Assistant Director (EL1), Strategic Communications

Last updated: 23 July 2019

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Type of vacancy and duration

Ongoing / non-ongoing, Full-time

Classification EL1

Total remuneration of up to $127,909
($103,618 to $110,840, plus 15.4% superannuation)

Team Strategic Communications
Reporting to Director, Strategic Communications
Location Sydney
Contact officer

Zoe Allebone, Strategic Communications
1300 363 992

Closing date for applications Wednesday 24 July 2019

About the role

Drive awareness campaigns, media relations and stakeholder engagement in this senior communications role with the independent national regulator for privacy and freedom of information.

Working with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner will place you at the forefront of data protection, open government and access to information issues.

Our mission is to promote and uphold privacy and information access rights, and we have oversight of almost every Australian government agency and industry sector. Our work shapes the way technology, data practices and information management impact the lives of every citizen.

As part of our small and agile agency, operating within a collaborative team, you will play a key role in developing and delivering a broad range of communications and engagement initiatives.

The Assistant Director, Strategic Communications provides strategic support to the Director and OAIC Executive on media management, communications and corporate reporting.

The role also manages a small team to deliver engaging content and effective outcomes across communications and engagement projects and channels, including campaigns, social media and events. The successful candidate will also be expected to forge strong working relationships inside and outside the agency as we pursue a wide-ranging regulatory remit and engage with interstate and international counterparts on policy, enforcement and awareness initiatives.

We take pride in our proactive and collaborative working culture, our expertise and guidance, and our deep commitment to serving the community. At a time of increased focus on data protection, transparency and accountability issues, this role is your chance to influence perceptions of privacy and access to information in Australia and beyond.

Role Purpose

The OAIC is a statutory agency within the Attorney-General Department’s portfolio with responsibility for:

  • privacy functions under the Privacy Act 1988 and other legislation
  • freedom of information functions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
  • government information policy functions, conferred on the Australian Information Commissioner under the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010.

The Assistant Director is a key role within the OAIC and its Strategic Communications section.

The Strategic Communications section is responsible for:

  • Promoting awareness of privacy and information access rights to the community and regulated entities
  • Maintaining and enhancing the reputation of the OAIC
  • Media management, including proactive media and issues management
  • Managing campaigns and content delivery through digital, social media and stakeholder channels
  • Managing the OAIC program of stakeholder events and participation in external events
  • Corporate reporting and publications, including the annual report and corporate plan
  • Managing OAIC research, including the Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey
  • Delivering education programs, including face-to-face training and e-learning
  • Internal communications
  • Brand management

Statement of duties

Under limited direction:

  1. Advise the Director and Executive on strategic engagement with media and other communications channels, and brief Executive prior to interviews.
  2. Develop and implement communications strategies to reach the community, business and government sectors
  3. Act as the primary point of contact for media inquiries, including regular on-call after-hours duties
  4. Prepare media releases, statements, education materials, speeches, publications and other communications (including speech writing and internal communications)
  5. Manage a small team (2-3 positions) of communications advisers in accordance with the OAIC’s performance management scheme
  6. Coordinate campaigns and events such as Privacy Awareness Week and Right to Know Day.
  7. Support production of reports and briefings including the OAIC Annual Report and other parliamentary and corporate governance requirements.
  8. Manage relationships, procurement and contracts with external service providers
  9. Other relevant tasks, as required.

Selection Criteria: These duties are to be performed in accordance with OAIC policies, including the APS Code of Conduct and Values, Workplace Diversity and Work Health and Safety. Under section 25 of the Public Service Act 1999 the OAIC may determine the duties of an employee from time to time.

Selection criteria

The successful applicant will be a highly motivated team player who has experience in dealing strategically with media, preparing senior executives prior to media engagements and writing and editing for different mediums.

You will enjoy working in a fast-paced, small team environment, successfully managing competing priorities and collaborating with others to achieve results.

We are looking for candidates with outstanding communication and stakeholder engagement skills at a senior level, with the ability to build strong working relationships inside and outside the agency.

You will have a detailed understanding of communications and engagement channels and a sound understanding of the OAIC’s regulatory functions and strategic context, or the ability to quickly acquire it.

You will have strong attention to detail and a proven ability to research, analyse and distil complex information for different audiences. Experience in working with regulatory, legal, policy or technical content experts to communicate content to the public will be of advantage in this role.

This role requires excellent project management skills and judgement to ensure you anticipate issues or problems and develop appropriate solutions.

General criteria

  1. Shapes strategic thinking
  2. Achieves results
  3. Cultivates productive working relationships
  4. Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
  5. Communicates with influence

Job specific criteria

  1. Tertiary qualifications in communications, journalism, law or similar relevant disciplines and/or significant communications, media and issues management experience at a senior level
  2. A sound understanding of privacy and freedom of information legislation; and of the role of statutory institutions, such as the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, or the ability to quickly acquire this

Highly desirable criteria

  1. Experience working with regulatory, legal, policy or other technical content


  • Applicants must be Australian citizens.
  • For the duration of your employment with the OAIC you will be required to obtain and maintain an Australian Government security clearance.

Remuneration and conditions of employment

Remuneration will be within the pay range outlined in the OAIC’s Enterprise Agreement.

You will have access to a range of additional, progressive benefits such as:

  • additional paid leave during Christmas shutdown period between Christmas and New Year’s Day plus access to other types of paid leave (study, moving)
  • access to health benefits such as eye tests, flu vaccinations and a wellbeing allowance
  • salary progression, based on annual assessment of performance.

How to apply

Please submit the following information, as a single document, to

  • A covering letter of up to two pages explaining your interest and motivation for this role and outlining how your skills and experience meet the statement of duties and selection criteria.
  • your full resume
  • a completed copy of the job application form

Applications are due on Wednesday 24 July 2019. Applications must be received by close of business.

An order of merit established through this selection process may be used to fill this or future vacancies on an ongoing basis.

If you are shortlisted, you will be contacted to arrange an interview. If you are not shortlisted, you will be informed by email. We are not usually able to provide feedback to candidates that are not shortlisted.

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