Position Title:     IP Counsellor to China
Classification:    Executive Level 1 / Executive Level 2
Position Number:    63582
Tenure:    Non-ongoing
Duration:    12 months in Canberra, three years in Beijing with possibility of extension for a further 12 months
Section:    International Policy and Cooperation (IP&C)
Group:    Policy and Governance
Division:    Policy and Corporate
Location:    Canberra, ACT and Beijing, China
Immediate Supervisor:    Director, International Policy and Cooperation Section
Security Classification:     Negative Vetting 2 (NV2)

Group Responsibilities

The Policy and Governance Group (PGG) is IP Australia’s lead on government engagement on matters relating to intellectual property (IP).  As part of this remit we cover a broad range of areas from domestic legislation to international policy and trade agreements, from attorney registration and internal governance to legal advice, from economic research to patent analytics.  As a result of our wide remit, PGG works across the agency, and contributes to all of IP Australia’s strategic goals through innovative projects and our focus on excellence in all of our work.

Section Responsibilities

The International Policy and Cooperation Section leads on setting and pursuing Australia’s international IP position directly through multiple international fora and in consultation with other government departments. The section also manages cooperation activities and international relations with Intellectual Property offices around the world.
The section leads on developing international policy positions relating to IP, particularly in the World Intellectual Property Organization where the section is directly responsible for pursuing Australia’s interests and negotiating in relevant Committees and Working Groups. The section works bilaterally and regionally on IP issues including through Memoranda of Understanding.

Job description / Context of the role

China is Australia’s largest export market. This market is expected to grow still further as a result of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

It is important that when Australian business consider either exporting to China or having their goods manufactured in China that they develop a strategy to protect their intellectual property (IP).  Without local knowledge or appropriate legal advice, the IP regulatory and legal landscape can be complex for Australian businesses seeking to export /operate in China.

China is significant in terms of the number of patents and trade marks that its citizens file with IP Australia and as a destination for Australian business filing for IP protection overseas.

The IP Counsellor will provide IP expertise and support that is specifically targeted to Australian businesses or institutions already operating in China or that may be looking to manufacture or export overseas.

The IP Counsellor will develop and implement strategies to support the IP needs of Australian business and institutions that include:

  • Providing information to Australian businesses about how to navigate the Chinese IP system, including the court system and other enforcement measures;
  • Providing targeted support to Australian industry through the development of relationships with agencies such as Austrade and the Export Council of Australia;
  • Engaging with stakeholders about the Chinese IP environment through avenues such as face-to-face interaction and presentations;
  • Collaborating with China- based IP Counsellors from other countries on issues affecting IP owners and business;
  • Undertaking policy dialogue with the Chinese Government; and
  • Raising awareness through business outreach within China and Australia.

The IP Counsellor will also be required to provide support to Ministerial and/or senior official visits, as appropriate. 

The successful candidate will undertake:

  • A placement with the International Policy & Cooperation section in IP Australia (Canberra) for 12 months prior to deployment to Beijing;
  • An orientation and learning plan which will include, as appropriate, Chinese language training, additional IP training, policy development and advanced communication skills;
  • Placement in Beijing initially for 3 years s with possible extension for a further 12 months 
  • A Negative Vetting 2 (NV2) security clearance.

Job Specific Capabilities

  • A good understanding of Australia’s IP system and the capacity to quickly develop an in-depth understanding of the Chinese IP system and the business environment facing Australian business;
  • A strong record of achievement;
  • The ability to work and research independently along with strong team player skills;
  • Excellent communication, engagement, networking and stakeholder management skills;
  • Ability to manage a small team of legal and administrative staff; and
  • An understanding of initiatives to support innovation (desirable).

Before applying, interested candidates are strongly encouraged to seek further information about the role by contacting Tanya Duthie, Director, IP&C (02) 6283 2838 or tanya.duthie@ipaustralia.gov.au, to discuss the opportunity.

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 (limit response to no more than 1000 words)
  2. Details of no more than 2 professional achievements, within the last 5 years that demonstrate their suitability for this role (limit response to no more than 1000 words)
  3. Provide a current CV detailing recent employment history which is relevant to the advertised position

Applications must be submitted through the IP Australia Web Recruitment system (ESS).
IP Australia will conduct reference checks on short listed candidates and may ask you to provide the name and contact details of two referees.
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 opportunity please contact: Tanya Duthie on (02) 6283 2838.


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: 
Wednesday, August 14, 2019