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Graduate Health Management Program

The Graduate Health Management Program offers a unique opportunity for enthusiastic, high potential graduates looking to step up to the challenge of a rewarding career in the public health system.

Graduate Health Management Program
SydneyConnect Image: Our future leaders, Graduate Health Management Program

Our Graduate Health Management Program has been offering opportunities to young professionals for close to 20 years. Since 2005, Graduate have worked at the leading edge of health service management, learning from highly experienced and motivated senior health executives, while also completing a masters degree. 

Our Grads are passionate, motivated, hard-working and confident professionals who thrive on making a difference to our patient, their families and our community.

How the program works

Duration: Two years 
Start date: January or February each year

Our Grads receive an immersive learning experience that combines practical work experience, with the completion of a Master of Health Policy through the University of Sydney.

Our Graduates complete various placements across the District, or related health sector organisations, where they develop skills and an understanding of the public health system. During the first year of the Program, our Grads complete three placements, with the second year of the Program dedicated to one 12 month placement.

Each placement has a dedicated supervisor, who is a senior executive and the Graduates mentor for the placement. Previous program placements include:

  • Chief Executive, Sydney Local Health District
  • Executive Director, Operations, Sydney Local Health District
  • Director, Clinical Services Integration, Sydney Local Health District
  • Director, Performance Monitoring, System Improvement and Innovation, Sydney Local Health District
  • General Manager, Concord Hospital, Sydney Local Health District
  • General Manager, Canterbury Hospital, Sydney Local Health District
  • General Manager, Balmain Hospital, Sydney Local Health District
  • General Manager, Sydney Dental Hospital, Sydney Local Health District
  • General Manager, Community Health, Sydney Local Health District
  • General Manager, Population Health, Sydney Local Health District
  • Chief Operating Officer, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare
  • Chief Financial Officer, Department of Finance, NSW Ministry of Health
  • Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Medical Service Redfern

Upon successful completion of the Program, Grads may be offered a six month position within the District, which is an opportunity to consolidate the skills developed during the previous two years.

Study while you work 

As part of the Program, Graduates are enrolled in a Master of Health Policy through the University of Sydney (funded by Sydney Local Health District).

Graduates are required to complete a number of professional development courses through Sydney Education (the District’s education service). These courses aim to provide our Grads with the skills and capabilities required of health leaders.

As staff members of the District and NSW Health, Grads will also have access to the full range of courses available via both Sydney Education and the Health Education & Training Institute.

Education is also provided via monthly Learning Sets, where a senior executive present on a specific area relevant to their portfolio. The Learning Sets provide the opportunity for our Grads to get together to network and share experiences and learnings.

A key component of the Program is the development of our Graduates through formal and informal mentorship; be that through your placement supervisor, others within your placement workplace, between graduates, from past graduates or the Program Coordinator.


  • Payment of your University of Sydney Master of Health Policy course fees and access to up to three supported study leave days per semester.
  • Four weeks of annual leave and 12 allocated days off per year.
  • Access to Salary Packaging, an employee tax benefit scheme that can reduce your taxable income and increase your take home pay.
  • Access to the District’s Get Healthy program; including the Fitness Passport, which provides members with access to a range of fitness facilities.
  • Competitive starting salary of approximately $66,000 per annum plus superannuation.
  • Upon successful completion of the Program, Grads may be offered the opportunity of a six month position with Sydney Local Health District.

History of the Program

The Graduate Health Management Program was launched by Mike Wallace, Chief Executive of the former Sydney South West Area Health Service (now Sydney Local Health District) in 2005. Since then almost 100 Graduates have gone on to complete the Program, with many holding instrumental roles in health service administration. 

In 2019, the District extended the Graduate Health Management Program to include the Sol Bellear AM Memorial Aboriginal Scholarship. Sol Bellear was a Bundjalung man from Mullumbimby in NSW. He was the long-time Chair of the Aboriginal Medical Service Redfern and was awarded an Order of Australia for services to the Aboriginal Community in 1999. Sol was integral to the development of the District’s partnerships with our Aboriginal Communities and the scholarship was established to recognise his contribution and to provide opportunities for developing future Aboriginal leaders in healthcare.