Head of Science


Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory



Salary etc:

Package: $125,000 p.a. + 10% super. Full time, 4-year contract.

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) is the Northern Territory’s premier cultural and scientific institution. It offers a dynamic and diverse arts, science and cultural program to more than 300,000 visitors each year.

We are a museum and gallery known for our collections and expertise in Aboriginal cultures, natural sciences, histories and arts across Northern and Central Australia and our neighbours to the north. 

We connect people to the stories of the Northern Territory. Our collection drives curiosity, exploration and partnerships. Our physical spaces are destinations loved by locals and a must-see for Territory visitors. Our digital connectivity expands the reach of our collection. Our guests tell their friends about their distinctive Territorian experience.

MAGNT has seven venues: MAGNT Darwin, the Defence of Darwin Experience, Fannie Bay Gaol, Lyons Cottage, the Museum of Central Australia (incorporating the Strehlow Research Centre), Megafauna Central and the Alcoota fossil site. A new Art Gallery opening in Darwin’s CBD in 2023/24 will add an eighth MAGNT site.

Primary objective of this position

Lead the natural sciences team and to initiate, build and foster strategic partnerships that build MAGNT’s capacity in natural sciences. Provide high-level vision and leadership to guide the development of MAGNT’s natural science collections, research priorities, and public engagement projects.

Key Responsibilities

  1. Provide strategic policy, planning, advice and reporting to ensure that the development, management and research of MAGNT’s natural sciences collections are integrated into MAGNT’s exhibitions, public programs, fundraising and communications.
  2. Build and maintain professional networks and partnerships with external stakeholders, including project partners, other scientific organisations, community groups and researchers.
  3. Seek revenue sources for projects in the natural sciences and work closely with MAGNT’s Head of Engagement to strengthen relationships with Government (Commonwealth and Territory), industry, benefactors and sponsors.
  4. Develop and implement appropriate short and long term planning activities to form the basis for allocation of resources and the prioritisation of budgets, projects and programs.
  5. Lead and manage a high-performing natural sciences team in the delivery of its functions and services through scheduling and prioritising work; monitoring and reviewing processes; providing performance feedback and staff learning and development opportunities; and ensuring that deadlines and budget commitments are met.
  6. Identify research priorities that are appropriate for an institution of MAGNT’s size, geographic location and collecting strengths; develop strategies for their implementation and resourcing.
  7. Work closely with the Exhibitions and Visitor Experience teams to ensure the highest quality exhibitions, digital engagement and programs are incorporated into MAGNT’s public offering.
  8. Represent MAGNT with relevant national and international stakeholders, committees and the media to promote MAGNT’s natural science research and collecting activities.
  9. Maintain and promote EEO, cultural diversity, WH&S and ethical principles and practices.

Selection Criteria

  1. Advanced tertiary qualifications with research experience and expertise relevant to MAGNT’s natural science collections.
  2. Expert level knowledge of the role of collections in advancing natural sciences research and of strategic collection development, management and conservation.
  3. Expert level knowledge and experience in securing grants and building partnerships with other scientific institutions and industry.
  4. Advanced skills and experience in conceiving and delivering innovative audience focussed public engagement activities.
  5. Expert knowledge and experience of implementing best practice research, particularly with respect to ethics, legislative compliance, community consultation.
  6. Expert level leadership and people management skills, including mentoring, coaching and performance management of multi-disciplinary teams.
  7. Competent in the implementation of strategic plans, the development and implementation of business plans and work plans.
  8. Expert level of oral and written communication skills.
  9. An ability to interact effectively with people from different cultures with demonstrated experience of engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  10. Competent understanding of Work Health and Safety (WHS) practises, Antidiscrimination and equal employment opportunity


  1. Some weekend and out of hours work is required.
  2. On-going relevant research in an area of MAGNT’s natural sciences collections would be encouraged.
  3. This role statement is intended to provide an overall view of the role but in addition to this document, the specifics of the role will be described in business work plans.
  4. MAGNT is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in the workplace.
  5. Preferential consideration will be given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants who meet the essential selection criteria.
  6. MAGNT promotes flexible ways of working including part time. Applicants are encouraged to discuss the flexible working arrangements for this role.
  7. Applicants must have full Australian work rights.
  8. A valid Australian Drivers licence is required.
  9. An Ochre Card or equivalent working with children card is a requirement of the position.
  10. Current Australian National Police Check is required prior to commencing the position.

How to apply:

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Date published:


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