Position Title: General Manager
Classification: SES Band 1
Position Number: 7034
Tenure: Ongoing
Duration: Permanent
Section: N/A
Group: Policy and Governance
Division: Policy and Corporate
Location: ACT
Immediate Supervisor: Deputy Director General
Security Classification: NEGATIVE VETTING Level 1

IP Australia

IP Australia is an agency within the Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio that administers Australia’s Intellectual Property (IP) rights system, specifically patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s rights. The agency also undertakes programs to educate and promote an awareness of IP, provides IP policy advice to Government, develops legislation to support the IP system and contributes to bilateral and multilateral negotiations to improve IP protection internationally. Our work supports and encourages innovation, investment and international competitiveness.

IP Australia is an operational agency with around 1,300 employees and an annual budget of $208m. We are a cost recovery agency, with our operations funded from revenue generated through customer fees.  Each year we undertake around 800,000 transactions with around 125,000 customers.  The IP Rights Division performs the statutory roles and is the income-generating arm of our organisation and is supported by the services of the Corporate and Policy Division.

IP Australia has a vacancy in its Executive Team. We are seeking a highly qualified person who is innovative, committed to excellence, flexible and has a strong record of achievement in leading people and managing resources to achieve quality results. The General Manager, Policy and Governance Group will work with the Deputy Director General, Corporate and Policy, and other senior executives, to contribute to strategic direction setting and cohesive leadership at IP Australia.  You will lead a team of approximately 60 staff to deliver a range of priority commitments, particularly relating to IP policy and legislation.

IP Australia is currently undertaking significant cultural and organisational reforms to drive the next wave of positive change in relation to increasing staff attraction, engagement and modernising work practices to support effective delivery of outcomes.

Job description / Context of the role

The Policy and Governance Group (PGG) is the agency’s lead on government engagement on matters relating to IP. PGG covers a broad range of areas, from legislation through to international policy and trade agreements, from audit and attorney registration to legal advice and economic research.

As a member of the Executive Board, this position plays a key role in ensuring organisational sustainability, delivery of core agency objectives and embedding cultural and organisational change.
Current priorities include:

  • Delivering a significant legislative agenda with two Bills to implement the government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s (PC) 2016 IP inquiry and recommendations from the PC’s 2013 compulsory licensing review. The legislative agenda will also progress a number of items in the draft IP Laws Amendment (Streamlining) Bill 2017.
  • Renew IP Australia’s International Search Authority Treaty.
  • Deliver outreach and research on Geographical Indications to shape the agenda and provide advice to government on optimal policy settings both domestically and for Free Trade Agreements.
  • Deliver on IP Australia’s international agenda through encouragement with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and other key national IP offices.
  • Supervise our IP Counsellor in China, including the first review of that position, and engaging with the Chinese IP offices to further Australian interests in China.
  • Engage with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) to support the IP Policy Group and advance research and IP policy advice on Indigenous Knowledge and collaboration.

Job Specific duties

As the General Manager, Policy and Governance, you will play a critical role in contributing to the strategic direction of IP Australia, and in achieving the agency’s objectives. You will have the capacity to lead large teams to deliver corporate outcomes.

To be a strong contender for this important role you will have experience in providing advice to Senior Executives and Ministers and the ability to build effective relationships with customers and stakeholders. You will also understand the critical linkages of the work of IP Australia to the Australian government’s broader agenda.

You will be confident, adaptable to change, possess excellent stakeholder and people management skills and the capacity to consider multiple options to resolve complex issues, to ensure key objectives are achieved. You will have the capability to be a senior member of the executive leadership team and represent the interests of IP Australia.

We are looking for people with a proven track record in the following:

  • Providing high level advice on complex policy matters to the Minister and the Government;
  • Extensive policy development experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and manage staff across a diverse range of technical disciplines.
  • Demonstrated ability to apply strong stakeholder management and negotiation skills in both domestic and international settings.
  • Outstanding judgement and business acumen to enable the individual to be a strong contributor to IP Australia’s Executive Board.
  • Excellent leadership and interpersonal skills, initiative and self-motivation
  • Designing and driving organisational change and building capability;
  • Demonstrates attitudes and behaviours responsive to workplace change (including participates in and encourages others to participate in change and contribute to successful outcomes).
  • Improves organisational performance through effective engagement with and management of risk within relevant sphere of influence.
  • Establishes clear expectations and creates an environment to achieve stated goals and objectives, takes ownership and honours commitments.
  • Maintains 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

In leading the Policy and Communication Group, the key responsibilities include:

  • advice to the Minister and the Government
  • international engagement activities
  • provision of economic analysis
  • legal advice
  • audit and risk management
  • fraud control
  • business continuity planning
  • regulation of the patent attorney profession
  • secretariat support services to a number of committees and boards.

Eligibility qualifications / Knowledge required

A negative vetting 1 (NV1) security clearance is required for this role.

Extensive experience in in legislative and policy environments would be highly desirable.

Application Requirements

To apply for this position, candidates are asked to:

  • Address each criterion individually (max 350 words per criterion)
  • Provide a current CV
  • Provide name and contact details of two (2) 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.

Selection Criteria

The basis of assessment of applicants for Senior Executive Service (SES) duties is the core SES selection criteria which are derived from the Senior Executive Leadership Capability Framework. The capabilities under each of the main headings are not in themselves additional criteria and it is not intended that applications and assessments should address each and every capability.

Shapes strategic thinking

  • Inspires a sense of purpose and direction
  • Focusses strategically
  • Harnesses information and opportunities
  • Shows judgment, intelligence and common sense

Achieves results

  • Builds organisational capability and responsiveness
  • Marshals professional expertise
  • Steers and implements change and deals with uncertainty
  • Ensures closure and delivers on intended results

Cultivates productive working relationships

  • Nurtures internal and external relationships
  • Facilitates cooperation and partnerships
  • Values individual differences and diversity
  • Guides, mentors and develops people

Exemplifies personal drive and integrity

  • Demonstrates public service professionalism and probity
  • Engages with risk and shows personal courage
  • Commits to action
  • Displays resilience
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and a commitment to personal development

Communicates with influence       

  • Communicates clearly
  • Listens, understands and adapts to audience
  • Negotiates persuasively

Contact officer

For further information pertaining to this job please contact Deborah Anton on (02) 6283 2344


Apply for this role

Working in IP Australia

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, February 8, 2018