Public Sector Veterans Employment Strategy

If you are looking for your next career move, consider a job in the Victorian Public Sector (VPS).

In November 2016, the Premier set a target to employ up to 250 veterans to the public sector. The skills and experience veterans gain in the Australian Defence Force are second-to-none and the Victorian Government recognises the value of diverse and highly skilled employees.

Below you will find information about Victorian Government careers, application and interview tips, case studies from veterans working in the VPS, and guidance on how to translate your ADF experience to the VPS environment.

A new application form has been launched on the to assist with tracking the number of veterans applying for positions in the VPS. This de-identified data will help to monitor and identify any barriers veterans may be experiencing in progressing through the recruitment process.

Your Service. Strengthening Victoria 1

Why work for the VPS?

The VPS is focussed on making Victoria a strong, more caring and innovative State.

VPS employees do a wide range of jobs delivering high-quality services to the people of Victoria and supporting effective decision-making by Government. These roles include doctors, emergency services workers, police, engineers, educators, researchers, policy and project officers, customer service personnel, managers and many more positions.

As a veteran, your skills and experience will be highly valued by VPS employers, as will any formal qualifications you may have earned during your time in the ADF.

Working for the Victorian Government means you will enjoy a range of employee benefits – including attractive salaries, generous leave arrangements, the ability to work flexibly in any role, and opportunities for further training and development. The VPS supports a work/life balance and recognises that there is more to life than work.

If you seek to continue your ADF career in the Reserves, VPS employers also offer Defence Reserve Leave to enable you to continue serving with no loss of income.

The VPS has much to offer its staff, through an exciting and rewarding career. You can use these resources to find the right role and ensure that your skills and experience assist you in successfully applying for a role in the VPS.

Find a VPS role

Victorian Government jobs are advertised on the Victorian Government Careers website.

The VPS fosters a merit based recruitment process – finding the right skills, knowledge and abilities to do the job. When applying, consider how your unique ADF experience can help you stand out from the crowd.

The Victorian Government is working on harnessing diversity in the VPS in a number of ways including the Recruit Smarter which is an initiative to target unconscious bias in recruitment processes.

Find out about the Recruit Smarter Initiative.

Tips for applying, writing an application and preparing for an interview can be found on the careers website.

Understanding the VPS language

Your time in the ADF gives you unique skills and capabilities that are highly valued by the Victorian Public Sector, but you may need some assistance in communicating these skills in language used by potential employers.

The following resources will help familiarise you with this language and identify your skills and qualifications within the capability framework.

VPS Grades

The VPS is structured on graded levels based on the capabilities and skills required for the role. Before undertaking a job search, familiarise yourself with the working environment and typical functions of each grade.

The Victorian Public Sector Commission Capabilities Dictionary

The role of the Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC) is to promote and apply the public sector values, and ensure governance, standards and equity are upheld and maintained.

This online interactive tool describes capabilities in the public sector workforce. It is an easy-to-use resource that will help you think about the selection criteria found in the job description such as integrity, initiative and accountability, creativity and innovation, and teamwork. It also includes capabilities that are needed for success in public sector roles, including personal qualities, mindsets, professional knowledge, contextual knowledge and skills.

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Translating your experience to the VPS

As an ex-ADF member you have skills in leadership, teamwork and resilience that are highly transferable to the VPS.

To ensure that you reflect your skills and experience accurately, it is recommended that you seek help to translate your ADF experience to the VPS capabilities. See Other Resources and Tools for more information.

Veterans have a wealth of practical experience gained on operations in potentially stressful and arduous environments, or working long hours in time critical situations. The VPS recognises that members of the ADF may have worked within complex multi-cultural, multi-linguistic, multi-governmental and non-governmental environments - skills that are highly regarded by State Government departments that operate in similar situations.

Other Resources and Tools

Jobs Victoria Employment Network

The Jobs Victoria Employment Network (JVEN) is the Victorian Government's major activity to help disadvantaged Victorian jobseekers gain employment. JVEN services are delivered by specialist employment experts who work closely with employers to identify job opportunities and prepare job seekers for those roles. Checkout the JVEN program web page to see determine which suppliers best meet your needs in your region.

ADF rank to VPS grade conversion

The Victorian Government has a wide range of job roles, responsibilities, functions, departments and locations that cater for a variety of interests, education levels, ideals and work/life balance needs.

We are currently developing an ADF Rank–VPS Grade matcher that will guide your understanding of what government grade could match your rank.

Please refer to the Victorian Public Sector Commission Capabilities Dictionary to strengthen your understanding of capabilities that are needed for success in public sector roles.

Veterans stories - hear from veterans now working in the VPS

Carmel Flynn portrait

Carmel Flynn

Executive Director, Emergency Management, Department of Education and Training

After gaining a Bachelor of Commerce, Carmel enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1989 and over the next nine years was employed as a Logistics Officer. Joining as a junior officer, Carmel undertook a number of diverse roles including procurement, project management of strategic inventory management and transportation operations. In 1993 Carmel was deployed to active service in Somalia working within a tri-service movements team with the United Nations operations in Mogadishu. She was later promoted to Squadron Leader, prior to leaving the ADF in 1998.

"I was attracted to work in the public sector for the same reasons I was attracted to work in the ADF... I was motivated to contribute to public service, and in particular to safer communities. I wanted to work in a values based organisation that would be fast-paced and provide challenge and variety."

"I think veterans will be surprised by how relevant their training and experience is to the public sector. They will continue to contribute the skills they have gained in the ADF to achieve better outcomes for Victorian communities."

Mark Freeman

Mike Freeman

Manager, Emergency Management Victoria

Mike underwent officer training at the Australian Defence Force Academy and then the Royal Military College Duntroon in the mid to late 1990s. As an Armoured Corps officer he spent the majority of his Army career leading, training and managing armoured vehicle crews at various levels of seniority across Australia. More recent roles have been as a HR Manager, as a Director of Training & Development and as the senior Australian officer on an overseas mission. Operationally Mike has served in East Timor, on border protection operations and two tours of Afghanistan. After 22 years in the ADF, Mike left the Army in January 2017.

“ADF members are exposed to leadership and management challenges at an early point in their careers and have relatively highly refined people management and teamwork skills. Veterans and ex-ADF members have faced some significant challenges in their service and will adapt very quickly to new environments, bringing a pragmatic and outcomes-focussed approach to problem solving.”

“It’s important to understand that the public sector can recruit from anywhere directly into almost any position so although the VPS has a rank structure, don’t get too focussed on it. The backgrounds, sector experiences and skills of your colleagues, across all levels, will surprise you.”

Mark RyanMark Ryan

Facilities Management Officer, Department of Treasury and Finance

Mark enlisted in the Army in 1988 and worked in the an infantry company and then battalion intelligence section before transitioning to Ordnance Corp, where he stayed for 16 years. Mark spent time at the General Staff Division Canberra Army Office and was deployed to East Timor and Egypt. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1999 by General Cosgrove. After a posting in Sydney Mark moved to Melbourne and served with the 4th Combat Service Support Battalion. Mark had a final posting to the Watsonia Training Development Centre before leaving the ADF in 2009.

"I wanted to continue to serve my country, without the obligatory forced moves, and the public service and sector has a large range of roles and opportunities that allow for a fulfilling and challenging career."

"As veterans I think that we have unique outlooks that allow us to provide fresh approaches to issues and challenges faced by departments in their daily business."

"Employers should understand that veterans will have come from an intensive team environment and that for them, the hardest part of the interview process will not be answering your questions but it will be using the word "I" instead of "we"."

Last updated on Wednesday, 30 August 2017