Position Title:    Assistant General Manager (AGM)
Classification:    EL2
Position Number:    Various
Duration:    Ongoing and non-ongoing
Section:    Various
Group:    PCPEG / PMOG
Division:    IP Rights
Location:    ACT
Immediate Supervisor:    General Manager 
Security Classification:    BASELINE

Group Responsibilities

Patents, Chemical, Plant Breeder’s Rights & Electrical Group (PCPEG) as well as the Patents Mechanical & Oppositions Group (PMOG) help ensure that Australians benefit from the effective use of intellectual property by examining and granting patents and plant breeders rights. We also provide information and technical support to other groups through input into policy and legislative development and assisting in the provision of advice to government on intellectual property issues.

We are responsible for:

  • examination and granting of patents in the Chemical, Electrical, and Mechanical technologies 
  • examination and registration of Plant Breeders Rights
  • patent oppositions and hearings
  • maintaining high standards of quality and identifying improvements in our practices and in the Manual of Practice and Procedure
  • delivering quality training and on-going support for examiners
  • supporting the agency’s development and promotion of the IP system and international harmonisation for the benefit of Australian innovators

Role 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 several teams responsible for:

  • delivering high level quality services, in particular the examination of patent applications aligned to the Customer Service Charter and Quality Practice guidelines
  • business planning, reporting, workforce planning and budget management
  • ongoing contribution to the legislation and policy development process
  • subject matter input for media responses and ministerial briefs 

Job Description / Context of the Role

The Assistant General Manager is a key member of the executive leadership team, and as such, is responsible for contributing to the strategic direction of the Group.
This role encompasses all aspects of leadership, management, development and co-ordination of a highly skilled workforce responsible for searches and examinations, oppositions, hearings, legislative changes, business process developments, examiner training and quality system management. The AGM is also accountable for planning and budget management.

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 exercise the appropriate power, authority, delegations and discretions at the AGM level, including refunds and waivers consistent with IP Australia’s policies.
This is a key leadership position requiring an outcome focused 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

  • Lead and manage a large business unit, made up of several patent examination sections.
  • Support the IP Australia Executive to achieve IP Australia’s corporate goals and objectives.
  • Identify and take responsibility for the development and implementation of performance improvement initiatives and innovative practices.
  • Manage business planning, workforce planning, budgeting and reporting for the Group.
  • Support corporate projects contributing to the IP Australia 2030 Strategy.
  • As required represent IP Australia in business 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 behaviors responsive to workplace change (including participates in and encourages others to participate in change and contribute to successful outcomes).
  • Establish clear expectations and create an environment to achieve stated goals and objectives, taking ownership and honoring 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 Skills / Capabilities

  • Demonstrated ability to lead and manage a large business unit.
  • Demonstrated strategic skills and 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 under the Patents Act.
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to business improvement and innovation.
  • Degree in a relevant area of science and / or engineering.

Applicants must be or be prepared to train to become hearing officers.

Application Requirements

To apply for this position, you are asked to:

  • frame your response around the job specific duties and job specific capabilities of the role (as detailed in this document), and provide:
  1. An explanation of how your skills, knowledge and experience will be relevant to this role (word limit: 500 words).
  2. Details of no more than two (2) professional achievements, within the last 5 years, that demonstrate your suitability for this role (word limit: 500 words).
  • provide a current CV detailing recent employment history which is relevant to the advertised position and includes contact details of at least two referees (preferably a direct supervisor). 

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

A merit pool of suitable candidates may be established to fill future positions.

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 George Vuckovic on (02) 6283 7914.
Please note IP Australia will be closed for Christmas shutdown from Wednesday 25 December 2019 to Wednesday 1 January 2020, reopening Thursday 2 January 2020.


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: 
Thursday, December 12, 2019