Grounds Officer

Cairns, Australia
05 Jun 2019
End of advertisement period
19 Jun 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Position Overview

The Grounds Officer is part of the team which maintains the grounds of the Cairns campus in a manner which showcases the physical amenities of the University and is safe for all visitors to the campus.

Division of Services and Resources

The Division of Services and Resources comprises a number of Directorates and Offices, including Financial and Business Services, Estate, Human Resources, Quality, Planning and Analytics, Information and Communications Technology and the Health, Safety and Environment Unit, whose activities foster and promote innovation and best practice in the delivery of its services and provide the frameworks and support to assist the Academy and Service Divisions achieve their goals and objectives.

The Division is responsible for overall strategy in relation to: planning, performance and budgeting framework; strategic procurement; financial and human resources; ICT services; business intelligence and statistical reporting; strategic commercial activities, including in relation to the Controlled Entities, the Discovery Rise project and Retail outlets; quality enhancement and policy framework; capital infrastructure planning and maintenance and delivery of capital projects for ICT and the Estate; health and safety management and compliance; provision of campus services including cleaning, grounds maintenance, security and student accommodation.

The Division has a strong customer service ethic and continuous improvement culture. We are receptive to new ideas and ways in which we can enhance our delivery of services for the University.

Estate Directorate

The Estate Directorate delivers a comprehensive estate management service in support of the University’s teaching, learning, research and engagement goals. The Directorate achieves this through the provision of master planning, space optimisation and timetabling, development and construction, campus services, asset services, infrastructure services, energy management and sustainability. The continuous improvement in the delivery of these services is essential for the provision of an engaging and safe environment for the University community to live, study, work and play.

Organisational Charts

James Cook University

Division of Services and Resources 

Estate Directorate

Principal Accountabilities

  1. Plan, prioritise and complete grounds and garden maintenance in relation to the scheduled mowing, edging, trimming hedges and pruning shrubs and trees on campus grounds.
  2. Perform gardening and watering functions, including; removal and disposal of all weeds by mechanical and chemical means; operating and maintaining irrigation systems; maintaining nurseries including propagation program and new plantings; top dressing and fertilising lawns and fertilising and mulching gardens to program.
  3. Identify and perform minor maintenance tasks, including the repair and maintenance of external signage, roads and paths and all hard landscape surfaces.
  4. Advise the Manager, Operations and Project Managers of grounds maintenance requirements and assist develop annual maintenance activities.
  5. Maintain the exterior of buildings, including cleaning paths, drives and external fabric.
  6. Identify and maintain records of trees and other important plants on campus.
  7. Work with other members of the Estate Office in an emergency situation to protect and maintain the University’s operations.
  8. Work as part of a coordinated team and ensure continual correct and safe handling of equipment, e.g. mowers, weed eaters, watering systems, and minor maintenance equipment such as saws, hammers etc.
  9. Support the University's commitment to the principles of reconciliation, which exemplify respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and the valuing of justice and equity for all Australians.
  10. Demonstrate a commitment to the University values and Divisional attributes.
  11. Support the principles of the TropEco program and engage in commitment to JCU sustainability goals and objectives.


There are generic responsibilities that apply to all James Cook University staff.

Your specific level descriptor can be found at:

Professional and Technical

Level 3

Generic Accountabilities

There are generic responsibilities that apply to all James Cook University staff.  

  1. The Grounds and Maintenance Officer is required to observe the lawful and reasonable directions, policies and decisions of the University Council, understand and comply with the Enterprise Agreement, the Statutes and Rules of the University, the policies and decisions of the University Council and other appropriate University authorities, as in force from time to time.
  2. The Grounds and Maintenance Officer is required to demonstrate a personal commitment to ensure personal safety and the safety of others and contribute to the continuous improvement of our WHS performance.  This includes the effective implementation and compliance with James Cook University WHS policies, procedures and safe systems of work, together with all relevant legislation, duties and obligations.  Contribute to the continuous improvement of our WHS performance. 
  3. The Grounds and Maintenance Officer is required to exercise proper discretion in all matters affecting the well-being of the University which involve public writing or speaking in accordance with the University’s Code of Conduct.

Special Conditions

  • It is a requirement of this position to hold a QLD C Class Manual Drivers Licence.
  • It is a requirement of this position to carry out all physical requirements as outlined within the accountabilities.

Selection Criteria

Selection and appointments will be assessed against selection criteria.


  1. Completion of year 10 with at least 3 years’ experience in gardening and maintenance tasks or preferably a Certificate in Horticulture or equivalent or an equivalent level of knowledge gained through any other combination of experience and/or education and/or training.
  2. Demonstrated ability to plan and schedule grounds maintenance activities in a large commercial environment.
  3. Sound knowledge in use of gardening equipment and chemicals including watering systems, ride-on mowers, hedge trimmers, weed eaters, herbicides and pesticides.
  4. Demonstrated sound oral communication skills, including basic computer skills.
  5. Ability to work as part of a team committed to providing excellent customer service.
  6. Sound knowledge of Workplace Health and Safety aspects of grounds maintenance.


  1. Hold tickets to operate plant and machinery including elevated work platform.
  2. Knowledge of building maintenance and vehicle minor servicing.