Position Title: Assistant General Manager
Classification: EL2
Position Number: Various
Tenure: Ongoing
Duration: Permanent
Section: Trade Marks and Designs
Group: Trade Marks and Designs
Division: IP Rights
Location: ACT
Immediate Supervisor: General Manager
Security Classification: BASELINE

Group Responsibilities

The Trade Marks and Designs Group help ensure that Australians benefit from the effective use of intellectual property by granting trade mark and designs rights. We examine trade mark and design applications, register trade marks and designs, conduct hearings and issue decisions on disputes relating to the registration or refusal of trade marks and designs rights. We also provide information and technical support to the Customer Operations Group and assist the Policy and Governance Group by providing input into policy and legislative development and assisting in the provision of advice to government on Trade Mark and Design issues.

We are responsible for:

  • Examination and registration of robust trade marks and designs
  • Oppositions and hearings, issuing decisions on disputes relating to the registration and refusal of trade marks and designs
  • Maintaining high standards of quality through examiner decision guidance and maintaining the Manual of Practice and Procedure
  • Developing and delivering examiner competency training
  • Supporting the agency’s development and promotion of the IP system and international harmonisation for the benefit of Australian innovators.

Section Responsibilities

The Assistant General Manager (AGM) is part of the Branch executive team and holds a key leadership position in the Group.  The AGM leads a section responsible for:

  • Examination of trade mark and/or designs applications, including TM Headstart and International Registrations Designating Australia (IRDA) under the Madrid Protocol
  • Delivering high level quality services aligned to the Customer Service Charter and Quality Practice guidelines
  • Business planning, reporting, workforce planning and budget management for the Section
  • Ongoing contribution to trade mark and design legislation and policy
  • Subject matter input to  media responses and ministerial briefs
  • Transitioning to a new IT system (Rights in One)

Job Description / Context of the Role

  • The Assistant General Manager (AGM) in Trade Marks and Designs is a key member of the Trade Marks and Designs Group executive leadership team and as such is responsible for contributing to the strategic direction of the Group and dedicated Section. 
  • This role encompasses all aspects of leadership, management, development and co-ordination of a highly skilled workforce responsible for trade marks and designs rights searches and examinations, oppositions, hearings, legislative changes, business process developments, examiner training and quality system management. The AGM is accountable for budget management, production, quality, workforce management and reporting.
  • The successful applicant will be required to liaise with industry and other interest groups, the Department and other government agencies, and represent IP Australia at national and international meetings, conferences and seminars. The occupant may also be involved in inter-business group corporate projects, working groups and/or task forces.
  • In addition, the successful applicant will perform the statutory functions of a Deputy Registrar of Trade Marks and Deputy Registrar of Designs and exercise the appropriate power, authority, delegations and discretions under the Trade Marks Act 1995 and Designs Act 2003.
  • This is a key leadership position requiring an outcome focussed person with strong leadership skills, communication and relationship management skills, strong analytical abilities and the capability of exercising sound judgment in handling complex issues under pressure.

Job Specific Duties

Roles and responsibilities

  • Under broad direction lead and manage one or more of the Trade Marks and Designs sections within the Group.
  • Support the IP Australia Executive to achieve the corporate goals and objectives.
  • Identify and take responsibility for the development and implementation of performance improvement initiatives and innovative practices.
  • Lead and manage the activities and resources of a large Section responsible for high quality customer service and delivery in a legislative environment.
  • Manage business planning, workforce planning, budgeting and reporting for the Section.
  • Support corporate projects contributing to the IP Australia 2030 Strategy
  • Representational responsibilities in cross Government and industry forums.
  • Provide high level advice on technical direction and complex IP matters including input to the review of legislation and policy
  • Exercise the appropriate powers, authority, delegations and discretions under the legislation.
  • Manage workplace change and support corporate change initiatives.
  • Contribute to Ministerial and media requests.
  • Improve organisational performance through effective engagement with and management of risk.
  • Demonstrate attitudes and behaviours responsive to workplace change (including participates in and encourages others to participate in change and contribute to successful outcomes)
  • Improve organisational performance through effective engagement with and management of risk within relevant sphere of influence
  • Establish clear expectations and create an environment to achieve stated goals and objectives, taking ownership and honouring commitments
  • Maintain an understanding of their/worker responsibilities under the Work Health & Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and a commitment to promoting a healthy and safe workplace.

Job Specific Capabilities

  • Demonstrated ability to lead and manage a large business unit
  • Demonstrated strategic, self-motivation
  • Demonstrated high level of communication and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate, implement and manage change
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and/or provide input to relevant legislation and policy and undertake related research
  • Knowledge of intellectual property protection regimes
  • Demonstrated ability to provide high level advice and direction on complex technical matters
  • Effective management of committees and forums
  • Demonstrated skills and knowledge in exercising delegations
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to business improvement and innovation

Application Requirements

To apply for this position, candidates are asked to:

  • Frame their responses around the job specific duties and job specific capabilities of the role (as set out in this job documentation), and provide:
  1. An explanation of how their skills, knowledge and experience will be relevant to this role (limited response between 300 and 500 words)
  2. Details of no more than two (2) professional achievements, within the last 5 years, that demonstrate their suitability for this role (limited response between 300 and 500 words)
  • Provide a current CV detailing recent employment history which is relevant to the advertised position
  • Provide the name and contact details of two referees

Applications must be submitted through the IP Australia Web Recruitment system (ESS)

Please note: you MUST be an Australian Citizen to be engaged in the APS and to meet IP Australia’s security clearance requirements.

Contact Officer

For further information pertaining to this job please contact Paula Adamson on (02) 6283 2482.


Apply for this role

Working in IP Australia

Australia’s Intellectual property (IP) rights system supports innovation, investment and international competitiveness. IP Australia administers Australia’s IP rights system, specifically patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder’s rights. IP Australia also undertakes programs to educate and promote an awareness of intellectual property (IP), provides IP policy input to Government, develops legislation to support the IP system and contributes to bilateral and multilateral negotiations to improve IP protection internationally.

IP Australia strives to deliver robust IP rights efficiently, satisfy our customers in terms of timeliness and value for money and be recognised as one of the leading IP offices in the world for the quality (including accuracy and consistency) of the IP rights we grant. IP Australia is committed to external certification of our Quality Management System which involves applying ISO 9001:2008 to key business processes and to environmental management through ISO14001 certification within the agency.

All IP Australia staff contribute to the achievement of organisational outcomes and the overall management of IP Australia by assisting, as appropriate, the Commissioner of Patents and the Registrars of Trade Marks and Designs and Plant Breeder’s Rights, and their deputies (where relevant), to perform statutory functions, and where appropriate, exercise relevant delegations.

IP Australia recognises the importance of employees balancing their work and personal lives by offering staff access to an ongoing series of health and wellbeing programs, flexible work-life policies and a range of professional development programs. IP Australia is a breastfeeding friendly workplace.

The IP Australia office in Canberra provides high quality accommodation and facilities. These include: an on-site café, conference, meeting and training rooms; limited on-site parking for cars and motor cycles available on a rotational basis; the provision of undercover bicycle racks; excellent shower/change facilities for staff choosing to walk or ride to work; and the advantage of all staff being co-located in the one building.

Please note: All IP Australia positions are subject to an ENTRY ONLY pre-employment check unless a higher security clearance has been identified. Other pre-employment checks may also apply.


Job documentation updated and endorsed for use: 
Friday, October 5, 2018