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Head of Public Affairs and Media

Marie Stopes Australia
  • 6 Month FTC

We have an incredibly exciting opportunity for a talented and influential Communications professional to join us for a 6 month maternity leave contract and lead the internal and external communications for our organisation.

About us

We are an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to ensuring sexual and reproductive health services are equally accessible to all people living in Australia. Marie Stopes Australia is the only national accredited provider of abortion, contraception and vasectomy services, and the country’s longest running provider of teleabortion. Our holistic, client-centred approach empowers individuals to control their reproductive health safely, and with dignity, regardless of their circumstances. Through active partnerships with healthcare providers, researchers and communities, our models of care ensure the total wellbeing of our clients is supported at every stage.

Person and community centred healthcare involves cultural safety, a diverse workforce and multidisciplinary skills. We welcome applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people of migrant and refugee backgrounds, people with disability and LGBTIQ+ people.

Your purpose

As Head of Public Affairs and Media at Marie Stopes Australia (MSA) , you will be responsible for our leading the development and implementation of MSA’s public affairs and communications strategy and media presence. You will work closely with the Managing Director, the Head of Policy, Head of Marketing and Comms, and Executive Team (ET) as well as other key members of staff to support and advise them on communication strategy, advocacy, media and public relations, and stakeholder engagement and management. As part of your work, you will be the key communications advisor for all facets of the organisation’s strategic and corporate communications. You will also be the key media contact for the organisation. As the key communications expert, you will also play a critical part in supporting incident and crisis communication control and management in conjunction with MSA’s crisis comms advisors.

You will be responsible for the stakeholder engagement strategy as well as using your well-established network to build and maintain relationships to engage with Government, media and other stakeholders to improve and grow our brand and public relations. You will be instrumental in ensuring the Managing Director, Executive Team and other key internal stakeholders are trained and prepared adequately for media, and will be able to prepare opinion pieces, commentary, communications and other papers in order to deliver on our strategy as needed.

As a Senior Leader, you will be required to design, develop and implement strategies & plans for your area of responsibility from start to finish ensuring they are both cost and time efficient, and able to deliver on the set goals.

In line with our values of Quality and Integrity, you have a professional obligation to ensure your commitment with all applicable laws and regulations across the MSA organisation and the wider Global MSI partnership as required.

As a senior member in the organisation as well as being a part of the Community of Excellence, you will be a fierce advocate for the MSA brand, representing the organisation in each interaction, and will uphold the values and behaviours set in our team charter and code of conduct.

Your role as Head of Public Affairs and Media will be crucial in positioning Marie Stopes Australia and its representatives as a reputable provider and influencer within the sexual and reproductive health space with key external stakeholders, relevant Government departments and the media. Through the development and implementation of strategic communication and reputation management initiatives, and external relations influence, you will assist by supporting the alignment, recognition and articulation of MSA’s purpose and mission, as well as our commercial reality and strategic direction both internally and externally.

  • Design, develop and oversee the organisation’s corporate and external communications strategy, ensuring a consistent voice across the organisation.
  • Develop and lead MSA’s measurable strategic external communications plan that will promote the core values of MSA and positively impact the organisation’s social license to operate in Australia.
  • Provide leadership and oversight for all corporate (internal and external) communications, including a schedule of regular internal communications events for the Managing Director and other key internal stakeholders.
  • Proactively lead and manage MSA’s issues management program and crisis communications response in partnership with the Managing Director and other leaders.
  • Develop long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships in government (particularly Federal Government) and across appropriate industry sectors in line with the Stakeholder plan.
  • Provide strategic guidance on communications for the ET and Managing Director, including developing briefing notes and speaker notes for internal and external events.
  • Ensure MSA is front-of-mind for Sexual Reproductive Healthcare Rights advocacy across Australia in partnership with the Managing Director and the Head of Policy.
  • Develop and deliver communications plan in support of the Marie Stopes Australia values and behaviours, ensuring that there is engagement from across the organisation and that they have the communications tools and support that they need.
  • Manage the organisation’s media relations portfolio including working with the Managing Director, ET and other spokespeople to ensure they are adequately trained and able to deliver clear, compelling key messages internally and externally. You will also be the organisation’s media contact.
  • Drive a public speaking program to ensure MSA leaders and specialists are speaking regularly and they are supported to align with MSA’s strategic direction and brand.
  • Develop and implement strategies to destigmatise the organisation’s mission through different media channels including social media and traditional media.
  • Develop strategies to de-stigmatise the brand and grow brand awareness across stakeholders within government and community.
  • Media tracking and reporting to ensure the organisation is kept abreast of key relevant issues.
  • Build and identify impactful client stories for use across media platforms, with considerations of internal stakeholder and client privacy considerations.
  • Build and produce key positions with internal stakeholders to amplify Marie Stopes Australia’s reputation and brand, including but not limited to the Managing Director, Medical Director, and the Deputy Medical Director.
  • Active use of MSA’s Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter channels for proactive and reactive management of reputational issues.
  • Overseeing the organisations external narrative, ensuring it supports our organisational purpose, and ensuring high quality speechwriting support for the leadership team.
  • Deliver a proactive approach across the media space, ensuring MSA has a constant media presence and key staff including the Managing Director are regularly visible within the media. Provide strategic SRHR advocacy advice to internal partners and select external partners.
  • Provide strategic, timely advice, training and mentoring to internal partners on public affairs, communications, media and stakeholder relations.
  • Support the organisation’s impact reporting to internal and key external partners (including media, partnership, research and overall.
  • Produce content for speech notes for the Managing Director and other team members, web-content for relevant announcements, other announcements, articles, position statements and social media content

What we need:

  • Fiercely Pro-choice and champion of women and pregnant people’s rights.
  • Passionate about de-stigmatising abortion, sexual and reproductive health.
  • Track record of developing and delivering a corporate and external communications strategy across a complex organisation.
  • Well-respected reputation managing and building media relationships.
  • Excellent project management and organisational skills in a communications context.
  • Strong experience as a spokesperson and working with key spokespeople to support them in complex media environments.
  • Proven ability as a media and public speaker trainer.
  • Proven experience across communications strategy planning and implementation (media, social media, stakeholder relations, traditional media).
  • Experience developing and delivering comprehensive media strategies.
  • Strong eye for developing meaningful content that tells a differentiated, data-driven story.
  • Demonstrated ability to work respectfully and responsibly across multiple stakeholder groups.
  • Highly developed verbal, written and oral skills to promote and represent the organisation.
  • Proven record of successfully developing and managing effective working relationships with a wide range of internal and external senior stakeholders.
  • Well-developed understanding and proven experience working with Governments including Ministerial offices in complex environments.
  • Exceptional influencing and negotiation skills.
  • Proven ability in collaborating effectively across multi-disciplinary teams.
  • An applied understanding of trauma informed approaches, including active bystander and anti discrimination practice.
  • An understanding of or willingness to learn about cultural safety and reconciliation action.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or appropriate postgraduate qualification(s) in corporate affairs, public policy, communications, journalism, market access, marketing, public relations or similar (essential).
  • Experience of working with and influencing senior stakeholders, including Managing Director and Executive Teams (essential).
  • Knowledge and or previous experience in the sexual and reproductive health service delivery, not-for-profit or charity sector (desirable).
  • Significant experience of working across a busy, multi-disciplinary communications team (essential).
  • Experience of working with diverse communities and stakeholder groups across multiple regions and territories (desirable).
  • A strong understanding of intersectionality, diversity and the impact of communication on staff, clients and communities (essential).

What we're offering:

  • Competitive salary
  • Generous salary packaging (considerably reducing your tax)
  • A wide array of partner discounts
  • Access to reward platform
  • Opportunity to join a national leader in providing safe and accessible sexual and reproductive health care
  • Make a positive difference while being a part of an organisation with a global footprint

Who you're joining:

At MSA we believe in children by choice, not chance. Our vision is to help all Australians take control of their sexual and reproductive health.
Person and community centred healthcare involves cultural safety, a diverse workforce and multidisciplinary skills. We welcome applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people of migrant and refugee backgrounds, people with disability and LGBTIQ+ people.

To be eligible for this position you must have an appropriate Australian work visa. Marie Stopes Australia does not provide work visa sponsorships.

Integrity | Agency | Safety | Quality | Courage

How to apply

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