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Commonwealth Policy Advisor

Camperdown, Australia
$135,820 - $143,310 + 17% superannuation
Closing date
17 Dec 2023

Job Details

  • Full time, fixed term till 30 January 2026 with possibility of extension
  • Key role working closely with the University's Vice Chancellor to progress the University's strategic agenda for Commonwealth policy and relations
  • Base Salary $135,820 - $143,310 + 17% superannuation

About the opportunity

The Commonwealth Policy Advisor's primary function is to provide the Vice-Chancellor with timely and high-quality advice, project management, internal and external stakeholder communication and coordination services to progress the University's strategic agenda for Commonwealth policy and relations.

The University's Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO, leads the University's extensive engagement activities with Federal Government ministers, officials and agencies across the full spectrum of Commonwealth agencies and policy areas. The demands of this work are expected to increase significantly over the next two years, making this an exciting time for the successful candidate to join Australia's first University to work closely with the Vice-Chancellor, other members of the University leadership and our government relations team to provide critical policy advisory, coordination and stakeholder liaison support.

2024 and 2025 are expected to be important for the future of Australia's tertiary education sector. The Federal Minister for Education will have received the final report of the Australian Universities Accord Review and will be developing the detail of the Government's policy responses that will shape the funding and operating environment for the University of Sydney and sector for years to come.

The successful candidate will become a key member of the University's Higher Education Policy and Projects team, based within the Vice-Chancellor's Office. They will have exposure to varied and interesting work across diverse areas of Commonwealth policy responsibility.

Your key responsibilities will include:

  • provide the Vice-Chancellor and other University/sector leaders with timely intelligence about emerging and sensitive and complex Commonwealth policy matters, problems, risks, opportunities and solutions
  • provide high quality analysis and advice on Commonwealth policy issues relevant to the University and higher education sector
  • develop comprehensive, effective communications, discussion papers and strategic briefings around Commonwealth policy and policy advocacy for internal and external stakeholders and meetings
  • initiate and conduct independent research by gathering information, analysing data and producing high-quality briefings and reports
  • liaise with senior management and key stakeholders (peak bodies, vice-chancellors of other institutions and their staff, politicians, ministerial advisers, government officials etc)

About you

  • bachelor degree or higher in Law, Politics, Public Policy, International Relations, Public Administration, Economics, Security Studies or any other relevant field
  • demonstrated experience in staffing and advising a chief executive, departmental secretary or similar, operating with autonomy and trust to progress the executive's agenda
  • demonstrated experience working at a senior level within a government agency (Commonwealth preferred), a higher education institution or similarly large and complex organisation
  • ability to prepare and evaluate complex reports and documents with high-level administrative support skills, including organisation of meetings, management of agendas, recording and follow-up
  • highly developed capacity to provide intelligence, discretion and nuanced advice on sensitive and often confidential matters, risks and opportunities - balancing the perspectives and priorities of diverse stakeholders
  • highly developed understanding of the political, governmental, economic, social and national security environment in which the University operates, with a proven understanding of the workings of the Commonwealth Government, Cabinet, the Federal Parliament and its legislative processes.

Please note: this role is based in Sydney, although occasional travel to Canberra will be required.

Applications Close

Sunday 17 December 2023 11:59 PM

Sponsorship / work rights for Australia

Please note: Visa sponsorship is not available for this position. For a continuing position, you must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or an Australian Permanent Resident.

Australian Temporary Residents currently employed at the University of Sydney may be considered for a fixed term contract for the length of their visa, depending on the requirements of the hiring area and the position.

Pre-employment checks

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

How to apply

Applications (including a cover letter, CV, and any additional supporting documentation) can be submitted via the Apply button at the top of the page.

If you are a current employee of the University or a contingent worker with access to Workday, please login into your Workday account and navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard. Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.

For a copy of the Position Description, or for a confidential discussion about the role, or if you require reasonable adjustment or support filling out this application, please contact Kristy Fairweather, Recruitment Operations, by email to

Copyright The University of Sydney

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.


The University of Sydney was established in 1850 and is consistently recognised, both locally and internationally, for its outstanding teaching and research excellence. Sydney alumni include Prime Ministers, Governor Generals, Nobel Prize winners and leaders in every field of endeavour.

The University offers a comprehensive range of courses, including a number of disciplines unique in Australia. Teaching is spread across nine different state-of-the art campuses, located across New South Wales.

The University of Sydney’s commitment to excellence in research has resulted in an outstanding record in national competitive funding and underpins an approach to teaching which has won nominations for excellence and resulted in high student satisfaction ratings. The University has 78 research centres and institutes and is home to three ARC Centres of Excellence.

The teaching, research and cultural life of the University is supported by extensive facilities, including the largest library collection in the Southern Hemisphere, the world-class Nicholson Museum of archaeological antiquities, the Macleay Museum of natural history and ethnographic collections and the University Art Gallery. Its outstanding sporting and recreation facilities provide a training centre for students and Olympic athletes.

The University of Sydney is a key member of the Group of Eight Australian major research-intensive universities, and the Worldwide Universities Network.


The University of Sydney has nine official campuses.

1.         Camperdown/Darlington Campus.

2.         Cumberland Campus. Home to the Faculty of Health Sciences (based in Lidcombe).

3.         Mallett Street Campus. Home of the Sydney Nursing School.

4.         Sydney Conservatorium of Music Campus. In Macquarie Street, central Sydney.

5.         Rozelle Campus. Home to Sydney College of the Arts.

6.         Surry Hills Campus. Home to the Faculty of Dentistry.

7.         Camden Campus. Contains facilities connected to the Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

8.         Burren Street Campus. Facilties are currently under development.

9.         Sydney Medical School campuses. These include the School of Rural Health (in Dubbo and Orange), the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital, Westmead Hospital, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Nepean Hospital, Northern Clinical School, Sydney Adventist Hospital, Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health, and Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health.


The University of Sydney has 16 faculties.

1. Agriculture and Environment

2. Architecture, Design and Planning

3. Arts and Social Sciences

4. Business (Business School)

5. Dentistry

6. Education and Social Work

7. Engineering and Information Technologies

8. Health Sciences

9. Law (Sydney Law School)

10. Medicine (Sydney Medical School)

11. Nursing and Midwifery

12. Pharmacy

13. Science

14. Sydney College of the Arts

15. Sydney Conservatorium of Music

16. Veterinary Science

Number of Employees

Full-time employees: 7616

For more information, please visit:

Company info
+(61) 2 9351 2222

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