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Regional Ecologist - Pilliga / Mallee Cliffs / North Head

Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) is the largest private (non-profit) owner of land for conservation in Australia, protecting endangered wildlife at 30 sanctuaries in which we own or manage in partnership, covering a total of more than 6.5 million hectares in iconic regions such as the Kimberley, Cape York, the Top End and Lake Eyre. With a focus on practical land management, informed by world-class science, AWC is implementing a dynamic new model for conservation.

AWC’s mission- to deliver effective conservation for all native animal species and their habitats- is achieved by:

  • Operations-delivering effective large-scale land management including fire management, feral animal control, weed control and infrastructure management.
  • Science-delivering the largest national biological survey program with a focus on measuring the population of indicator species and the extent of threatening processes as well as conducting research on key issues such as feral cat control.
  • Fundraising-mobilising finance (primarily, tax deductible donations) from the general public and philanthropists including through effective communication of field updates from around the AWC estate.

In NSW, AWC has been contracted by the NSW Government to reintroduce up to 10 species of threatened mammals into two NSW protected areas – Mallee Cliffs National Park in the south-west NSW, and part of the Pilliga forest in north-central NSW. AWC is also responsible for delivering conservation management and an associated science program in the balance of the project sites. Also in NSW, AWC has been contracted by Sydney Harbour Federation Trust to implement a science program (including reintroductions) to North Head, Sydney.


Reporting to AWC’s Chief Science Officer, the Regional Ecologist NSW will lead our team of ecologists responsible for implementing AWC’s science program at the Pilliga, Mallee Cliffs and North Head project sites. A PhD in ecology or similar is essential, as is extensive previous experience in conservation management, applied conservation research, reintroductions and/ or ecological monitoring. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated ability to manage ecological projects and to lead a team of ecologists. The position requires excellent leadership, communication and organizational skills, and a depth of knowledge of conservation management in the Australian context. This position will ideally be based in regional NSW, at Narrabri or Buronga.

High level responsibilities of the position are as follows:

  • Contribute to the development of AWC’s policies and programs, particularly AWC’s science program
  • Promote AWC’s objectives, policies and programs amongst AWC staff, partners and external stakeholders in our NSW projects
  • Measure the ecological health of our NSW project sites
  • Oversee the reintroduction of locally extinct mammals including planning, implementing and monitoring the outcomes of translocations;
  • Conduct research addressing major knowledge gaps in conservation, taking advantage of the opportunities presented by AWC’s scale and our integration of science and land management
  • Develop, implement and report on conservation and land management strategies, in collaboration with AWC’s operations staff
  • Supervise and mentor AWC’s NSW science team, students, interns and volunteers
  • Develop productive relationships with government agencies, NRM and conservation organisations, Indigenous groups, the regional community, external researchers and other stakeholders
  • Promote AWC culture and values
  • Assist with AWC’s communication and fundraising activities.

The position requires a high level of expertise in managing a conservation science program, excellent people management, project management and communication skills. As a senior manager within AWC, you must be motivated to work in the private nature conservation sector and willing to help develop and promote AWC’s conservation model.

This is a rare opportunity to join Australia’s largest non-government conservation organisation at a senior manager level, and help shape the future of private sector conservation in Australia.

This is a permanent full-time role based in Regional NSW (Narrabri or Buronga, or otherwise as agreed by the CSO).


Enquiries only:

Dr John Kanowski, AWC Chief Science Officer John.Kanowski@australianwildlife.org

Your application must include CV and covering letter, briefly addressing the critical competencies listed in the detailed job description on our website or attached.

Please note:

  1. Applicants must be an Australian citizen/permanent resident or have a suitable visa in place that allows ongoing full-time work in Australia, in order to apply for this position. Sponsorship is not available.
  2. If you apply for this role, AWC will include you in its ongoing updates and communications about its events, activities and fundraising initiatives. You may opt out of these communications at any time.
  3. Any application submitted to AWC will be handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy, available at www.australianwildlife.org/privacy. By providing us with your contact details, your consent to receive communications and direct educational material will remain current until you advise us otherwise.

To learn more about AWC’s sanctuaries, please visit our website www.australianwildlife.org/sanctuaries.

Position Description - NSW Regional Ecologist 2020

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