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Land Sector Program Director

The Next Economy
  • Brisbane preferred
  • 12 months fixed term contract

The Next Economy - We support regions to thrive in the next economy

The Next Economy is an independent, not-for-profit entity that partners with communities and regions that are facing disruption due to the changing climate and the decarbonisation of Australia's economy. Our aim is to assist them to develop economic strategies that are mutually beneficial for people and the planet on which we all depend.

The Next Economy team works with stakeholders across government, industry, civil society, and communities to tackle changes across the energy, land-use and other economic sectors. We facilitate collaboration on economic transition opportunities, support region-led action, and build the capacity of decision and policymakers to manage change.

Over the past five years, we have worked in regions with significant economic ties to fossil fuels including Central Queensland, the Latrobe Valley, the Hunter Valley and the Northern Territory. A recent example of this work involved partnering with the Gladstone Regional Council to develop their 10-year Economic Transition Roadmap, which was awarded the 2023 Local Government Managers Australia (Queensland) Award for Excellence.

Our growing team comprises of a passionate group of individuals who are committed to effecting positive change in the various systems that underpin our economy. We bring expertise from across a range of disciplines including economic and community development; energy sector and low carbon transition strategies; social sciences; environmental sustainability; social innovation and enterprise development; transformative leadership training; and change management.

The Next Economy is broadening our focus and influence in Land systems transformation, through a range of new opportunities and partnerships that are at the forefront of demonstrating leading practice in the transition towards a net zero future.  We’re seeking a driven and experienced individual who can lead this work and collaborate with our partners and team to foster opportunities that will reduce emissions in land-use sectors, while simultaneously sustaining people and regenerating our natural environment.

For the last five years, The Next Economy has been at the heart of efforts to achieve all three goals, working with communities, industry, and all levels of government to tackle economic challenges in ways that benefit people and the planet.

We are looking for passionate, hardworking, smart people who love working with communities on complex systems challenges to join our team.

We value curiosity and creative thinking, a strengths-based and practical approach to fostering social and economic wellbeing, and the ability to talk to and work with people from all walks of life.

This position would suit someone with extensive experience working in agricultural policy/extension services, environmental services, conservation and/or carbon farming.

Purpose of the Role

The Land Sector Program Director will be responsible for leading our work to transform agriculture and land sector practices and systems so they are climate safe, regenerative and socially just. This includes the development of TNE’s Land Sector Strategy; the identification, design and delivery of new projects and partnerships; providing strategic advice to government, industry and civil society organisations; and sharing positive stories of change to inspire action. 

hours of work

This is a 12-month contract.

  • 30.4 hrs – 38 hrs per week.
  • A minimum 7.6 hour working day Monday to Friday between the hours of 08.00am - 5:30pm
  • As directed outside the above hours to ensure completion of duties identified within this Position Description.

Core Duties & Responsibilities

The Land Sector Program Director will be responsible for working with other TNE staff to: 

  • Develop and implement The Next Economy’s Land Sector Program Strategy.
  • Develop, train and manage a small team to deliver the Land Sector Program Strategy.
  • Identify, design and deliver new TNE Land Sector initiatives that support regional communities to develop plans and strategies to manage the transition to zero-emissions, climate resilient and socially just agricultural and land management practices. 
  • Identify, design and manage partnerships and collaborations with key sector stakeholders including First Nations people, farmers, environmentalists, government, community groups and people in relevant industries (e.g. forestry).
  • Develop evidence-based reports on key elements of the transition to a zero emissions future in relation to land management systems and practices.
  • Co-design policies and strategies to assist leaders from across government, industry, the environment sector, First Nations communities and other key groups to manage the transition to a zero emissions economy in ways that achieve socially just and regenerative outcomes.
  • Build the capacity of civil society actors (eg: environment, union, social service and community groups) to engage effectively and productively with communities to facilitate positive change.
  • Facilitate community activities, including the facilitation of forums, roundtables and workshops.
  • Deliver public presentations and develop training materials and other collateral to build greater awareness of the range of options to regenerate natural systems
  • Shape the national discourse regarding how we manage and interact with natural systems.

As a Program Director, you will also work closely with TNE’s CEO and the broader team to:

  • Identify and secure new funding and earned income opportunities.
  • Share what we learn across social and mainstream media platforms to inspire the public and other organisations to take meaningful action.
  • Manage program finances, reporting and other compliance requirements.
  • Support the smooth functioning of the organisation.

To successfully fulfil their job requirements, the successful candidate will be sometimes required to travel within Australia and work outside normal work hours.

Essential Knowledge, Skills & Experience

This position would suit someone with extensive experience working in agricultural policy/extension services, natural resource management, environmental services, healthy country planning and engagement, conservation and/or carbon farming. The types of knowledge and skills we are looking for include:


  • Understanding of the range of land management practices that contribute to climate mitigation and resilience. This includes a basic understanding of carbon farming and other climate initiatives, agro-ecological and regenerative agriculture, food systems, and programs to support First Nations people to protect and manage land and water resources.
  • Detailed understanding of climate change and its likely impacts on the economy and land sector practices.
  • Understanding of how the economy needs to change to enable people to live well within planetary boundaries and the range of economic solutions that can contribute to that happening. This includes a basic understanding of alternative economic approaches. 
  • Deep understanding of and experience in community development and/or community organising.
  • A sophisticated understanding of the social, political, environmental, and economic environment within which TNE operates and how that may impact our work.


  • Leadership: The ability to inspire and mobilise people from a diverse range of backgrounds to achieve shared goals.
  • Project Management: Demonstrated ability to successfully design and deliver projects, manage teams and budgets, monitor progress and report on outcomes.
  • Stakeholder Management: Ability to work effectively with diverse stakeholders, including with people who may hold very different values and world views.
  • Policy Design: Experienced in working effectively with government and industry to analyse complex systems and develop ambitious policies and strategies with the potential to contribute to systems change.
  • Community Engagement: Ability to facilitate both small and large groups of people, both in-person and using online tools.
  • Revenue Generation: Ability to generate income (fundraising and fee-for-service work) to support project activities and the program budget.
  • Research: Ability to gather and analyse primary data (qualitative and quantitative), as well as stay informed of latest research findings relevant to the sector.
  • Communication and presentation skills: Advanced ability to engage positively with internal and external stakeholder including strategic partners and collaborators, social and mainstream media, compile reports and articles.


  • At least five years’ experience working in a program director / senior management role, including experience in managing small team or organisation. 
  • At least two years’ experience developing policies and managing government relations.
  • At least 10 years’ experience in facilitating community development, community engagement and/or community organising processes to support groups through periods of significant change.
  • Media experience, particularly in communicating sensitive issues.
  • Previous success in generating income to support similar programs.

Please refer to the Position Description attached for more information.

How to apply

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