• Our Programs

    • Indigenous cadetship program

      The Indigenous cadetship program is a two to three year development program that combines university study with practical work placements at the ATO, and an offer of a job with us upon completion of your degree.

      The Indigenous cadetship program is a great way to give your career a head start and gain unique work experiences that you can take with you wherever your career path leads.

    • Role

      The Indigenous cadetship program provides practical work placements to compliment your study, as well as financial assistance while you complete your degree.

      You are expected to work 90 days within the office. We provide you with 12-month rotations in different areas, to give you a taste of the work that we do and the opportunity to apply the skills you are learning at university such as communication, writing, research and analysis.


      To be eligible for the Indigenous cadetship program you must:

      • be of Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent
      • identify as an Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
      • be accepted as an Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in the community in which you live or have lived
      • be an Australian citizen (section 22 of the Public Service Act 1999 requires APS employees to be Australian citizens)
      • at the time of application, be undertaking an undergraduate degree or double degree in accounting, business, commerce, economics, human resources, finance, law, mathematics, marketing & communications or design.
      • have successfully completed at least the first year of your degree at the time you start with us
      • be able to provide evidence to support your eligibility
      • undergo a criminal history records check.

      Our people

      Read about the experiences of some of our recent cadets and what attracted them to the ATO Indigenous cadetship program.

      Roshene Cowburn

       Roshene Cowburn 

      I started a Bachelor of Laws at university straight out of high school. After completing my first year of study, I decided to apply for the ATO Indigenous Cadetship program to gain practical experience in a professional environment. This would allow me to apply and develop the skills that I had been learning in my university study.

      The application process was relatively straightforward. The most challenging aspect was the panel interview which was nerve-wracking at first, but the panellists do their best to ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed. They made the overall interview process as easy and stress-free as possible.

      The highlights of my cadetship so far are the opportunities to apply and develop skills that I have been learning in my studies, and to network and make connections with other staff in the office. The flexibility with work hours has allowed me to comfortably balance my work, study and personal commitments. I also appreciate the guidance and support I have received from my managers and work colleagues.

      The advice I would give to future applicants is to make sure that they capitalise on every opportunity that they are given, and take the time to network and make connections with others in the office.

      I strongly urge Indigenous university students to apply for the Indigenous Cadetship program at the ATO because it opens you up to opportunities and experiences that can set you up for a rewarding career.

      Nelson Fogarty

       Nelson Fogarty 

      I am studying a double degree, a Bachelor of Business majoring in public relations, and a Bachelor of Media and Communications. There is a strong emphasis on practical work experience within communication disciplines, which is what attracted me to the Indigenous cadetship program. It has allowed me the opportunity to focus on completing my degree, and given me insight into the types of responsibilities I will have when I enter the industry.

      The ATO provided me with an abundance of support during the application process, with an Indigenous Liaison Officer available to answer questions. The program allows you to experience different areas of the organisation in the form of rotations. My first rotation was in the Corporate PR & Community Relations department. That gave me the chance to apply the skills I learnt in university, and experience the diverse roles of a public relations officer. A highlight of my placement was the development my own PR plan for the ATO’s Evergreen Program, from creating the strategy through to the evaluation.

      I recommend the Indigenous cadetship program to anyone who is looking for practical experience in their field, in a supportive environment with a diverse range of career opportunities.

      John Berry

      John Berry 

      I'm originally from Darwin, and worked in the public sector for a few years before going back to university. After starting my studies overseas, I am now completing a Commerce degree with a major in Finance at Monash University. I applied for the ATO Indigenous Cadetship program to gain experience in a professional environment that matches my degree, allowing real life application of the skills I've been learning. The financial assistance with university fees and generous salary has been a real bonus.

      The application includes a range of support tools to help you succeed. The panel interview may seem daunting at first, but the panellists really help you to relax and feel comfortable.  It also provides you an opportunity to network with other indigenous cadets from various universities and disciplines.

      The main highlights of my cadetship so far has been the opportunity to network and to practically apply my education in a corporate environment. The level of support that I have received from my manager and various rotation teams has been amazing. My manager has made every effort to place me in business lines that complement my degree, and team members really make you feel welcome and are more than helpful in explaining any concepts that you are unsure of.

      My advice to future applicants is to be confident in your own abilities; you never know what you can achieve if you just give it a go. Also take every opportunity to network and make new connections.

      The ATO is more than just accounting. I'd strongly recommend Indigenous full-time university students undertaking a degree in a wide variety of fields to consider being part of the Indigenous cadet program at the ATO – it can be a rewarding career path.

      Jack Walker

      Jack Walker 

      I started university straight out of high school and chose to study a Bachelor of Commerce. After spending a year deciding on majors and getting settled, I became aware that the task of entering the workforce and looking for a professional job is one that shouldn't be left to the last minute. The ATO Indigenous Cadetship has allowed me to work around my own schedule, which means I can choose to work less during times when university is on and gives me extra time to not only study but do other things.

      The application process for the Indigenous Cadetship Program was straightforward and not at all intimidating. There was only one face-to-face interview. It was held by three representatives from different Australian Public Service agencies and they made the process as easy as possible.

      The advice I'd give to future applicants is to make sure they take every opportunity they can during this experience; some of the best things happen when you're expecting nothing at all.


      Frequently asked questions

      Where can I find out more about the ATO?

      For more information, see About us or go to ato.gov.au.

      What evidence do I need to provide to meet the eligibility requirements for this program?
      • Proof of citizenship (birth certificate or Australian citizenship certificate)
      • Current academic transcript
      • Acceptable evidence of Indigenous descent includes either
        • A letter signed by the Chairperson of an incorporated Indigenous organisation confirming that the applicant is recognised as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person
        • A confirmation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent form executed by an Indigenous organisation
      Can I lodge a late application?

      We may not consider late applications – to check, email us at Entry Level Programs@ATO.gov.au. 

      What's involved in a criminal history records check?

      It is a condition of employment in the ATO that you agree to have a criminal history records check. You will be asked to provide information about yourself and to give us the right to check any information you provide with relevant authorities such as the Australian Federal Police.

      Apply now

      Applications for the Indigenous cadetship program are open from 12-26 November 2015. Late applications may not be accepted.

      To apply for the program, go to our careers page to access the application form.

      When completing the online application you will be asked to provide your:

      • personal information
      • current academic transcript (as an attachment - maximum 3MB)
      • employment details
      • resume (as an attachment - maximum 3MB)
      • referees

      We recommend you have this information ready when you start your application.

      Once your application has been received, it will be assessed and you may be asked to attend an interview.

      To ensure you don’t miss out on applying, sign up to job alerts at Careers or follow our Facebook and Twitter pages.

      For more information, contact us at EntryLevelPrograms@ato.gov.au