Job Title Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer

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Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer

Job Title

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer

Job Number



SES Band 1

Job Type

Ongoing, Full time


Acton, ACT



Contact Officer

Russell Taylor (02) 6246 1106


This position is an Identified and Special Measures position. It is only open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples under section 8(1) of the 'Racial Discrimination Act 1975'.

Closing date for applications

6 January 2016

About the Organisation

AIATSIS is Australia’s premier national institution for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies. We house the world’s most important and extensive collection of cultural and research material, and we promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and culture through access to our collections and including publishing through Aboriginal Studies Press. We engage in a broad research program, covering areas of social and cultural wellbeing, country and governance, and including the Native title Research Unit. AIATSIS works to enhance the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to enable a better understanding of Australia and its people by all Australians.

According to recent significance assessments the AIATSIS collection is the “most extensive and best contextualised collection of Indigenous Australia in the world”. As a major national keeping place for Indigenous knowledge, it is also key research infrastructure and a source of information and knowledge about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and histories for Australia and the world. The Collections program encompasses all aspects of collection development, management, preservation and access.

Identified and Special Measures Positions

Indigenous jobseekers are encouraged to apply for this vacancy. If the job is 'Identified', then part or all of the duties impact on Indigenous Australian people and/or involve interaction with Indigenous Australian communities or their representatives.

The filling of this vacancy is intended to constitute a special measure under section 8(1) of the 'Racial Discrimination Act 1975'. This vacancy is only available to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

Position Details

The Deputy CEO, COO provides leadership across AIATSIS, which includes functions relating to: collections, research, and corporate services: cultural competency; communication and engagement; publications; knowledge management; technology; people and integrity; governance and risk; and finance and infrastructure.

This role provides direction across three key elements that are essential to the future of AIATSIS:

  • Collaboration: the future vision for AIATSIS rests heavily on establishing collaborative relationships, both internally and externally to the agency. The most important relationships for this role in delivering the agenda for AIATSIS include; the AIATSIS Council, CEO, all members of the AIATSIS senior executive; the Minister for Education and Training and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs; our counterparts in the Department of Education and Training; and AIATSIS’s partner agencies primarily the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. The role is also a key representative role for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is crucial in ensuring that AIATSIS is a major stakeholder in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural leadership and community sectors; the collections and museums sector in particular those with Indigenous expertise; the tertiary research, policy and education sectors–nationally and internationally.

  • Innovation: this role is responsible for the oversight of significant transformation agendas that will see the implementation of new and innovative ways of AIATSIS working with partners across these sectors and government agencies. A critical role will be shaping strategy to encourage lead partners and stakeholders to progress the Before It’s Too Late strategy. This strategy will be concentrated on finding and preserving the culture and heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples.

  • Capability: This role is responsible for ensuring that human, financial, physical and information resources are the best available to achieve the business and strategic outcomes.

Primary outcomes and accountabilities:

The key outcomes and accountabilities for this role include:

  • Providing support and advice to the CEO and the AIATSIS Council.

  • Providing a strong, strategic contribution to the evolution of the organisation through collaboration and building essential relationships with counterparts in the Department of Education and Training and AIATSIS’ partner agencies, in particular the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

  • Building and maintaining relationships with partners across the public, private, academic and cultural centres and museum sectors that are essential to creating a sustainable operating and innovation model.

  • Ensuring that appropriate governance processes are in place and effective.

  • Overseeing AIATSIS’ compliance with its corporate, statutory and legal information and technology requirements.

  • Chairing and participating in the relevant AIATSIS Governance Committees, ensuring that progress is made against key objectives.

  • Strategic planning, in relation to Organisational Wellbeing and Cultural Competency, budget, workforce, learning and development, physical and technology infrastructure and security and integrity

The successful candidate will also have:

  • Demonstrated experience as a leader, with a personal reputation as visionary who is capable of defining and leading change within a complex and evolving landscape.

  • Exceptionally strong record of accomplishment in delivering innovative and transformative change within a business.

  • Very strong relationship-building skills across the public, private and academic sectors and internally

  • Highly experienced in strategic planning, particularly in relation to people, technology and budget.

  • Experience in financial management and working within a budget including innovative ways to achieve results within a financially constrained environment.

  • Higher degree qualifications in a relevant field will be highly regarded.

Selection Criteria

Demonstrated commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the demonstrated ability to communicate sensitively and effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This commitment will be shown by their capacity to:

    1. Understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures;

    2. Identify issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today; and

    3. Communicate respectfully.

Shapes Strategic Thinking

    • Inspires a sense of purpose and direction

    • Strategic focus

    • Ability to recognise opportunities, harness information

    • Shows judgment, intelligence and common sense

    • Recognise opportunities and harness information

Achieve Results

    • Organisational capability

    • Marshals professional expertise

    • Implements change

    • Ability to clarify ambiguities

    • Closure and delivery

Exemplify Personal Drive and Integrity

    • Professionalism and probity

    • Risk-taking and personal courage

    • Action orientation

    • Resilience

    • Self- awareness

    • Commitment to personal development

Cultivate Productive Working Relationships

    • Nurtures internal and external relationships

    • Facilitates co-operation and partnerships

    • Values differences and diversity

    • Guides, mentors and develops people

Communicates With Influence

Innovative Leadership

    • Able to define an innovation roadmap to deliver against far-reaching strategic goals

    • Leads and delivers transformative change

    • Delivers collaborative and outcome-focused productivity improvements

    • Prioritises well to build the right collaborative relationships that deliver mutually beneficial outcomes.

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