Chief Executive Officer

New centre on Australia's water and catchment policy

Canberra, ACT, Australia 🇦🇺

Are you ready to catalyse change in Australia’s water and catchment policy?

A coalition of 16 Australian philanthropic foundations including The Ian Potter Foundation, The Myer Foundation and Colonial Foundation are collaborating to establish a centre designed to help catalyse change in the way decisions are made about water and catchment policy across Australia. They have committed in excess of $30 million to support the centre and ensure its long-term independent operation for at least 10 years.

Ten years’ philanthropic funding provides the centre with the independence needed to:

  • Approach water and catchment policy issues as a trusted “honest broker”
  • Implement innovative participatory and deliberative approaches to policy co-design that draw on the knowledge and expertise of all stakeholders.

The centre will be incubated at the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra for at least its first five years to help facilitate links with the expertise needed to underpin high-quality deliberation and support knowledge sharing. The centre’s governance and management will remain entirely independent of the Academy.

Chief Executive Officer

The funders and the centre’s board are seeking to appoint the centre’s inaugural Chief Executive Officer. The ideal candidate will be renowned for:

  • Being an “honest broker” who maintains their independence when working in contested policy areas
  • Demonstrating high empathy and respect for others alongside a capacity to develop strategy and deliver programs in a deliberative and consultative manner across a diverse stakeholder base
  • Bringing vision, intellect and a systems thinking approach to complex problems with a passion for advancing the common good
  • Establishing working partnerships among government, private sector, non-governmental, community, Indigenous, and research organisations
  • Bringing the gravitas and strong presentation and engagement skills required to be the “public face” of a new organisation
  • Senior leadership with a passion for policy development and co-design, ideally in natural resource management policy or adjacent sectors (knowledge of the Australian water and catchment policy context would be an advantage, but is not essential)
  • Building purpose-led organisations through recruiting superior staff, exhibiting sound commercial acumen, attracting funding, and establishing effective and efficient operations.

The full role specification, application instructions and further details about the centre and the funders’ vision are available at:

Deadline: 1 February 2021 at 5 pm