ASIO’s people are ordinary Australians but they do extraordinary things–they are our most important asset. We seek to reflect the diversity of the community we protect, to build a highly capable, innovative and adaptive workforce. In a complex, challenging and changing security environment, our success is built on the imagination and intelligence of our team. The work we do makes a difference each and every day.
‘Since working here I’ve realised how fascinating and broad ASIO’s work really is. I feel lucky to truly know the details of Australia’s security environment and not just what’s in the newspaper. Working here I really feel part of something; it’s about the people, having a common goal and the drive to achieve outcomes.’
‘ASIO has a real sense of community. From the day I started I’ve felt like I’ve been part of a team and supported in my needs. The people I work with are fantastic, I’ve learned so much from them.’
‘I’ve only been working here a short time but I have quickly come to realise the great working conditions and that there is very much a people focus here. The passion that most people I meet have for their work is infectious. I am proud to be a part of ASIO.’
Working for ASIO
As an ASIO officer you’ll be treated with respect and valued for your expertise. With ASIO, you can have several ‘careers’ in the one organisation. We encourage our officers to build expertise and experience across a range of our functions—you won’t have to leave to find a new challenge.
And we’ll work with you and support you through the good times and the more challenging times—we’re busy and our work can be stressful, but we take care of each other and provide a number of support services for our officers.
So I can’t tell anyone I work for ASIO?
Life as an ASIO employee is a little different to working for many other government departments or private businesses, but the challenges of working in a secure environment are more than offset by the supportive and collaborative work environment.
Although you won’t be able to talk about the security aspects of your job with friends and family, ASIO provides staff with extensive support about how to maintain cover arrangements for work and manage the challenges of not being able to talk about your employment. You’ll receive in-depth training during your induction, and with the support of your colleagues it won’t be long before navigating the security environment is much less of a challenge.
‘I previously worked in the private sector so coming to ASIO was certainly a change and in some respects, quite challenging. In the beginning I found the high security environment to be quite confronting but quickly settled into it; my colleagues were always happy to assist if I had any questions.’
What conditions can I expect?
ASIO employees benefit from generous workplace terms and conditions of employment and our flexible approach to working arrangements. Our employees enjoy:
- competitive salary arrangements, including a 7.5 per cent allowance to compensate for the inconveniences of maintaining your security clearance and working in a secure environment
- an ‘If not, why not?’ approach to flexible working arrangements for all job roles
- flex time for employees from AE1 to AE6 level and time in lieu for senior employees
- paid Christmas stand-down period from midday Christmas Eve until 2 January (shift workers excepted)
- study assistance, including financial support and study leave for tertiary education
- options to purchase up to four weeks additional annual leave per year
- employer superannuation contributions of 15.4 per cent
- relocation support and allowances
- a variety of leave options for an optimal work–life balance
- fair and equitable shift work arrangements with associated shift work allowances.
‘When I started working here I needed to balance my family life with my working life, and always felt supported in doing that. With older children now, I still feel that I have that balance and support—we work as a team to manage school holidays so that everyone’s needs are met.’
Canberra—Australia’s most liveable city?
Our employees live in various places around Australia, but chances are you’ll spend at least some time living in Canberra. With our head office situated on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin, working in Canberra offers some unique lifestyle opportunities.
Canberra has all the conveniences of a big city—award-winning restaurants and breweries, a lively arts and music scene, easy access to national cultural institutions, elite sporting competitions, outdoor recreation facilities and nature reserves, local and national festivals and events, an active night life, and even great coffee.
This comes with all the benefits and opportunities of a small town—minimal traffic, a chance to live rurally and commute easily, protected green space and national parks, city-wide bike paths, easy access to the snowfields and mountain bike trails, wineries on the doorstep, and an easy two-hour drive to the beautiful beaches of the New South Wales South Coast.
‘Living in Canberra is great for a work life balance. The city is well designed, there’s barely any traffic and it’s easy to get around, so I have far more free time than I did when I worked in a bigger city. I thought the winters would be tough, turns out we get more sunshine than most cities and there’s nothing better than a clear blue sky in the middle of winter.’
Our focus is on our people. We recognise that our people are our strength and need to be supported in all aspects of their life to achieve the excellence we strive for. In addition to our comprehensive and award-winning training programs, we offer a number of other employee support services, including:
- an Employee Assistance Program providing free psychological counselling, advice and support for both personal and professional matters (including career development and transition)
- a formalised and structured employee mentoring program available to all staff
- Harassment and Discrimination Advisers who provide advice and support on policies and workplace issues
- manager support services to assist managers with management challenges
- staff association representatives who provide advice on policies and workplace issues and advocate for staff
- the ASIO Ombudsman who provides impartial and confidential services to staff and management to address staffing concerns through advice, consultation and mediation
- relocation support for staff, including financial assistance, leave entitlements and information packs about essential services
- ergonomic assessments and equipment as well as a support program to help staff with injuries/illnesses
- a study support program for further study
- financial support for professional memberships directly related to the staff member’s field of work
- priority access to childcare arrangements.
ASIO is committed to a flexible, fair and equitable workplace free from bullying, harassment and inappropriate behaviour. The ASIO Values and Code of Conduct guide our work and is expected to be exemplified by all employees. We have solid governance and policy in place to ensure all employees are provided with a safe and supportive workplace. You can read a snapshot of this in our Work Health and Safety Policy.
Life after ASIO
With access to a wealth of industry-leading training opportunities, including our award-winning management programs, our staff develop a range of skills that are not only highly sought after by employers but are also transferrable between careers. Some of these advanced skills include interviewing, investigative research and analysis, critical thinking, policy and report writing, innovative design, situational awareness, communicating with influence, team management/development, people management, leadership, and managing work in high-pressure environments.
Previous ASIO employees have transitioned into a variety of careers locally and internationally. Some of these include:
- investigation roles for law enforcement agencies, border security agencies, and international organisations such as the United Nations and the International Criminal Court
- roles in international non-government organisations including in management, crisis coordination, and security advice
- security managers and advisers for major Australian and international companies in fields as diverse as aviation, transport, mining, and banking
- roles in security and management consultancy services for major companies in Australia and overseas
- operational, analytical, technical and corporate roles in the broader Australian Intelligence Community and national security community
- technical and information technology roles in private companies in areas such as development and IT security
- roles in academia and think tanks
- small business owners/operators.
Our support services can provide advice and help you transition and make the most out of your next career.