Updating Results

National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA)

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Nailing the NIAA Application and Assessment Process

National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA)

We are seeking candidates that want to work at the NIAA because they are passionate about improving the lives of Indigenous Australians.

The Application process

If you are thinking about applying for the NIAA Graduate Programs you will be pleased to hear the application process is as simple as submitting;

  • your resume (maximum three pages), including the contact details of two referees
  • 300-word pitch explaining which areas you are specifically interested in working in at the NIAA and why
  • Your academic transcript

We are seeking candidates from all disciplines that want to work at the NIAA because they want to make a real difference by contributing to work that ensures Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are heard, recognised and empowered. 

 In addition, to be successful in the NIAA Graduate Program you:

  • are a committed, energetic and curious person who embodies NIAA’s values and behaviours
  • have an awareness of opportunities and challenges affecting Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and a commitment to developing your ongoing cultural competency
  • have strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • have demonstrated sound judgment, innovation and problem-solving skills
  • are agile and resilient, making the most of the opportunities they present.

Our shared values and behaviours are:

  • We respect multiple perspectives
  • We are authentic
  • We are professional and act with integrity
  • We invest in each other’s success
  • We deliver with purpose

First impressions count. Your application for a graduate role is your first chance to make a good impression.

Your resume

The quality of your resume creates the vital first impression we have of you. As a minimum, you should ensure that you include the following elements:

  • Personal Details – include your name, contact email address and phone numbers.
  • Education – provide details of your education and qualifications that relate to the stream you are applying for.
  • Work Experience – include all work experience and outline the main responsibilities and achievements that are relevant to the program. Organise your employment history in chronological order, starting with the most recent, and indicate actual dates of employment. Remember transferrable skills are just as important as experience.
  • Other Experience – if relevant, briefly mention any extra-curricular activities, interests or volunteer/community work that you participated in and highlight what you gained from that experience.
  • Referees – include the name and contact details of two professional referees who can validate and support your application.
  • Layout – The standard resume length is between two to three pages. Use an easy to read font and a simple, consistent format.

Your 300-word pitch

When developing your response, it is vital to research the agency, our purpose and vision, and the Branches and/or areas of work you may be interested in. 

We want to hear what stream(s) you are interested in and why, how your skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications that make you the best person for the job. This includes addressing the required level of cultural competency. In a nutshell – why should we hire you?

Review the Candidate Pack document detailing the key accountabilities (work you’ll be responsible for) and capabilities (skills) that will be expected of you. Make sure that you read this document and focus your application on the specific accountabilities and capabilities that are prioritised by the NIAA.

Try not to duplicate information that can already be found in your resume, but do highlight any specific examples or achievements that will demonstrate your ability to perform the role. Tailor your language to our agency and our priorities, and avoid falling into the trap of sending out one application for all.

In other words, use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) model:

  • Situation – provide a brief outline of the situation or setting in which you worked.
  • Task – describe what you did.
  • Action – explain how you did it.
  • Result – list the outcomes.

By following this method, you’ll be able to make sure that each and every one of your examples will cover all the information we are looking for. It helps to demonstrate that you recognise exactly what you did that helped resolve a situation, and why it worked.

The assessment process

We use a variety of techniques to assess and validate key knowledge areas, critical skills, motivation and fit for the role. This may include Cognitive testing, Phone, face to face and skype/video interviews (formal and informal), Written tasks and Group assessment centres.

Assessment centres need not be an intimidating process. With a bit of preparation and a solid understanding of what they entail and how to navigate them, you can nail whatever is thrown at you. At the end of the day, the assessment centre is just another opportunity for you to show off what makes you great and why you deserve to be hired.

During the assessment centre activities it is important to be yourself, research our agency and what we are looking for, this will assist you to prepare responses that demonstrate your skills and experience, exhibit your interest in the agency's purpose and objectives and show your strengths, capabilities and transferrable skills for the program.

In the group, activities display your communication skills by speaking clearly and confidently, but this doesn’t mean yelling above others to make your voice heard. Wait your turn, listen to others, and speak assertively when the opportunity presents itself. If you know you are generally a quiet or shy person, try to participate a bit more than you normally would. If the opposite is true, try not to dominate the discussion and make sure you show that you know how to listen too.


Your referees may also be contacted at any stage of the assessment process to validate your claims in your application and at the interview.  For this reason, it is important that you advise them you have applied for a role at the NIAA, and that you feel confident they will be able to support your application.

Next Steps

If you are not selected as the successful candidate – It doesn’t mean that you can’t do the job, it just means that someone else demonstrated that they could do it better. 

We wish you the best of luck applying for the NIAA Graduate Program and please reach out to the team if you have any questions at [email protected]

 “One of my top tips for applicants is to take the application process one step at a time and to really focus on learning more about NIAA and the work we do before you get through to the assessment and interview stages. From there, just trust in the knowledge that you have and really focus on engaging with the people in your interviews – this makes the whole process a lot less daunting! Also I can attest to the fact that most of the people interviewing you are lovely and really want to see you do well.

It’s also worth remembering that there is no one ‘perfect’ applicant – in my graduate cohort we come from a range of academic disciplines and work experience backgrounds – from art galleries and TV stations, to laboratories and everything in-between. What unites us is our passion for what we do and for learning more about the Indigenous Affairs space.”

-Anna, 2021 NIAA Graduate