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Assistant Director - Policy - National Suicide Prevention Office - Sydney / Canberra

National Mental Health Commission

2 days left to apply

*As announced in the 2024-25 Budget, the National Mental Health Commission and the National Suicide Prevention Office will transfer into the Department of Health and Aged Care as a non-statutory office on or before 1 October 2024. This change does not impact the ongoing nature of this role. 


National Suicide Prevention Office 

The National Suicide Prevention Office (NSPO) was established in January 2022 as a specialist office located within the National Mental Health Commission. The NSPO is tasked with leading a coordinated, whole-of-governments approach to suicide prevention. 

The NSPO aims to guide and support all levels and parts of government to take coordinated, comprehensive and consistent action to reduce suicide and suicidality, including through:

  • Developing a whole-of-governments National Suicide Prevention Strategy.
  • Embedding lived experience at the core of decision making to ensure policies and programs meet the needs of those impacted.
  • Monitoring and reporting on national progress, enhancing data collection, and building evidence to support decision-making and improve outcomes.
  • Building capacity and capability of government systems, service providers, and community networks to respond early and provide coordinated, compassionate support.

Currently the NSPO is focused on developing the National Suicide Prevention Strategy and developing a National Suicide Prevention Outcomes Framework for monitoring and reporting progress in suicide prevention. 

The work of the NSPO is informed by people with lived and living experience of suicide and draws on the rich combined knowledge and expertise of individuals, communities, service providers, advocates, researchers and government agencies across portfolios and jurisdictions. 

More information is available at

The National Mental Health Commission

The National Mental Health Commission (the Commission) provides expert advice to the Government on Australia's mental health and suicide prevention system, including through undertaking system performance monitoring and reporting, engaging with consumers of mental health and suicide prevention services and their carers, and leading a national whole-of- governments approach to suicide prevention.

More information is available at

The Policy Team

The Policy team focuses on delivering strategic policy advice informed by collaboration with stakeholders to enable a whole-of-governments approach to suicide prevention to reduce suicide and suicidality. 


Reporting to the Director, Policy, this role will play a critical role in the development of the National Suicide Prevention Outcomes Framework to enable meaningful assessment of the progress of suicide prevention efforts in Australia including through examination of leading indicators related to the social determinants of suicide. It will also support the finalisation of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy, building on the reform agenda articulated in the National Suicide Prevention Adviser’s Final Advice. And it will play a lead role in leveraging both the National Suicide Prevention Strategy and National Suicide Prevention Outcomes Framework to establish evidence-based monitoring and reporting functions for the Office.

This will involve coordination of research, data analysis and evidence-based policy development; incorporating insights from people with lived experience, the suicide prevention sector, and state and federal government departments, agencies, and ministerial offices on a variety of complex policy issues; delivery of high-quality briefs, reports, and advice required to drive whole-of-government action; and collaborating with others across the NSPO and the Commission.

The role is ideally suited to a highly motivated candidate with a passion for the NSPO’s vision for reducing suicidal distress and ending suicide in Australia by empowering a coordinated whole-of-governments approach. The ideal candidate will have experience in synthesising, interpreting and communicating information to inform strategic policy reforms. An in-depth knowledge of public service and government operations, and a demonstrated ability to work effectively across government and government departments will be highly regarded.  

They will show initiative in managing their own workload as well as team workflows and resources, and can provide recommendations to achieve outcomes. They will also operate with a high level of emotional intelligence, have the ability to build strong relationships and engage and communicate professionally and respectfully with internal and external stakeholders. They will have demonstrated exceptional and productive working relationships, with the ability to work collaboratively with stakeholders at all levels.

The Assistant Director will be expected to work flexibly and play a key role in further strengthening the functions of the NSPO.

People with a lived experience of suicide are strongly encouraged to apply. 


  • Lead the development of key elements of the National Suicide prevention Outcomes.
  • Help lead the establishment of the National Suicide Prevention Office’s evidence-based monitoring and reporting functions.
  • Support the development of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy.
  • Provide high-quality analysis of evidence, current best-practice, existing national policy, indicators of wellbeing and distress, emerging issues in suicide prevention and effective governance structures required to deliver an integrated whole-of-government approach to suicide prevention.
  • Prepare high-quality policy papers, briefs, and reports on complex issues that meet the needs of a diverse range of stakeholders, often working to tight timeframes.
  • Support the NSPO to engage effectively and develop productive working relationships with key stakeholders, including individuals with lived experience, sector representatives, ministerial staff and government officials.
  • Support NSPO program management and accountability by managing workflows, tracking activity and effective record and information management.  


See here: Integrated Leadership System (ILS) EL1 profile | Australian Public Service Commission (

  • Shapes strategic thinking
  • Achieves results
  • Cultivates productive working relationships
  • Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
  • Communicates with influence
  • Job specific criteria
    • High level qualitative and data analysis skills including monitoring and reporting functions and experience in the health and/or human service fields.
    • Demonstrated experience in strategic policy development, including analysis of current evidence and best practice.
    • High-level written communication skills including the ability to prepare clear and succinct written materials, including formal government documents, for a variety of purposes and stakeholders.
    • Strong stakeholder management, verbal communication and negotiation skills, and ability to maintain these in high-pressure situations.
    • The ability to contribute positively to small team dynamics, including the ability to work across teams located in different locations.
    • Experience working in government with excellent knowledge of government and public service processes and procedures, and ideally, experience working closely with ministerial offices and government departments.
    • Relevant qualifications in mental health, law, economics, public policy or similar would be an advantage.

Working with us

Our strength lies in our people, including our diversity in backgrounds, skills and experiences, and the way we work together to respond to the emerging needs of our work. We value diversity in gender, backgrounds, culture, and experiences of our employees and are committed to providing an inclusive workplace culture that ensures everyone has equal opportunity to contribute, participate and progress. Applications from people with a lived and living experience of suicide, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and all diversity groups are encouraged. 


The position is an Executive Level 1 with a salary of $122,328 plus 15.4 per cent superannuation 


The successful candidate will be offered ongoing employment. A merit list will be created for future ongoing and non-ongoing vacancies that become available within 18 months of advertising. 


To be employed by the National Mental Health Commission applicants must be Australian citizens or have permanent residency status pending the granting of Australian citizenship. All successful applicants for this position will be asked to complete pre-engagement checks including a police check.


Applications are to include:

  • Candidate application form - downloaded from the Commission employment page.
  • A statement of claims - (800 words maximum) – addressing the job specific criteria points, outline why you consider that you have the skills, capabilities, knowledge and experience to be considered for this role.
  • Your Resume – that sets out relevant qualifications and experience; and
  • Two referees - with names and contact details. Referees will only be contacted after discussing with candidate. 

The preferred method of submission of applications is to email one document, preferably in Word format, via the instructions on the Apply Now link.


If you require further information on the position - please contact Michael Cook, Director, Policy via [email protected], using the subject line: Assistant Director - Policy - National Suicide Prevention Office enquiry via EthicalJobs, or on 0422 479 331. 

Some tips for preparing your application:

  • Your statement of claims should address the requirements of the position and the selection criteria against which you will be assessed.
  • Provide a cover sheet with your name, the position (with Reference Number) applied for, your contact details, current position, educational qualifications and referees.
  • Keep your application succinct.
  • It is important that the information in your application is correct, particularly dates and contact details, and it also helps if you clearly nominate whether your previous workplace(s) is a government (Commonwealth, State or Territory), private sector, or community organisation.
  • Please also include dates and details relating to your educational qualifications.
  • The format for applications is quite flexible – but it should be easy to read, accurate and concise.  

NB:   This should preferably be in a single document for ease of handling.

A position description is attached.

We wish you all the best with your application.

Apply now

Applications for this role will take you to the employer’s site.

National Mental Health Commission's logo
Apply now

Applications for this role will take you to the employer's site.

2 days left to apply

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