The public service's story often goes unheard and misunderstood.
New exhibitions at Old Parliament House will seek to put that right, telling the history of the 120-year-old federal bureaucracy and showing its role in Australia's democracy.
Assistant minister for the public service Ben Morton announced on Friday the federal government would spend $5 million for the Australian Public Service Commission to design and install a permanent exhibition.
Mr Morton, speaking at a public service event at Australia's provisional Parliament House, said the bureaucracy's story was not well told and its role not well understood across the community.
The funding would support works and refurbishment to convert the building's Senate undercroft - currently a storage area - into a large, permanent exhibition space.
"The extent and diverse role that the Australian Public Service plays in supporting our democracy, government and the Australian people is a story this exhibition will tell," Mr Morton said.
The exhibition, expected to open in 2022, will show career options in the Australian Public Service, particularly for school students considering their future professions.
Mr Morton said the Careers Inspiration Centre would develop the idea that working in the APS was a good way to play an active part in Australia's democracy.
"Visitors may well be surprised by the range of roles and skills across the Australian Public Service and this new space aims to inspire a wider pool of potential recruits, and attract diverse skills and perspectives into the APS," he said.
Mr Morton said the government had been open to funding the permanent exhibition.
"I was pushing on an open door when advocating for this funding because of the high respect that the APS is held by the Prime Minister, Treasurer and other senior colleagues, particularly as a result of how the APS responded to COVID in 2020," he said.
Mr Morton said an exhibition would also open in May this year within the Yeend Suite, once occupied by Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Sir Geoffrey Yeend, using case studies to show the unseen work of the public service.
The exhibition would use stories contributed by APS agencies to look across the 120 year history of the public service, Mr Morton said.
"It reflects on the role of the APS in supporting government decision-making and implementation," he said.
Mr Morton said Old Parliament House was the best place to showcase the role of the public service, given its responsibility for educating visitors about Australia's democracy.
The announcement follows a decision to establish an APS Academy based at the provisional Parliament House and helping agencies school public servants in leadership and promoting integrity in the workplace.
The academy, expected to open in July, will lease a space in the building and will lead training for bureaucrats in skills needed to operate successfully in the APS.