This paper seeks to contribute to the study of organisational culture within the public sector by using Mary Douglas' cultural theory to analyse organisational cultures within the Australian Public Service (APS). It shows that the four cultures that she identifies, namely, hierarchy, individualism, egalitarianism, and fatalism, have been present within the APS. It also shows that these cultures can be explained in terms of variations in the extent of social regulation (grid) and social integration (group), as Douglas predicts in her theory. The article thereby shows that cultural theory is valid and it can contribute to the study of organisational cultures, particularly those within the public sector. It shows that the strength of these four cultures within the APS varies in accordance with organisational rank. Fatalism is strongest at junior and middle levels; individualism is strongest at senior levels whereas hierarchy is strongest at middle levels.