Senior Project Officer – Aboriginal Water Unit

  • Location:
    Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne , Victoria Victoria Victoria Victoria , Australia Australia Australia Australia
  • Salary:
  • Posted:
    3 weeks ago
  • Category:
  • Deadline:

Victorian Government
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Senior Project Officer
Aboriginal Water Unit

Full Time | 3 Year Fixed Term Contract |Competitive Salary | Melbourne Location


This role is classified as an ‘identified[1]’ position and is open all applicants with preference for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants.


About the Department

The Department is tasked with ensuring that Victoria has the right conditions to enable economic growth, while delivering livable, inclusive and sustainable communities.

We bring together planning, local government and infrastructure, environment, climate change, energy and water functions, to ensure an integrated approach to the development of long-term state and regional strategies that build on social, environmental and economic opportunities to provide for future population growth.


About the Group

The Water and Catchments Group (WCG), in partnership with water corporations and catchment management authorities, is responsible for effectively managing Victoria’s water resources to meet future urban, rural and environmental needs. WCG works across the Department, with agencies, Ministers, stakeholders and the community to balance the economic, environmental and social values of water. This work helps deliver secure water supplies, greener and livable cities and towns and healthy waterways and aquifers.


The Environmental Policy and Community Partnerships Branch focuses on emerging policy development and institutional review and reform, to provide community benefits.  The Aboriginal Water Unit has specifically been formed to deliver the Government’s Aboriginal Water Program, which aims to better include Aboriginal people in the way water is managed in Victoria and to reconnect communities to water for cultural, economic, customary and spiritual purposes.


‘Victorian Traditional Owners have cultural, spiritual and economic connections to land, water and resources through their associations and relationship with Country. Collaborating with Traditional Owners in water planning and management is an aspect of maintaining access to Country and its resources. The newly formed Aboriginal Water Unit will work to better understand Aboriginal water values and uses by working respectful partnership with Traditional Owners’. (source:


About the role

This position is open to people with experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The staff member will report to the Senior Manager, Aboriginal Water Unit.  This position contributes to the development and implementation of projects related to Aboriginal water as part of the development of Victoria’s Aboriginal Water Program, and as part of DELWP’s commitment to Aboriginal self determination. In this role, you will be supporting the Senior Manager Aboriginal Water in delivering the Aboriginal Water Program, including the oversight of specific projects being delivered by Traditional Owner groups.  You will also oversee a network of Aboriginal Water Project Officers who will be based, regionally in other organisations.

This role is classified as an ‘identified’ position and requires a person with understanding and experience in Aboriginal stakeholder engagement as well as sound project management skills. An understanding of Victoria’s water resources, the legislative/policy framework for their management and of the requirements of the Murray Darling Basin Plan is desirable, but not required. The role has the following high level responsibilities:

  • Project manage numerous projects being funded under the multi-million-dollar Victorian Aboriginal Water Program, including overseeing delivery of several Aboriginal Water projects with Traditional Owners
  • Lead a network of regionally based Aboriginal water officers, to further the water aspirations of Traditional Owners
  • Liaise with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder, waterway managers (catchment management authorities and water corporations) as well as Traditional Owners and Aboriginal communities to ensure Aboriginal knowledge, values and perspectives are included in water management and planning
  • Build capacity of Victorian Aboriginal people to participate in water management and planning
  • Assist in the implementation of the WCGs commitments to improving Aboriginal involvement in water management (e.g. DELWP Aboriginal Inclusion Plan)
  • Contribute new and emerging policy ideas, for consideration of the Aboriginal Water team and senior management.



About you

Success in the role will be achieved by demonstrating the following technical skills, knowledge and behaviors:

  • A strong understanding of DEWLP’s vision and WCG’s commitment to success through strong collaboration and partnerships with Traditional Owners
  • A strong track record in project delivery particularly in a Government setting
  • Extensive experience in stakeholder and community engagement, as well as exceptional relationship management skills including the ability to facilitate and negotiate with Traditional Owners and other key stakeholders
  • Proven leadership skills and the ability to manage staff and foster collaborative approaches across a broad portfolio
  • Exceptional oral and written communication and interpersonal skills
  • Project Management qualifications or relevant experience
  • You will bring with you a depth of understanding of Aboriginal cultures, and a proven ability to engage with Traditional Owners.


Key Selection Criteria

Specialist/Technical Expertise

  • Skills and knowledge of Aboriginal culture and contemporary issues affecting Aboriginal Victorians today is required
  • Proven experience in delivering government obligations and Aboriginal policy in Victoria is highly desirable
  • An appropriate qualification in water and natural resource management would be desirable but is not essential.

Knowledge and Skills


  • Communicates a vision that generates enthusiasm and commitment
  • Recognises and rewards behaviour that is aligned with the vision
  • Identifies potential issues and setbacks and guides team to optimise outcomes
  • Models the behaviour expected of others.



Stakeholder management

  • Identifies and manages a range of complex and often competing needs
  • Identifies issues in common for one or more stakeholders and uses them to build mutually beneficial partnerships
  • Finds innovative solutions to resolve stakeholder issues.

Self Management

  • Applies special techniques and develops personal strategies to effectively manage strong emotions in high pressure situations
  • Actively monitors own preferences and manages behaviour to always ensure maximum impact

Builds a balanced team to compensate for own limitations. Influence and Negotiation

  • Develops long-term, complex and multi-phased plans to influence others
  • Implements complex strategies to build buy-in and support from key internal and external clients or stakeholders
  • Uses a variety of different influencing approaches tailored to different clients
  • Effectively negotiates with clients/stakeholders to achieve desired outcomes.


What we can offer you

Competitive salary of between $98,396-$119,052 plus superannuation

  • Flexible working arrangements
  • A fulltime 3 year fixed term contract
  • An inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated
  • Ongoing professional development.




How to apply

All applications must be made in writing and include the following:

  • Up to date CV
  • Cover letter outlining why you have applied for the position
  • Using the information provided about the role and your research into the department, your application should include a short ‘pitch’ covering a statement of claims. This is to be no longer than 3 pages and must address the key selection criteria. Your pitch should draw out why you are interested in the position, what you can offer the Unit, your skill set and qualifications, relevant work history and achievements.


Please ensure these are sent though in WORD format.

Applications are to be emailed to with the heading “DELWP Senior Project Officer” in the subject line.

Applications must be received by 5pm Monday 9 March 2020.

Unfortunately, late submissions will not be accepted.


How to get more information

For further information on the position, please contact Pipeline Talent via phone or email for a confidential discussion 02 8001 6603.

[1] Identified Position – An identified position requires a demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Victorian Aboriginal community, society and culture, as well as the issues impacting Aboriginal people. Identified positions require a demonstrated ability to communicate sensitively and effectively with Aboriginal people and communities. These positions are available to all applicants; with preference for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants.