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Committee Members - Flexible Location

FRDC Indigenous Reference Group
  • This role is available nationwide. 

Empower Indigenous Voices in Australia's Fisheries and Aquaculture Sectors

The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) is on the hunt for passionate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to join our Indigenous Reference Group (IRG). This is your chance to shape the future of sustainable fishing and aquaculture in Australia by weaving Traditional Ecological Knowledge into cutting-edge research and development. If you have a strong background in fisheries, natural resource management, or environmental stewardship, and are ready to make a lasting impact, we invite you to express your interest in this pivotal role. Join us in steering the direction of research that uplifts and empowers Indigenous communities across the nation. Apply today and help us navigate towards a more inclusive and sustainable future.

FRDC is a research and development corporation, established under the Primary Industries Research and Development Act it is jointly funded by the Australian Government and the Australian fishing and aquaculture industry. It operates within the portfolio of the Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

FRDC is dedicated to investing in research, development, and extension (RD&E) to advance the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as part of its mandate to invest in RD&E for the sustainable utilisation of Australia’s aquatic resources. The FRDC Indigenous Reference Group (IRG) is a committee comprising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from diverse backgrounds and with expertise across Australian fishing and aquaculture, established to provide advice to the FRDC on RD&E needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to advance their interests and benefits from fishing and aquaculture.

Established in 2010 after consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the IRG has played a crucial role in weaving Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and perspectives into Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors. Additionally, the IRG oversees project progress and offers technical guidance to the FRDC on broader issues and initiatives.

Beyond direct funding from and advising the FRDC, the IRG has collaborated with organisations such as the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation, CSIRO, the Department of Climate Change, Environment, Energy and Water, and state and territory governments to support Indigenous-focused research, development, and extension efforts.

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are called for eight (8) members to sit on the IRG who have significant expertise and / or experience in fisheries), or natural resource management/land and water/environment/ marine management.

Membership will consist of four (4) core members that will participate in up to three meetings per year and four (4) members who will form an extended strategy group for up to two strategic planning meetings annually.

Remuneration will be based on the appropriate level as per the Remuneration Tribunal Determination latest update.

Core activities include:

  • Attending up to three meetings per year (a mix of face to face and virtual)
  • Setting annual research priorities
  • Assessing and responding to EOI processes
  • Developing and maintaining internal guidance and supporting documents and procedures
  • Providing advice as required to FRDC
  • Participate in the annual strategic planning meeting.

IRG members are required to participate in their capacity as individuals, drawing on their expertise and lived experience rather than representing any specific organisation. This approach maximises the independence of advisory services provided to the FRDC and ensures fairness throughout the grant processes where the IRG may have input. This individual participation also aims to create cultural safety by avoiding the expectation for members to speak on behalf of any community or region.

All members will be required to sign a Code of Conduct and declare any real or perceived Conflicts of Interest.

The role:

The role of the FRDC IRG committee member is to:

  • Promote Indigenous engagement and participation in fisheries and aquaculture.
  • Advise The FRDC on research priorities and projects that benefit Indigenous communities.
  • Support fisheries capacity building and knowledge transfer within Indigenous communities.
  • Ensure that Indigenous cultural values and traditional knowledge are respected and integrated into fisheries and aquaculture research activities.
  • Ensure that investment in Indigenous focused research and development (R&D) is undertaken in accordance with government and industry priorities for R&D and other policy directions as well as ensuring that investments provide value to industry
  • Consult and communicate with industry representative organisations, stakeholders and government as appropriate

Skills and experience:

The FRDC IRG committee member requires the following expertise and experience:

  • High level knowledge and experience in Indigenous fishing
  • Leadership experience
  • Highly developed business acumen
  • Highly developed communication and consultation skills
  • Appreciation of governance practices
  • Understanding of government
  • Knowledge and / or experience in the fisheries industry.

Personal Attributes

The personal qualities required of FRDC IRG committee members are:

  • Integrity: A commitment to: (a) understanding and fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of a director and maintaining knowledge in this regard through professional development; (b) putting the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the FRDC IRG's interests before any personal interests; (c) being transparent and declaring any activities or conduct that might be a potential conflict or perceived as a conflict; and (d) maintaining board confidentiality
  • Effective Communication: Listens actively and engages constructively in discussions, adeptly articulates viewpoints, and communicates effectively across diverse stakeholders.
  • Emotional Awareness: Demonstrates sensitivity to personal and others' emotions, adapting actions and decisions accordingly.
  • Analytical and Inquisitive: Exhibits independent judgment, asking pertinent questions, and challenging perspectives constructively.
  • Collaborative Team Player: Works effectively within teams, showing enthusiasm and dedication to contributing actively to board and company objectives.
  • Dedication: Shows commitment to the company's values and ongoing success, actively participating and maintaining accessibility.
  • Influential Negotiator: Proficient in negotiating and influencing others to achieve positive outcomes.
  • Critical and Innovative Thinking: Capable of analysing complex information, identifying key issues, and proposing innovative solutions.

Appointment term is five (5) years.

Conditions for Committee Membership

To be eligible to submit an EOI, you must:

  • Be an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person,
  • Be an Australian Citizen,
  • Not be listed as ineligible to receive Australian Government grant funding in accordance with the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Grant Connected Policy; and
  • Subject to review by FRDC due to concerns about any known compliance or fraud issues.

To meet the conditions for participation, you should provide as part of your application:

  • A letter signed and executed by the Chairperson of an incorporated Indigenous organisation confirming that you are recognised as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person; or a confirmation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent form executed by an Indigenous organisation

Note that Successful candidates will also be required to be assessed through our pre-employment screening checks, such as an Australian Criminal History Check. The FRDC may exclude EOIs that do not meet these checks to the FRDC’s reasonable satisfaction.

How to Apply

Applicants are required to lodge an application on-line via EthicalJobs: Applicants are asked to provide a statement of claims (1200 word maximum) addressing the skills and experience listed above and what they would bring to the role together with a current CV (maximum of four pages).

A position description is attached.

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