Where could our graduate program take you?
Joining the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) as a graduate is the first step toward an incredibly rewarding and versatile career. Unlock your potential while you help improve public services for all Queenslanders – from the local government services you use in your community, to your hospitals, energy providers, universities, and more.
Why is building your career at QAO better than anywhere else? Because the foundation you build with us can take you anywhere you want to go. You’ll work on a range of portfolios, government sectors, and clients, as you deliver financial, assurance, and information systems services. Our entire team, from our graduates to our more senior leaders, work across our business. This knowledge makes you a well-rounded, sought-after professional.
Many of our past graduates have built successful and renowned careers in Australia and overseas. We’re proud to be a career platform for QAO auditors-general and assistant auditors-general, chief executive officers and chief financial officers, board members, directors, business owners, partners, and more.
Your work will be interesting with rarely 2 days the same. Our clients range from large entities, such as Queensland Treasury Corporation and Energy Queensland Limited, to smaller councils in Cape York and the Gulf of Carpentaria. On any day, you could be working on complex and technical audits of government owned corporations, contributing to performance audits on a wide range of issues, growing your data analytics skills, or travelling throughout our beautiful state. This variety of experiences means you can see and share insights with your clients on how to improve their performance unlike in any other organisation. You’ll also enhance your relationship-management skills by building genuine and enduring connections with your clients.
At QAO, we embrace innovation. We continuously seek to improve how we do our work, and we use the latest advancements in analytics, audit software, and technology. We recognise and reward those who challenge the status quo and share new ideas.
You’ll be part of a collaborative, inclusive, and diverse team, working alongside friendly and supportive people. We’re all here to help each other achieve our goals, not compete. You’ll grow from hands-on experience and comprehensive training as you achieve your professional accreditation. You’ll have a dedicated mentor to help you settle in and work towards your goals. We are Brisbane-based and our hybrid working model supports our staff to work across our head office, at client sites, or at home.
Take on a role where you know that the work you do every day can improve the public services you, your family, friends, and the wider community rely on.
Where can a career at QAO take you?
For the latest news and information regarding the graduate program, follow QAO on LinkedIn.
Find out more about who we are and what we do here.
Key dates for 2024
|Monday 11 March 2024
|Friday 26 April 2024
|Monday 29 April 2024
|GradSift eligibility process commences
|Wednesday 8 May 2024
|Psychometric testing commences
|Friday 31 May 2024
|Monday 24 June 2024
|Monday 15 July 2024
|Late 2024 or February 2025
Meet some of our staff
Frequently Asked Questions
Being a part of QAO
On behalf of the Auditor-General, we provide insights to hundreds of state and local government clients on how to deliver better public services for Queenslanders. As the state’s independent auditor, we are vital to Queensland’s integrity system, giving parliament and the public trusted assurance. QAO's authorised auditors assist the Auditor-General in achieving the mandate set out in the Auditor-General Act 2009. You can find a wealth of information on what we do and who we are in our annual report.
Innovation, teamwork, and relationships are at the heart of what we do. We use some of the most contemporary practices and tools in today’s professional services industry to:
- deliver high-quality audit services
- give the public sector insights on its performance, risks, and financial management
- report to parliament on the results of our work
- investigate financial waste and mismanagement
- share best practice across our client base and industry.
For more information about QAO's role visit: www.qao.qld.gov.au/about-us
Because the foundation you build with us can take you anywhere you want to go.
Our graduate program runs for 12 months, but you’ll join QAO as a permanent staff member from day one. We ensure our graduates and undergraduates have surety and stability to grow their careers. After your first year, you’ll have opportunities to progress into different roles and levels with us. For undergraduates, this means moving into the full-time graduate program once you finish university.
Our graduate program not only allows you to put the knowledge you learned at university into practice, but also gives you hands-on experience in the challenging and unique world of public sector auditing and engagement. You will learn about how the state government and the public sector operates, while working on a range of portfolios, government sectors, and clients, as you deliver financial, assurance, and information systems services. All the while knowing the work you do will help to provide better public services for Queenslanders.
QAO staff are professionals. We invest in advanced audit capabilities, such as data analytics and information systems risk, and we use modern technology and work facilities. Our people are highly skilled and enthusiastic. You will be offered training, support, and learning opportunities every step of the way.
Other benefits include:
- Brisbane-based role, with flexible work arrangements including a hybrid working environment
- annual starting package of $84,424 for graduates and $73,360 (full-time equivalent) for undergraduates. This includes a highly competitive salary, superannuation, and annual leave loading benefits
- financial assistance, time, and support to complete a professional designation, such as CPA and CA ANZ
- access to further study assistance and professional development programs
- travel throughout Queensland with your colleagues when performing client visits
- support and assistance for graduates relocating interstate to start the program
- flexible arrangements for undergraduates to balance university study and work
- tools and technology to enable you to work remotely, and an attractive and comfortable head office fit-out
- planned days where all staff come together to connect in person, strengthen our relationships, and discuss any updates or important information
- an active social club that organises events throughout the year, where you can get to know your peers at events such as trivia, lunches, and an annual formal dinner
- networking opportunities for both graduates and undergraduates to create connections and develop professional relationships.
Four core values underpin our culture: engage, respect, inspire and deliver. We deliver our services as a team, and empower our staff to be the best in their field.
QAO’s workforce is critical to us achieving our vision of better public services. We continually strive to improve how we do business and create innovative solutions – namely how we deliver our services and how we engage with our clients. Your time at QAO will be stimulating and rewarding, and the tasks you work on will be diverse and thought-provoking.
We invest in our people to be the best in their field. We provide professional development paths in our uniquely positioned organisation that operates across the entire Queensland public sector for the public good.
No day is the same. You may find yourself working in our head office on Albert Street, Brisbane, at client work locations, or working from home. And you’ll attend meetings in person and via Microsoft Teams and collaborate with your peers. The team-based nature of the work, how passionate everyone is, and the importance of the task at hand mean the work is rewarding and often exciting.
As we are a professional services organisation, there are naturally busy periods during the year, such as at the end of the financial year. But we make sure all staff have quieter periods to offset this, where they can take leave. We also set aside specific days for connecting in person and building team relationships, having development conversations, and socialising as a wider QAO group. We know work-life balance is integral to functioning as a high-performing, values-driven team.
We are a friendly organisation with an active social calendar offering trivia nights, happy hours, lunches, participation in corporate sporting events, and an annual formal dinner.
QAO is not part of the wider Queensland Government Graduate Program (given we are not a government entity and we are employed under our own legislation), so you won’t work in other organisations. However, you will rotate throughout various service areas and teams in QAO. Our graduates are still very welcome and encouraged to join the Queensland Government Graduate Network for additional graduate events and to meet their counterparts across government agencies.
The graduate program
The 2025 Graduate program is scheduled to commence early 2025. Please see our key dates above.
When you start, you’ll receive a comprehensive and warm induction on what QAO does and what your graduate program entails. We’ll also provide you with the equipment you need, such as a laptop and work phone. And we will assign you with a mentor to support you along the way. We hold monthly graduate forums to answer your questions, discuss your current tasks, and give you additional, specialised training.
QAO is a very friendly organisation that does not over-rely on a hierarchical structure or bureaucratic processes. You will find everyone is happy to help and keen to get to know you. We also use the most contemporary ICT hardware, tools, and systems, and you’ll be set up with a new laptop and phone to enable mobility and flexibility.
Professional development will be a key component of your first year. We will provide the technical training you need to do your job via online, individual, and classroom-based formats. On-the-job learning is key, and being part of a smaller team means your help on delivering our audits is greatly valued. We also provide non-technical training, such as inter-personal communication skills and how to write well.
As a QAO graduate, you will work across various areas of the business. This will give you broad exposure to our clients and services throughout Queensland, and help you explore and identify the areas that most interest you. You will learn and apply a broad range of audit and engagement skills every day.
Joining QAO as a graduate or undergraduate means you’ll have opportunities to work across our business, just as our whole team does. You’ll gain insights into QAO, our clients, and Queensland’s public sector and local governments, as you build your skills, knowledge, and relationships.
Depending on your degree of study and interests, you might work on financial, performance, or information systems audits, or as part of our data analytics team. There are plenty of opportunities to learn different skills and explore areas of interest.
As a graduate or undergraduate auditor, you might help complete an audit of a large entity or small council, work on a performance audit on the efficiency or effectiveness of public services, or examine information systems and controls.
As a graduate in our data analytics team, you’ll work collaboratively with other specialists in data, analytics, and audit to help identify, deliver, and improve our data sets, analytic tool sets, analysis, and visualisations for our client service delivery.
Rarely will 2 days look the same – you’ll work on different tasks and clients from big to small all across Queensland and meet QAO’s lovely people. Just some examples of the audit topics our teams work on range from social housing matters, to what’s happening financially in the energy or health sectors, to cyber security or the quality of water throughout Queensland. Just to name a few.
We follow a hybrid model of working, depending on what you’re working on. We prioritise seeing our clients in-person, so you may be required to visit client sites during different steps in the audit process. This will help you understand the unique context they operate in and to build long-lasting relationships.
You’ll also work from home, when appropriate, and from our office, located in the Brisbane CBD, Queensland. Our office is a short walk to many of our clients, and close to public transport, great cafes, and the botanic gardens. See our photos of the great fit-out and facilities of our office on our Prosple page.
Depending on what you’re working on, you could be assigned to clients located around Queensland where travelling with your team at times is required. You will see beautiful parts of the state and meet some wonderful and diverse people throughout.
Your career at QAO
After your first year in the graduate program, there will be opportunities to progress. For undergraduates, this will be moving into the full-time graduate program after completing university. For graduates, this means applying for a higher-level role at QAO.
Many of our staff started as graduates and have built their careers at QAO – including former and current managers, directors, and assistant auditors-general and auditors-general.
As you develop your skills and knowledge, there will be further, and regular, opportunities to progress your career.
Absolutely. We know what it takes to be successful, capable, and engaged.
At QAO we invest in the professional and personal development of our people to ensure they are the best they can be. Many of our financial auditors have achieved, or are working towards, post graduate qualifications such as CA ANZ, CPA, or IPA.
We will provide financial assistance and study leave to support your professional qualification and help you meet your career aspirations.
To apply for the graduate program you will need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be an Australian or New Zealand Citizen, or Australian or New Zealand Permanent Resident.
- Be studying, or have studied, at an Australian university in an appropriate tertiary qualification (for example, Bachelor of Business in Accounting, or a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting). We would also like to hear from those who have studied in the fields of data science, information technology, information systems, mathematics/statistics, business, or management.
- You must have completed a minimum of undergraduate level study within the last 2 years, or will complete a minimum of undergraduate level study prior to the program starting. If you are graduating in 2024, please note this in your application.
- You should provide a copy of your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and your academic transcript. A cover letter is optional (it is not a requirement).
- Clearly state your qualification and graduation date in your CV – your application may be unable to proceed if this is unclear.
Please review the eligibility requirements, position description, and the application tips below before you apply. For example, you must be eligible to work in Australia.
Remember to list any casual or part-time roles you have had over the course of your studies in your CV, regardless of whether it is related to your area of study or the role you are applying for. We value diverse experiences. Also include any volunteer or community activity you participated in, and ensure your references are relevant to your most recent work experience or voluntary work.
As part of the final stages of the selection process, you must also provide 2 professional referees. You should start thinking about who you would like to ask to complete a referee report as the panel will want to hear from your recent supervisors/managers and your most recent employer.
Our graduate selection process begins with an online application. We’ll ask you to submit your Curriculum Vitae and academic transcript by the closing date. A one-page cover letter is optional.
Once we receive your application, we follow a recruitment process that’s designed to be thorough and fair to every candidate. The key stages are:
- initial application screening to assess eligibility
- cognitive and personality assessments
- assessment centre
- employment reference checks and background checking.
If you live interstate, we are happy to offer an online assessment centre and interview at those stages. We also provide support and assistance to relocate interstate to begin the program if selected.
We receive a large number of applications for our graduate program each year, and we endeavour to update you promptly on your application’s progress. We target selecting our graduates within 2 months of the application close date.
- State your full university degree title and your expected graduation date.
- Include all your work experience in your application, not just the experience you think is relevant to the role.
- Make sure you include any community or voluntary work experience you have done.
- Don't just tell us what you have done – tell us what you have achieved in the roles you have had.
- Make sure your references are relevant to your most recent work experience or voluntary work.
- Remember to review your document and run a spell check before you submit your application.
- A good Curriculum Vitae is succinct and to the point. Target around 2–4 pages maximum.
- Clearly state your qualification and graduation date in your CV – your application may be unable to proceed if this is unclear.
You need to complete a degree in a relevant discipline before starting at QAO. While it’s important to highlight your university studies and your experiences during the interview, we also want to understand who you are, what you value, and why QAO would be a good fit for you.
We look for applicants whose values align with ours, have a genuine interest in helping our clients deliver better public services, and a true desire to work in an organisation that has a professional, client-services, and team-oriented culture.
The interview is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you have of us and see how a career with QAO aligns to your goals and values.
Beforehand, make sure you review the graduate program information, role description, and your application. Our strategic plan and annual reports on our website will give you good insight into who we are and what we do. And follow us on LinkedIn to keep up to date on what QAO has been up to.
Additionally, dress professionally, for example, business attire, (even for online interviews) and arrive on time.
The interview will be run by a panel, and each member has lived the experience of a graduate at QAO – they’ve been in your shoes! Make sure to take your time when answering questions, think through what’s being asked, and provide plenty of detail beyond what’s in your application. And if you’re unsure about any aspect of a question, ask the panel to elaborate on it.
Our questions typically aim to get to know you; understand your experiences, values, and goals; and discuss attributes and competencies needed for the role, such as organisational skills, teamwork, and customer relationships.