Melbourne CBD / Morwell / Melbourne CBD (*all negotiable between these sites)

The Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority seeks a graduate to work within a high performing multi-disciplinary unit with the Forestry, Resources and Climate Change group of DJPR.

Over three 8 month rotations, the successful applicant will gain valuable experience in, and exposure to, a range of areas and tasks, including:

  • Contributing to strategic resource and land use planning as part of the Extractives team – supporting major infrastructure development in Victoria, developing planning/project management skills and gaining exposure to governance, progress reporting and program evaluation.
  • Shaping the future of mining in Victoria – on placement with the Rehabilitation and Innovation team, the graduate will gain exposure to regional environmental factors, risks and opportunities with regard to low emission technologies (including hydrogen) and open cut mining rehabilitation in Victoria (including technical analysis and reviews), along with opportunities to develop internal and external stakeholder engagement skills.
  • Consolidating project management, technical and stakeholder engagement skills learned in previous rotations by assisting the Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority in delivering both technical and engagement programs regarding the rehabilitation of the Latrobe Valley’s brown coal mines.

Throughout the graduate program, the successful applicant will be required to communicate the results of their work to senior management/teams; this will include the preparation of reports and presentations detailing their findings.

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Our program will guide you through 2 years of training and development allowing you to progress in your career and move around the state.

Contact us

You can get in contact with us by email at graduate.programs@delwp.vic.gov.au

For general DELWP enquiries please phone 136 186

Victorian Government graduate program

DELWP also recruit graduates through the Victorian Public Service graduate program.

VPS GRADS is a 12-month learning and development program, where you work in roles across 3 different departments, and return to DELWP and your ongoing position after the program.

Page last updated: 08/08/22