Moving to Canberra for the National Graduate Program

If you join us in the National Graduate Program, you’ll probably need to move to Canberra. But you won’t be alone – 79% of graduates moved for the last intake.

“When I first moved up, all the grads were in shared accommodation. It was an excellent way to get to know my colleagues and make friends. Now I share with a fellow grad from Melbourne. It’s been nice having some support in a new environment with someone who understands what it’s like moving away from home.” Katherine

Relocating

Moving to a new city can be a bit daunting. You may be wondering how you’re going to manage the move as well as settle into life in Canberra.

To help you and your dependants relocate to Canberra, we’ll:

  • arrange flights for all of you
  • cover the reasonable cost of moving your furniture and belongings, including your car
  • make sure you’ve got all the information you need to make the move
  • arrange and pay for short term accommodation for up to 21 nights, for example a serviced apartment or hotel
  • arrange and pay for storage of your furniture and belongings for up to 6 weeks.

Finding a place to live

Once you’ve accepted our offer to join the program, start looking for a place to live. You can ask family and friends if they know anyone in Canberra to get advice about living there.

“Do some research into the areas and suburbs you would like to live in before moving.” Alasdair

You’ll find places to buy, rent or share advertised online. You can also ask real estate agents to see their list of properties. Or you can check out Canberra housing Facebook groups.

If you have school aged children, check out Priority Enrolment Area information on the ACT Government Education Directorate website. If you live within a school’s priority enrolment area, you’re guaranteed a place at that school.

Getting around

Canberra is easy to get around, the roads aren’t as busy as Sydney and Melbourne. Buses are the main form of public transport and there’s a tram coming soon. Canberra’s also known as the cycling capital of Australia. It’s got an extensive network of bike paths.

“I quite like being active and Canberra is a good place to do that, I discovered pretty quickly. I like to ride my bike to work or ride around Lake Burley Griffin.” Kate

Locals call Canberra’s CBD Civic. There are smaller metropolitan areas that are independent of the CBD. This means you’ll be close to shopping and lifestyle hubs no matter where you live.

“Moving to Canberra from Perth, I appreciate the small city vibe and enjoy the peacefulness and natural beauty of the mountains and the bush. Which are less than half an hour from the city centre.” Alasdair

Discover Canberra

Canberra is home to museums, galleries and archives. There’s the Australian War Memorial, National Museum of Australia, National Portrait Gallery and the National Archives of Australia.

“I love going to the many galleries and there is always something on. There are lots of markets and events on and really nice places to get dinner or have a drink in the evening.” Katherine

It hosts various festivals throughout the year. Including the Multicultural Festival, Groovin’ the Moo Music Festival, SpiltMilk, Canberra Balloon Spectacular and Floriade, just to name a few.

You’ll find hiking and walking trails not far from your front door. Or you can venture out a bit further to Namadgi National Park to enjoy stunning scenery. While Canberra doesn’t have a beach, it’s got a number of beautiful lakes and rivers to enjoy water activities.

Whether you’re into the NRL, AFL, cricket, tennis or netball, Canberra’s on the tour schedule. It’s also host to many national and international sporting events during the year.

“And if we wanted to have a quick trip away–we could always find someone to go camping, skiing or just down to the beach with.” Claire

Helpful links about Canberra

For details about how to change your car registration and living in Canberra visit:

  • Access Canberra – provides access to ACT Government online services, payments, information and support
  • ACTION Buses – check out routes and timetables and find out how a MyWay Card works.

Canberra weather

In Canberra, you get to enjoy 4 distinct seasons.

In Summer it can get hot. But on average the temperature is around 27°C. Perfect weather to get out and about. Go camping. Explore.

We won’t lie, it can get very cold in winter with the occasional -7°C start to the day. Time to grab your boots, gloves and coat. Snow doesn’t fall that often, but you can sometimes see the snow-capped Brindabella ranges.

Autumn and Spring are the most picturesque. With plenty of festivals on your doorstep.

Graduate network

As part of the program, you’ll have many opportunities to get together and socialise. We have a series of events held through the year like The Great Grad Challenge and trivia night.

“Try and hit the ground socially–meet as many people as you can. Remember most people on the program will be from interstate too, and will be as keen as you to make new friends and discover Canberra.” Alasdair

You’ll get the chance to meet and become friends with graduates outside of the department. GradHack is a 1-day event where 700 graduates come together to think-tank solutions to real life challenges. There’s also the Graduate Mentor event where you get to learn from leaders in the APS.

There are also plenty of opportunities to join in social activities outside of work through sport, clubs and hobbies.

If you need more information about the National Graduate Program, we have a team of people who can help you.

You can connect with us on  Facebook.

Page last updated: 13 February 2019