Suitable activity - Green Army Programme

Note: This programme has CLOSED. The following information is for historical purposes only. The programme was closed on 30 June 2018.


The Green Army is a hands-on, practical, grassroots environmental action programme managed by the Department of the Environment and Energy that supports local environmental and heritage conservation projects across Australia.

It's an initiative for young Australians aged 17-24 years interested in protecting their local environment. Participants will gain hands-on, practical skills, training and experience in environmental and conservation fields.

Teams consisting of 9 participants and 1 supervisor will carry out environment and heritage conservation activities for projects lasting between 20 to 26 weeks. Projects are guided by local community needs and may involve restoring and protecting habitats, weeding, planting, cleaning up creeks and rivers and conserving cultural heritage places.

Projects are undertaken across urban, regional and remote Australia on public land, Indigenous-held lands, or private land where there is a clear community and environmental and/or heritage benefit.

Participation in the programme will provide young Australians with skills, training and experience to support future career prospects, including in the environment and heritage conservation fields. Participants will receive an allowance and have the opportunity to undertake on-the-job training and be supported to obtain Certificate I and II qualifications or a nationally endorsed skills set.

Green Army Service Provider/s are contracted by the Department of the Environment and Energy to recruit, deploy, pay, and supervise teams in the delivery of projects. Training for participants will be delivered by the service provider/s directly or through third party registered training organisations.

Eligibility criteria

Participation in the Green Army Programme is open to Australian citizens and permanent residents aged 17-24 years. Participants may be school leavers, gap year students, graduates, Indigenous persons, unemployed job seekers and people with disabilities.

Prospective participants may apply to join the programme by approaching a Green Army Service Provider directly or may be referred to the programme by:

  • the DHS, or
  • an employment services provider.

Referral does not guarantee engagement of a person as a participant. All potential participants will be required to meet the eligibility criteria, and will be assessed against the participant selection criteria.


In general, participants in the Green Army Programme will receive a green army allowance ranging between $608.40 per fortnight to $987.00 per fortnight (indexed annually), depending on a participant's age and educational level.

Job seekers who receive the green army allowance will be suspended from any income support payments they are receiving upon commencement in the Green Army Programme. However, they will be able to easily reconnect with their income support arrangements upon exiting the programme. For more information on income support arrangements for Green Army participants, see 3.1.16.

Participants will be engaged to attend a maximum of 30 hours per week for 20 to 26 weeks (depending on the length of the relevant project).

Supplement Payment

Job seekers who are able to participate in Green Army on a part-time basis may choose to remain on income support rather than the green army allowance and will be paid an APWS of $20.80 per fortnight to assist with the additional costs of participation in Green Army projects. The supplement is taxable, but is exempt from the income test.

The supplement is not paid on a pro-rata basis. The full payment is made for the fortnights in which activities begin and end, regardless of the actual number of participation hours completed in those fortnights. If a job seeker leaves relevant activities without good reason, the supplement will cease to be paid from the first payday after the job seeker ends participation in the activities.

Last reviewed: 20 September 2019