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Indigenous Border Force Officer Recruit Traineeship (IBFORT)

Start Here Go Anywhere

The Australian Border Force (ABF) is seeking agile, driven, dedicated Indigenous Australians with the highest levels of integrity, a law enforcement mindset, and a passion for protecting the Australian community, to join its entry level traineeship – the BFORT programme – via the Affirmative Measures recruitment campaign.

The BFORT programme is an intensive twelve month training programme designed to raise and train agile, capable and dedicated Border Force Officers (BFOs) seeking to build a career with the ABF.

The ABF will be targeting Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders to apply to join the traineeship through the Affirmative Measures stream of the recruitment campaign.

The BFORT programme will be a nationally run programme this year. Recruits will be offered a placement for a particular region, and will commence their traineeship at the ABF College in Sydney where they will spend six months completing their instructional training (classroom). Recruits will then join a Regional Command to finalise their on-the-job training, prior to being posted/deployed flexibly to meet operational demands as required, nationally. Recruits may undertake operational safety training, which provides the skills and knowledge to manage situations that pose potential risk to their safety.

The BFORT programme is demanding and completion of all modules is essential to ensure that recruits are able to graduate as a BFO.I feel like a role model for my family and community.

Indigenous BFORTs are on-boarded as APS 2 officers, at a salary of $47, 424 (plus 15.4% superannuation). Successfully completing the twelve month traineeship will see BFORTs advance to an APS 3 BFO (General Duties) at a salary of $53, 937 (plus 15.4% superannuation and applicable allowances) and in line with the Department's current Enterprise Agreement 2011-2014 (1.9MB PDF).

Please note: if you do not identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander you will need to apply through the general stream. For more information go to: www.border.gov.au/ABFcareers

About the ABF

The ABF is the operational arm of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Our mission is to protect Australia’s border and manage the movement of people and goods across it.

We are responsible for investigations, compliance, immigration detention and enforcement functions, facilitating the lawful passage of people and goods, detecting and deterring illicit goods and immigration malpractice, and managing onshore detention, removals and offshore processing arrangements.

Our work supports the Australian Government to achieve: strong national security; a strong economy and a prosperous and cohesive society.

The work we do touches every part of Australian life—industry and commerce, trade and travel, our national security, protecting our community and enforcing our laws, the security of our offshore maritime resources and environment.


Support for Indigenous Australians

The ABF is committed to the attraction, recruitment and retention of candidates who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders.
We offer a culturally diverse and inclusive workplace. In addition to comprehensive training and development, your career will include various work placements across the ABF and support to help you realise your full potential.
We are committed to our Indigenous employees achieving their career goals and have put in place a number of support mechanisms, including: • an Indigenous Employment Strategy • cultural leave provisions • an Indigenous Employees’ Network (IEN) • a mentor and buddy programme for new recruits to the APS.

The ABF has a strong commitment to protect our country. Working as a frontline officer for the ABF is an opportunity for you to help us protect our people and our land.
Your work as an ABF officer is critical to protecting Australia. You could be patrolling our air and seaports, mail and cargo centres, remote locations and Australia’s extended maritime domain. ABF operates in all Australian capital cities, as well as regional locations across Australia.

The Role of a Border Force Officer 

Border Force Officers (BFOs) manage the security and integrity of Australia's borders. They work closely with other government and international agencies to detect and deter the unlawful movement of goods and people across the border. We protect our land and our borders.

BFOs are highly motivated, operationally focused, uniformed and part of a disciplined enforcement body. They work as part of a team across our operating areas – patrolling our air and seaports, remote locations, mail and cargo centres and Australia's extended maritime domain.

We want people who are:

• committed to community protection and engagement

• flexible, adaptable and able to relocate to meet operational demands nationally

• committed to the highest levels of ethical behaviour, integrity and professionalism

• committed to the values and behaviours of the organisation

• committed to developing their skills and knowledge through a series of postings and deployments over their careers

• able to meet and maintain high standards, including physical fitness and resilience

• able to meet and maintain medical and psychometric standards required for roles that use force in the execution of statutory powers

• committed to client service and responsive to requests


We operate in all Australian capital cities, as well as in 34 regional locations across Australia. BFOs are posted to a range of work domains, including airports, seaports, cruise ship terminals, mail centres and cargo facilities. Some of these environments can be challenging and can be hot, cold, humid, wet or dry.
As we operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week officers could be required to be on duty across all times of the day, depending on their role. Officers may undertake shift work in line with set rosters allocated to them.

Officers may be expected to:

• enforce legislation and exercise regulatory powers

• maintain appropriate recordkeeping practices.

• use personal protection and defence equipment in an Operational Safety context, including being armed where operational requirements demand

• use mobile and static technology

• perform multiple roles in a dynamic team environment of changing circumstances

• use equipment and tools for examination purposes (e.g. drills)


Any given day an officer may:

• process, risk assess, inspect and examine travellers, baggage and cargo, often in high volumes

• engage with clients, travellers, partner agencies and the general public

• deal with difficult travellers and/or detainees from a range of backgrounds

• board and search aircraft and vessels

• undertake patrols and surveillance

• coordinate responses to border threats

• analyse information and writing reports

• undertake activities in immigration detention facilities

• maintain constant awareness of relevant obligations and risks involved in: o contact with travellers/clients/detainees o use of mobile and static detection technology including x-ray

• embark and disembark vessels at berths and at sea.


Many of our roles have a physical element and can include:

• noise hazards

• lifting baggage/boxes

• unpacking and packing cargo

• working at a computer, processing passengers or monitoring CCTV

• examining baggage or cargo, patrols, boarding vessels

• handing or testing of hazardous materials and chemicals. 

Peak periods for the ABF tend to align with holiday periods, when higher numbers of people enter and depart Australia. Anyone looking to join the ABF should be mindful of this prior to applying, as leave requested during peak periods may not be supported.

Start here go anywhere.

Minimum Mandatory Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply under Indigenous Affirmative Measures for the BFORT programme you must:

  • be and Indigenous Australian citizen and provide suitable evidence of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status, we can accept:
    • a letter signed by the Chairperson of an incorporated Indigenous organisation confirming that the applicant is recognised as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, or
    • a confirmation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent document executed by an Indigenous organisation
    • if the above documents are not available, we may consider accepting a statutory declaration from the applicant.
  • be an Australian citizen with the appropriate citizenship documents
  • be 18 years or over at the time of applying
  • hold a current driver’s licence (P-plates acceptable)
  • be able to obtain and maintain minimum security requirements
  • be able to meet medical, fitness, aptitude and psychometric requirements and standards relevant to the role
  • be willing and able to relocate to ABF sites throughout Australia as operational requirements demand
  • be willing and able to complete working with children/vulnerable people checks with your state government authority if required
  • be able to complete Operational Safety Training and be willing to carry and use personal defence equipment, including a firearm, if required.

The Selection Process

The recruitment process to join the ABF as a BFORT is competitive, comprehensive and involves a number of stages. It is recommended you take the time to familiarise yourself with each stage prior to commencing your application. These are detailed on the ABF’s website. Go to: www.border.gov.au/ABFcareers

  • The first stage of the process involves submitting an online application. You will be required to complete an application form, provide an up to date resume (preferably no longer than two pages), provide suitable evidence of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status and prepare succinct responses to the following selection criteria:

Question 1: Why are you applying for the BFORT entry level programme?
(maximum 100 words)

Question 2: What do you think you will bring to the role of a Border Force Officer (general duties)?
(maximum 100 words)

At the start of the application form you will also see a self-assessment questionnaire. While this is not an assessable component, we recommend you complete it to ensure you are the right fit for the ABF, before embarking on the application process.

The recruitment proccess.