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Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Position Level: 
APS Level 6
$82,500 to $93,670
Adelaide SA, Brisbane QLD, Cairns QLD, Canberra ACT, Darwin NT, Hobart TAS, Melbourne VIC, Perth WA, Sydney NSW
Job type: 
Closing date: 
28 January 2021
To event remaining 10 days

The People and Policy Branch is responsible for the department’s employment framework, policies and guidelines and provides front line human resources (HR) support for the department, right across the country and in our overseas locations. We are responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of the department’s employment legislation and provide general HR advice including conditions of employment, along with specialised case management services for issues related to performance, probation, attendance, behaviour, early intervention and rehabilitation.

The People Support Section is the front line of human resources (HR) for the department, supporting our people across the country with a strong focus on customer service and building trusted relationships. People Support offers general HR advice including conditions of employment, along with specialised case management services for issues related to performance, probation, attendance, behaviour early intervention and rehabilitation. The team’s operating environment is driven by the needs of our business and its people, and whole-of-APS and department-specific HR policies and programs.

The Workplace Relations Section is responsible for the department’s employment framework. This includes the development, implementation and oversight of the department’s enterprise agreements and various workplace arrangements governed by various legislative requirements. 

Key duties

As a Senior Advisor – People Support you will provide high-level advice and support services to departmental employees and managers on complex people management matters. You will work under the general direction and support of the Assistant Director - People Support and will work both independently and as part of a team in providing support and guidance to the decision-making processes of managers in the department with regard to more complex people management issues. The main duties of the roles include, but are not limited to:

  • managing and documenting the more complex stakeholder relationships and escalating enquiries and cases including performance management, attendance issues, rehabilitation early intervention, conduct matters and other Australian Public Service employment framework issues
  • taking a flexible approach to developing and managing innovative case management solutions to complex people matters, in accordance with the APS employment framework and department policy
  • coaching managers to increase capability to resolve their staffing matters
  • the development and implementation of HR projects, policies, processes, guidance material, key business improvements and strategies relating to the delivery of HR services
  • contributing to and support departmental HR initiatives and programs by delivering information to regional business groups as required and engaging with clients for and on behalf of specialist HR teams
  • providing expert advice and interpretation of the Enterprise Agreements, as well as legislative and policy guidance to employees and managers on a range of employment matters via phone, email and face to face meetings
  • providing education, support and coaching to internal and external stakeholders on HR processes and procedures, including the preparation and delivery of training and presentations
  • analysing and interpreting HR information to assist with the development of work plans and strategic planning for work areas
  • taking a leadership role in coaching and developing other People Support Section employees.

The Senior Advisor – Workplace Relations plays a key role in coordinating the department’s interactions with unions and other employee representatives and is responsible for providing high quality advice and support to business areas. The main duties of the role include, but are not limited to:

  • contributing to the development of policies, processes and guidance material relating to the delivery of HR services
  • providing advice and guidance on the application of the enterprise agreements, employment related legislation and policies to internal stakeholders on a range of employment matters by phone, email and face to face meetings
  • undertaking research, analysis or project work and providing advice within specific timeframes and budgets
  • preparing a range of written material, both routine and complex
  • management of Individual Flexibly Arrangement’s and redundancy and redeployment processes, including developing and implementing the process and framework, and the development of appropriate documentation
  • providing a secretariat function for the departmental consultative committee
  • actively supporting the Workplace Relations team, including supervision of staff, coordination of functional email accounts and developing and contributing to reporting and records management processes.

Please note that there are currently two vacancies in the People Support Section and one in the Workplace Relations Section. The role of Senior Advisor – Workplace Relations is only available in Canberra whereas the other two vacancies in the People Support Section may be able to be performed from any of the office locations listed above. This recruitment process will be used to fill the above ongoing vacancies but may also be used to fill future ongoing and non-ongoing positions in the division where the duties are of a similar nature. If an offer of non-ongoing employment is made, the successful applicant would be employed for an initial period of twelve months with the possibility of extension up to a maximum period of three years in total. The merit pool established through this selection process is valid for a period of twelve months from the date the vacancy was advertised in the Public Service Gazette.


To be successful in these roles you will be experienced in providing advice and support on a broad range of people management issues relevant to a large, geographically dispersed organisation with a functionally diverse workforce. You will have demonstrated professional ethical standards and personal integrity in dealing with sensitive personnel matters and a record of achievement in delivering results. You will have breadth and depth of experience in HR as well as understanding the broader APS agenda. 

In addition to the above, for the Senior Advisor – People Support vacancies you will also have:

  • demonstrated experience managing complex people issues including performance, behaviours, attendance and probation
  • a demonstrated ability to develop and implement innovative strategies for a workforce that is highly engaged and productive and have demonstrated skills in providing advice and policy direction to managers and staff on HR policies and strategies
  • demonstrated experience applying the employment framework and relevant legislation, including but not limited to the Public Service Act 1999, Fair Work Act 2009 Disability Discrimination Act 2005, Privacy Act 1988.

For the Senior Advisor – Workplace Relations vacancy you will also have:

  • demonstrated experience supporting negotiations and implementation of enterprise bargaining processes and supporting policies
  • experience leading and/or coordinating consultation activity in a large and diverse working environment
  • demonstrated experience providing advice on the interpretation and application of the employment framework, including applicable legislation and government policies such as the Public Service Act 1999, Fair Work Act 2009, and the Public Sector Workplace Relations 2020.

The filling of this vacancy is intended to constitute an affirmative measure under section 8(1) of the 'Racial Discrimination Act 1975'. This vacancy is only available to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait people. RecruitAbility applies to this vacancy. Under the RecruitAbility scheme you will be invited to participate in further assessment activity for the vacancy if you choose to apply under the scheme; declare you have a disability; and meet the minimum requirements for the job. 

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