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Program Director - COTS Control Innovation Program - Brisbane / Townsville / Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Foundation


The Program Director works closely with the Director Reef Trust Partnership and the COTS Control Innovation Program (CCIP) Steering Committee to design, coordinate and provide strategic oversight of the CCIP Feasibility and Design phase, 12 months. Following the successful delivery of recommendations from this phase the Program Director will oversee the Research and Development phase over the following three years till 2024.

A core focus of this new role is to coordinate and oversee the technical work to assess the feasibility of (technical, social and regulatory) and model the benefit (impact) at scale of a broad range of possible improvements and interventions to COTS control and surveillance.

We are seeking an individual who enjoys the challenge of working on complex projects and collaborations with the potential for transformational change and has the skills to set these projects up to be self-sustaining.

This position plays a key role in shaping the future of COTS control on the GBR.


The Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) is the lead charity for the Great Barrier Reef, dedicated exclusively to funding solutions for its long-term conservation.  

Made up of 2,900 reefs along 2,300km of Queensland's coastline, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the largest United Nations World Heritage areas. It contributes over $6bn annually to the Australian economy and generates more than 64,000 jobs. 

GBRF leads the collaboration of business, science, government and philanthropy – groups who would not otherwise come together – for the benefit of the Reef. Their success is due to the quality of institutions and people they bring together – harnessing advances in science, technology and industry to ensure a future for this global treasure. 


  • Lead and guide all aspects of the CCIP Feasibility and Design Phase including:
    • Maintaining the guiding principles of the UJV and ensuring compliance with all obligations under funding arrangements
    • Administering the Steering Committee
    • Identifying and scoping under direction of the Steering Committee, the technical themes to be developed and activities to be conducted
    • Overseeing contract management processes associated with the technical working groups
    • Identifying the best delivery models and providing high level oversight of project management activities (day to day responsibility for project management sits with technical leads) including reporting and monitoring and evaluation
    • Preparing all reports and briefings to the Steering Committee and relevant external committees and advisory bodies as required
    • Oversee the establishment of recommendations, design of the CCIP R&D program (next phase) and development of the final investment case
  • Providing strategic support to the Steering Committee to deliver the recommended program of work, including regular review of the program and coordination of reviews
  • Developing and implementing the stakeholder engagement strategy under advisement from the Steering Group
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with strategic individuals, groups, funders, including the relevant Commonwealth representatives, including to identify strategic scaling and leveraging opportunities and support sustainable project outcomes
  • Developing and maintaining strategic relationships with Steering Committee members to ensure project outcomes are translated and adopted through to the second phase of the project, in accordance with best practice
  • Lead and guide all aspects of the CCIP second phase (Research and Development) as determined by the outcomes of the Feasibility and Design Phase
  • Identifying ways in which to maximise the impact of projects including exploring emerging impact frameworks and co-benefit approaches
  • Be a spokesperson for GBRF’s projects presenting to diverse audiences including the media, general public, donors and investors and the broader research and conservation community
  • Work collaboratively with the fundraising, marketing and communication teams to ensure that the outcomes of projects are effectively and accurately communicated to our stakeholders and to leverage funding opportunities across the GBRF project portfolio.

Essential selection criteria:

  • A degree in a technical discipline such as science, engineering or conservation management; a postgraduate qualification is desirable but not essential
  • At least 10 years’ experience applying domain expertise to practical impact-driven implementation (e.g. through government, NGO, foundation or corporate sector)
  • Demonstrated experience in the establishment and effective execution of multi-stakeholder impact-driven research and conservation programs
  • Experience designing, measuring, evaluating and reporting on the impact of projects and programs and drawing on the lessons learned
  • Strong track record in complex project management
  • A track record in building and maintaining effective partnerships
  • A track record of working effectively in teams
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced and complex environment with rapidly changing responsibilities
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with experts and non-experts both orally and in writing and translate outcomes into policy and practice

How to apply

To be considered for this role you MUST respond to each of the essential selection criteria (outlined above) in your application.

Please email your application which should include your CV, cover letter and responses to the selection criteria to Emily Shaw, People and Culture Director - eshaw@barrierreef.org using the subject line: Program Director - COTS Control Innovation Program application via EthicalJobs before 5.00pm on Friday 19 June.

Ideally you will be located in our Brisbane, Townsville or Cairns office but for the right candidate we are willing to negotiate on location. We would also consider either a part-time or secondment arrangement for the ideal candidate.

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