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Community Engagement Organisers x3

Garvan Institute of Medical Research

This position is based in the Centre for Population Genomics (CPG), an initiative of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne.

At CPG, we are working to create a world in which genomic information enables comprehensive disease prediction, accurate diagnosis and effective therapeutics for all people. Genomic medicine uses the information in a person’s genes to guide disease diagnosis and decisions about suitable treatments. In the future, health will be based on an individualised model of care, informed by the data contained in a person’s genes.

Australia, thanks to its strengths in both research and healthcare, has an opportunity to be an international leader in the development of genomic medicine and its application to the entire population. But much remains to be done. One critical issue is the lack of ancestral diversity in the genomic databases available for use in Australia. Databases that capture the genetic variation of healthy populations are critical for genomic medicine. These currently represent mainly people descended from Europe and the Americas. Under-represented or missing from these data are many of Australia’s minority ancestries, such as North African and Middle-Eastern peoples, South-East Asian peoples, Sub-Saharan peoples, and many others. The result of this lack of data diversity is inequity in access to accurate diagnosis and future developments in genomic medicine.

The Opportunity

The Community Engagement Organiser is a member of the Inclusive Genomics team at the Centre for Population Genomics. The Community Engagement Organiser will be responsible for working closely with members of the public from specific minority ancestry groups to support and coordinate outreach, education, co-design and recruitment into genomics research. Reporting to and working closely with the Lead, Inclusive Genomics, the Community Engagement Organiser will collaborate with the Communities Specialist and the Community Health Education and Communications Officer.

There will be 3 positions filled for this role, each responsible for one or more communities, such as:

  • Specific North African and Middle Eastern communities (eg, Egyptian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Sudanese, Syrian, Turkish, or other);
  • Specific South-East Asian communities (eg, Cambodian, Filipino, Vietnamese, or other);

In addition, one position will spend 50%FTE focused on recruitment from under-represented groups to the NSW Hearts cohort study.

This is a 3-year fixed-term contract position with a base salary of $65,000-90,000 per annum depending on experience and subject to negotiation, plus 10% superannuation, salary packaging benefits and flexible working arrangements

Key Responsibilities

These include but are not limited to:

  • Build and maintain relationships with individuals and organisations in specific communities
    • Collaborate with the rest of the IG team in building a strategy for engagement with specific communities
    • Determine residential locations (towns, suburbs) of communities / sub-groups of communities
    • Identify organisations (eg, churches, mosques, community groups) and social media membership groups that a community is represented by or can be reached through
    • Identify relevant medical providers (when required by specific projects) serving identified communities
  • Organise and facilitate community events
    • Plan, organise and facilitate community events, campaigns, and co-design workshops, in collaboration with the rest of the IG team
    • Engage with community leaders and key contacts to identify appropriate times and places for community education, information sharing and recruitment events
  • Coordinate the work of community volunteers / field workers
    • Assist IG team in identifying appropriate community leaders and potential volunteers
    • Facilitate the in-community work of volunteers or short-term contractors assisting with community engagement
    • Ensure that the work and communications of volunteers / field workers is aligned with agreed IG strategy and plan for that community
  • Facilitate the recruitment of research participants
    • Provide community members with approved informational materials about genomics research
    • Inform interested community members how to find the consent forms/portal
  • Maintain records of contacts
    • Maintain accurate records of individuals and organisations in each community
    • Log contacts and exchanges, and share this information with the rest of the IG team
  • Collaborate on and support IG team activities
    • Collaborate with the Community Health Education and Communications Officer to develop and disseminate messaging and assist communications staff by sharing story ideas that community members would be willing to have broadcast by the Centre/Garvan/MCRI
    • Travel if required (across Australia) and be on the ground, with the Centre team, at the time of survey and sample collection, supporting the Project Management team to ensure smooth logistics and clear communications with the community members

Snap shot of benefits

  • Generous salary packaging ($15,900 for general household expenses and $2,650 for meal/entertainment allowance on top of base salary)
  • On going training and development
  • Location / remote working flexibility (ideally minimum 3 days per week on-site)
  • 18 weeks paid parental leave
  • Additional day’s leave as Garvan Day
  • Discounted Health Insurance
  • Lifestyle discounts with our community partners

About You

The key skills and experience include:

  • Lived experience with one or more of the following cultural communities in Australia:
    • North African and Middle Eastern communities (eg, Egyptian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Sudanese, Turkish, or other);
    • South-East Asian communities (eg, Cambodian, Filipino, Vietnamese, or other).
  • Demonstrated commitment to working within Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities on social or health issues
  • Some training or experience in cultural competency, anti-bias thinking, methods of diversity & inclusion or cross-cultural communication
  • Fluency (spoken and written) in one of the following languages is desirable: Arabic, Vietnamese

The key interpersonal skills include:

  • Exceptional people skills - must be able to speak with sincerity and clarity to people across a wide range of Australian communities, navigating language and cultural barriers, and quickly build genuine connections with community representatives
  • Strong networking and collaboration skills - friendly demeanour and an ability to build and maintain strong work-related relationships
  • Clarity in writing - demonstrated ability to write clearly and succinctly
  • Ease speaking in public - able to speak comfortably in front of a crowd and one-on-one and respond articulately to difficult questions while advocating for the importance of inclusive genomics
  • Desirable: experience traveling or living in multiple communities, would be a substantial advantage in this role

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please submit your application with a CV and cover letter as one document, stating why you are interested in this role, outlining your key skills and experience that are relevant to this position description. We are reviewing applications as they are received. If you think you’re the right person for this role, we’d love to hear how your capabilities, achievements and experience set you apart. Only applicants with full working rights in Australia are eligible to apply for this role.

How to apply

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