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Chief Engagement and Advocacy Officer - Flexible location

Neami National


The Neami Group provides community-based recovery and rehabilitation services that supports people living with mental health issues to improve their health, live independently and pursue a life based on their own strengths, values and goals. Neami’s vision is full citizenship for all people living with mental health issues in Australian society. We provide services in more than 70 locations, ranging from the inner-city and suburbs to regional and remote parts of Australia.

We believe that recovery is an individual process and that with the right kind of support everyone can live a life based on their own strengths, values and goals for the future. One of Australia’s most innovative mental health providers, the Neami Group is made up of the organisations Neami National and Mental Health and Wellbeing Australia (Me Well). Established in 2016, Me Well is a wholly owned subsidiary of Neami National and a provider of specialist mental health services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Neami Group is committed to demonstrating the highest standards of safety and quality across all of their services. Quality, safety, and clinical governance activities are key responsibilities of all staff and an essential process in the provision of safe and high-quality support services. Neami acknowledges and values diversity and inclusion – we know that it makes our teams, services and organisation stronger and more effective.


The Chief Engagement and Advocacy Officer (CE&AO) is a key strategic leadership role in the Neami Group. As a critical member of the Executive Team, this newly created role will support the Board, CEO and Executive to achieve a number of key priorities in the Neami Strategic Directions 2020 – 2023. With more than 30 years’ experience in the mental health sector, Neami Group wants to build an effective narrative so that the voices of people living with mental health issues and their carers and the evidence which underpins their experience are heard more broadly. This new role will build on the work we have already started to make sure we focus on data and evidence that matters to improve our own services, work more effectively with others, build partnerships and achieve change. You will play a critical role in making sure we can explain to consumers and carers what our services can achieve with them, enabling government and funders to see this and working within the organisation to design new and better services.

We are seeking an experienced senior leader who has the demonstrated ability to advocate for positive change using an evidence-based approach. The CE&AO will lead and develop research and evaluation, so we identify service improvements new and innovative service models which have a positive impact for consumers, carers and the community. The CE&AO will use evidence and data to inform our communication and engagement strategy with the community, consumers and carers, funders and partners, and coordinate organisational and sector wide advocacy. With exceptional strategic and networking skills, the CE&AO will work to ensure that the issues which are important for people living with mental health issues and their carers are understood inside and outside our organisation. The position will oversee an approach to partnerships which is purposeful, focuses on the benefit to consumers and carers and sees us work with others to achieve greater impact. This executive will lead a team of professionals responsible for a portfolio of functions that currently includes: monitoring, evaluation and outcome measurement, research, developing and establishing new services, business development, engagement and external communications and advocacy.

About you

  • Executive experience in a service-oriented organisation within a complex stakeholder environment, ideally with deep exposure to the mental health, human services or relevant sectors.
  • Strategic leadership and governance experience working successfully at senior levels and with executive team peers, staff and the Board. Ability to identify and develop strategies aimed at innovative business, operational and delivery improvement.
  • A proven track record in overseeing research monitoring and evaluation, including analysing and utilising data to inform and guide policy development, and to tell the story of the organisation and more broadly the sector resulting in better outcomes for consumers of services.
  • Contemporary and highly empathic people leader with a strong track record of building a positive and collaborative high-performing workplace culture. Builds trust; inspires and motivates; is able to harness the collective capability of staff and key stakeholders to work towards a common goal.
  • Extensive stakeholder engagement, influencing and negotiation experience in highly nuanced settings including with Commonwealth and State governments, peak bodies, membership organisations, consumers, carers and other sector and community stakeholders.
  • Sound knowledge of program delivery in a service-oriented setting that delivers improved services and better outcomes for consumers and carers.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills with well-developed EQ.
  • Demonstrates emotional resilience, compassion and understanding for the situation of others in society and the workplace.
  • Uphold ethical behaviour, consistent with Neami National values as characterised by honesty, integrity, fairness, responsibility, and hope.

Location: Flexible

Watermark has been retained as Neami’s executive search partner.

For a confidential discussion and the Candidate Brief please call Alison Myatt, Head of Research 0412 630 817 or Jen D’Arcy-Smith, Partner 0449 967 781. 

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