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Agriculture and Water Resources Vacancy N.N. 10739702
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Closing date: Friday, 21 December 2018
Job Title: Assistant Secretary, Animal Biosecurity
Division: Biosecurity Animal
Branch: Animal Biosecurity
Job Type: Ongoing, Non-ongoing (Temporary), Full-time, Part-time
Location: Canberra - ACT
Classification: Senior Executive Service Band 1
Agency Employment Act: PS Act 1999
Position No: 2018/1451
Agency Website:

Job Description


The Biosecurity Animal Division works to maintain and enhance trade and market access for animals and animal products. The division undertakes risk analyses for animals and animal products (terrestrial, avian and aquatic) and assesses applications for the import of live animals, biological materials and animal genetic material. The division also provides policy and technical advice on marine pest biosecurity. It works collaboratively with Australian industries, governments and the community to strengthen Australia's animal disease prevention, preparedness and response capabilities, as well as providing leadership and strategic direction on domestic and international animal health issues. Working closely with these stakeholders, we maintain and enhance the health and sustainability of Australia's animal, animal products sectors and environment, and support human health in Australia and overseas. The Division also facilitates the export of live animals and animal genetic material by negotiating animal health protocols and animal health certification with overseas authorities.

The Animal Biosecurity Branch develops biosecurity policy and provides technical and scientific advice for the safe importation of animals and animal products (including aquatic animals and their products), using science-based risk analysis. It also provides scientific and technical support to gain, maintain and improve access for the export of Australian animals and their genetic materials. The branch provides policy and technical advice on marine pest biosecurity.

The Job
As an Assistant Secretary you will lead a diverse team with responsibility for developing strategic policy for the department, Minister and government. You will provide high-level advice and support to the portfolio Ministers, Secretary and departmental executive, and work closely with key executives in other Commonwealth and State government agencies, with industry and community stakeholders. Emphasis will be placed on applicants with strong people skills, both in terms of managing people and working with other parts of the department and external bodies.

The role requires a demonstrated ability to build organisational capability, innovate, anticipate future needs and respond. You will need to be a strategic thinker and possess a clear-sighted understanding of Australia's interests and challenges in the domestic and global contexts. High functioning conceptual, analytical, negotiation and representational skills will be important attributes of the successful applicant.

Key responsibilities

• Provide scientific, technical and policy advice to support business objectives, including risk analysis, review of current import conditions and advice to the Director of Biosecurity, executive and operational areas of the department, as well as advice to the Minister and other stakeholders.
• Lead the development of appropriate import protocols for animal and animal products and develop scientific and technical submissions to support Australia’s export opportunities.
• Determine new, high priority areas of animal biosecurity risk in line with the department’s responsibilities.
• Contribute to international animal health standards consistent with Australia’s policy objectives.
• Provide high quality advice and leadership in the development, implementation and measurement of future directions and strategies for the department.
• Support overseas market access for Australian animals and genetic material through negotiations with trading partners and industry on technical animal health issues.
• Ensure ongoing professional development of staff including effective support, training and coaching.
• As a member of the senior executive, contribute to the overall leadership and management of the department including enhanced business efficiency through innovation and improved business systems and efficient scanning, data capture, intelligence, and analysis systems and capabilities.
• Enhance and build the good reputation of the department, including through representation at public and professional forums.
• Collaborate with other divisions in the department, other APS agencies and external stakeholders to deliver on departmental outcomes and broader objectives, particularly the management of animal health risks.

Knowledge and Experience
The successful applicant will have relevant experience and the capacity to operate effectively at the senior management level, and have knowledge and experience about Australia's biosecurity systems, trading environment, regulatory approach for exported products and Australia's agricultural sector.


Mandatory Qualifications
Veterinary Science qualifications or post-graduate qualifications (or demonstrated equivalent experience) in science or in another relevant discipline are essential.



An executive package which reflects the responsibilities of the position will be negotiated with the successful candidate.

The successful applicant may be offered full-time or part-time employment. The Department is committed to creating a fair, accessible and flexible work environment accommodating the individual needs of employees and aligning with organisational goals. These arrangements are available to all employees within the department where operational requirements permit.

Non-ongoing opportunity will be offered for a specified term

This position is being advertised as non-ongoing or ongoing. If offered on a non-ongoing basis the successful applicant will be initially engaged for a period of two years with the possibility of extension up to a maximum period of five years in total.

To Apply

Position Contact: Tim Chapman, (02) 6272 2033
Agency Recruitment Site:
Applicants to vacancies notified in all formats of the electronic Public Service Gazette should be aware that;
.  the names of successful applicants may also be notified in all formats of the electronic Public Service Gazette
.  applicants found suitable may be offered similar employment opportunities by other Australian Public Service agencies
This notice is part of the electronic Public Service Gazette PS49-Fri - 30 Nov 2018 Published by Australian Public Service Commission.
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