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SES Band 1 - Assistant Secretary, Office of Gene Technology Regulator - Canberra ACT, Sydney NSW

Assistants in Nursing
22 days ago

March 2022

Assistant Secretary, SES Band 1

Scientific and technical leadership role

Office of Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR)

Department of Health

Position description
The Department of Health is seeking a talented and experienced executive to join its senior
leadership team to help ensure we respond to current and emerging challenges to the health of
Australians, our health and aged care system, and the government’s objectives in relation to sport.
We work as a team to develop and implement coherent, connected and evidence-based responses.

An opportunity exists at the Branch Head level for a highly motivated leader with strong experience
in leading scientific and technical leadership teams. You will contribute to a range of complex
regulatory policy and program management issues, including developing and implementing
important reforms for the regulation of gene technology in Australia

You will also support the Gene Technology Regulator (the Regulator), the Secretary and executive
team in the leadership and direction setting of the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator and the
Department. Successful candidates will have demonstrated their ability and commitment to shape
the culture and capability of the Department.

Successful candidates will share Health’s commitment to flexible work arrangements. This includes
being committed to Health’s goal of supporting staff at all levels to do their best work from the
location that enables this.

Relevant Experience

To be a strong contender for this important and challenging role you will need to be forward
thinking, self-motivated, resilient, and adept at building relationships in a large, complex, and fast-
paced environment. You will have an understanding of scientific and technical issues and experience
in leading diverse scientific, technical, and administrative teams.

Your strong leadership credentials and ability to engender trust and respect will be complemented
by sound judgement, a strong focus on results and the ability to resolve complex issues in a public
sector context, including by winning support, marshalling resources and leveraging relationships.
With extensive management experience at a senior executive level, you will be experienced in
providing strategic leadership and direction and building the capability of your team and the OGTR
more broadly.

Leadership and Personal Attributes

We are seeking a leader with:

  • The ability to provide the best advice to the Regulator, Minister, and government, including on
complex technical and scientific issues.
  • an exceptional results orientation based on leading by example: determining and being
accountable for objectives and priorities

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  • The influence to take forward the Government’s regulatory policy agenda in relation to gene
technology, with the intelligence, persuasiveness, professionalism, authenticity, and credibility
necessary to leverage both formal and informal authority.
  • First class collaboration, communication and interpersonal skills that build relationships based on
understanding, respect, and trust, ensuring OGTR and Health listens to and learns from
stakeholders. An openness to diverse perspectives is critical.
  • The ability to deliver complex projects and services including, increasing the use of digital tools,
and eliminating/streamlining unnecessary processes and regulatory burden.
  • A focus on enabling and nurturing people and relationships to ensure an inclusive and
collaborative approach, where people are supported to deliver to the best of their ability. This
includes understanding the personal drivers and motivations of staff with highly scientific,
engineering, or technical backgrounds, setting expectations, uniting people behind a strategic
vision, astute judgement, political nous, the ability to lead and support people through change,
the development of staff, and building the capability of the organisation.
  • The entrepreneurial skills and commitment to generate new ideas, experiment with different
approaches, achieve outcomes on behalf of citizens and engage positively and creatively with
  • The courage, self-awareness, and resilience to manage the challenges of leadership, including a
proactive approach to their own personal and professional development and that of their staff
and the wider organisation.
  • Experience in leading and implementing major organisational change.
  • The intelligence, persuasiveness, professionalism, authenticity, and credibility necessary to

leverage both formal and informal authority.

The Role

Assistant Secretary, Office of the Gene Technology Regulator Division, administering the
National Gene Technology Scheme – Canberra ACT

The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR), comprising approximately 50 staff including
contractors and non-ongoing staff, assist the Regulator in administering the Gene Technology Act
2000 to protect the health and safety of people and to protect the environment. The decisions of the
Regulator are informed by two advisory committees and a wide range of Commonwealth and state
government agencies involved in regulating genetically modified organisms and gene technology in

This role reports to the Gene Technology Regulator, who is a statutory office-holder. The successful
candidate would assist the Regulator to achieve the objects of the Gene Technology Act 2000. This
would involve formulating proposals and advice for the Regulator on regulatory policy, compliance
matters and management issues which are the responsibility of OGTR.

To be a strong contender for this role you will need to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of regulatory requirements for genetically modified organisms and gene
technology or the ability to develop it.
  • Proven ability to lead professionals in diverse scientific/regulatory compliance, and to collaborate
with others in areas outside your own expertise.
  • Sound judgement, a strong focus on results, and the ability to solve complex issues.

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  • Proven ability to contribute to and communicate organisational strategies and to build
organisational capability.
  • Effective communication skills through which you build professional relationships and engage
with a range of OGTR stakeholders.


To be a strong contender for the role, relevant tertiary qualifications are desirable (eg, risk
assessment and/or management; biological, chemical, toxicological, environmental, or medical
sciences), coupled with demonstrated leadership and management experience. You may have a
background in government regulation – preferably chemical or medical – or experience with the
biotechnology industry. You will be comfortable in leading and managing multidisciplinary teams
comprising scientific, compliance and enforcement staff, and staff delivering a range of corporate
support functions.


This is a critical senior appointment, and the remuneration package will therefore be structured to
attract and retain an outstanding appointee. The package will include an attractive base salary, an
executive vehicle allowance (cash), non-cash benefits (such as parking, airport lounge membership,
learning and development and IT equipment) and employer sponsored superannuation.


The vacancy is based in Woden, ACT at the central Department of Health offices.

Assistance with Relocation

Assistance with removal expenses and / or short-term accommodation assistance may be provided if
interstate relocation is involved.

Other Conditions

To be employed by the Department of Health, applicants must be Australian citizens or have
permanent residency status pending the granting of Australian citizenship.

These are positions of trust and successful candidates will be subject to a security clearance.



RecruitAbility applies to this vacancy. You will be invited to participate in further assessment activity
for the vacancy if you choose to apply under the RecruitAbility scheme; declare you have a disability;
and meet the minimum requirements for the job. For more information see:


Page 4

The Department


The Health Portfolio works towards achieving better health and wellbeing for all Australians, now
and for future generations. Australia has one of the best health systems in the world and, with our
partners, our objective is to keep it that way.

The Department of Health has a diverse set of responsibilities and works closely with other
government agencies, consumers, and stakeholders to strengthen evidence-based policy advice and
design, implement, and manage government programs, research, and regulation. The Department
has a lead role in ensuring Australians can access the health and aged care they need when they
need it – safely, conveniently, and affordably. Sport is an integral part of Australia’s health; social
and economic well-being and the Department also plays a fundamental role in supporting the
Government’s objectives in the sports sector.

The Department of Health provides a flexible working environment that empowers individuals and
teams to do their best work, and promotes adaptability, collaboration and performance.

The Department is rolling out better designed workspaces, technology and change management
support over the next three years. Whether you’re collaborating as a team, meeting in-person,
virtually, or need to do focus work, the Department offers innovative spaces and technology to
support you to embrace flexible working.

The Department’s Behaviours in Action

To achieve the Department’s vision, the Executive fosters a culture where all staff:
  • Collaborate to innovate – work with others to make a difference
  • Invest in high performance – nurture talent and builds capability in others
  • Trust and empower – build trust to exercise responsibility
  • Listen and appreciate – listen with intent and value contributions
  • Walk the talk – lead by example and embrace change

Further information about the Department can be found at:

APS Values

Every person in the Department is expected to uphold the Australian Public Service (APS) Values of

  • Impartial – The APS is apolitical and provides the Government with advice that is frank, honest,
timely and based on the best available evidence
  • Committed to service – The APS is professional, objective, innovative and efficient, and works
collaboratively to achieve the best results for the Australian community and the Government
  • Accountable – The APS is open and accountable to the Australian community under the law and
within the framework of Ministerial responsibility
  • Respectful – The APS respects all people, including their rights and their heritage
  • Ethical – The APS demonstrates leadership, is trustworthy, and acts with integrity in all that it


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Selection criteria

1. Achieves Sustained Results
Relevant capabilities and behaviours:
• organisational capability
  • professional expertise
  • implements change
  • ability to clarify ambiguities
  • closure and delivery

2. Cultivates productive working relationships
Relevant capabilities and behaviours:

  • nurtures internal and external relationships
  • facilitates co-operation and partnerships
  • values differences and diversity
  • guides, mentors, and develops people

3. Exemplify personal drive and integrity
Relevant capabilities and behaviours:

  • professionalism and probity
  • risk-taking and personal courage
  • action orientation
  • resilience
  • self-awareness
  • commitment to personal development

4. Communicates with influence
Relevant capabilities and behaviours:

  • communicates clearly
  • listens, understands, and adapts to different audiences
  • negotiates persuasively

5. Shapes strategic thinking
Relevant capabilities and behaviours:

  • inspires a sense of purpose and direction
  • strategic focus
  • ability to recognise opportunities, harness information
  • shows judgement, intelligence, and common sense


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Preparing your application and How to Apply
Your application should include a CV and a statement of claims (a short ‘pitch’ of 500 words
maximum) what experience you can bring to the role, your skill set, relevant career history,
achievements, and your leadership attributes.

In preparing your application it is in the interest of candidates to present their application in a way
that demonstrates significant outcomes associated with each of the criteria, as well as the
capabilities and behaviours that underpin them (please note that it is not necessary to address the
capabilities and behaviours individually). Candidates should do this having regard to the
requirements of the roles applied for.

If further information is required, please contact Amanda O'Rourke on 0452 199 031 or by email
adm in@am andaorourke .com .au

Applications close on 30 June 2022 at 11:30PM AEST

Salary Details*
Salary Type Normal Wages
Base Salary $0
Superannuation 9.5%
Bonus offered No
Total Package $0
* Salary details are calculated without bonus and monthly payout as per tax bracket without tax threshold and other allowances. Its always good to confirm these details with the employer or recruiter.
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