Cultural Heritage Team Leader


Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment


Kakadu National Park (Jabiru), NT

Salary etc:

$84,150 - $95,543 p.a. (APS6) Permanent, Full-time.


Job Reference: 2021/3230

Lead, mentor, and manage the Cultural Heritage Team in the dual World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park.

  • Work in Australia’s premiere National Park.
  • Support Kakadu National Park Cultural Heritage programmes.
  • Work closely with Traditional Owners.

Identified position - This position is an ‘Identified’ position which signifies that the role has a strong involvement in issues relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The successful applicant must have an understanding of the issues affecting Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and an ability to communicate sensitively and effectively with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander People.

Who we are

Australia’s natural and cultural heritage is unique. Our land and seascapes are distinctive, home to plants and animals found nowhere else in the world, and to some of the oldest living cultures on earth. These environments and cultures are an essential part of our national identity, and visitors travel from across the country and the world to experience them.

The Director of National Parks (the Director) is responsible for six national parks, the Australian National Botanic Gardens, 58 Australian Marine Parks and the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve established under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Parks Australia is the federal park agency that supports the Director, and they are a division of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the Department). We work to showcase these natural and cultural wonders to the world, demonstrating to all why these places are so special, and inspiring communities to become more invested in their care and future.

Kakadu National Park is a world-heritage listed site for its natural and cultural values, and one of three national parks, leased by their Aboriginal owners to the Director of National Parks, and jointly managed by Traditional Owners and Parks Australia. Parks Australia assists with ongoing management of the park’s natural and cultural heritage. In addition to ongoing management of the park’s natural and cultural heritage, this branch also manages strategic priorities for Parks Australia, managing a range of strategic planning and major capital projects across the three jointly managed parks.

The Country & Culture Section (C&C Section) is responsible for the protection of the Kakadu National Park’s biodiversity and cultural assets. The C&C Section do this by supporting and promoting culture and heritage through research and programmes; managing Country through a significant fire programme; implementing and assisting significant species projects; data and knowledge management; and planning. The C&C Section is an important part of creating an inclusive cross-cultural working environment.

The Job

Reporting to the Manager: Country & Culture Section and forming an integral part of the KNP team, the primary objectives of this role are to:

  • lead, mentor, and manage the Cultural Heritage team including performance management, project planning, budgeting, and reporting
  • ensure strong, empowering relationships with Bininj/Mungguy through:
    • building mutual trust and respectful communication
    • promoting respect for cultural values and the living culture and heritage of Kakadu
    • nurturing a cross-cultural, positive, workplace culture
  • develop and maintain internal relationships with other Teams in the C&C Section, other Sections in the Park, the Board of Management, and wider Parks Australia colleagues, and collaborate and work closely with them more generally on responsibilities as they relate to relevant legislation (e.g. EPBC Act, Northern Territory Sacred Sites Act 1989, and Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976), the lease agreements, and the Kakadu Plan of Management (PoM)
  • develop and implement internal (and promote external) ethically responsible projects that aid implementation of the current PoM and subsequent strategic plans to fulfil Bininj/Mungguy aspirations
  • review, update and implement the An-Garregen Cultural Heritage Management Plan, implement the Bim (Rock Art) Strategy inclusive of the annual Bim program, develop and implement other plans and strategies as may become necessary
  • engage with funding bodies to source funds for cultural and heritage programmes and projects on Park,
  • lead repatriation efforts to return material culture and remains to Kakadu and develop plans for an on-Park Keeping Place
  • manage the Park’s archival data, library, oral history, and associated collections, as well as the Cultural Database housing information relating to this; and ensure access for Bininj/Mungguy is facilitated in line with cultural protocols
  • lead team reporting requirements, for instance for annual reporting on relevant strategies, the DNP Corporate and Parks Australia Operational Plans, and the PoM
  • produce documents and briefings as appropriate as part of Ministerial, DAWE, or Parks requirements
  • with relevant Traditional Owners, plan and lead on-Country Culture trips
  • engage with external stakeholders including local Aboriginal organisations, the Northern Land Council, NT Government agencies, academic institutions, and the wider community.

What we are looking for

Knowledge and experience

  • Experienced in forming meaningful positive relationships with Traditional Owners to nurture a cross-cultural workplace environment and the continuing maintenance of Kakadu's Bininj/Mungguy culture.
  • Demonstrable experience in Indigenous cultural engagement and/or Cultural Heritage Management and an awareness of cultural research methodologies.
  • As there is a significant field component in this position the successful applicant will be an experienced field worker, and qualifications in Archaeology, Anthropology, Cultural Engagement, or similar would be highly regarded.

The successful applicant must:

  • hold a current Apply First Aid Certificate or have the ability to obtain this qualification
  • hold and maintain a current manual driver’s licence and ability to drive a 4WD vehicle
  • note that relocation assistance is subject to negotiation
  • note that the physical requirements of the role(s) involve a combination of outdoor and office-based work
  • note that you may be required to perform occasional out-of-hours and weekend work
  • note that you will be required to complete specific training (including refresher training) related to the role including remote area training, defensive driving, first aid and CPR courses
  • note that you will be required to travel in remote/isolated locations in northern Australia or its near northern neighbours, using a variety of transport including vessels, light/commercial aircraft, helicopters and manual four wheel drive vehicles
  • note that you will be required, from time to time, to work in difficult, remote and harsh environments (possibly for extended periods) under limited supervision or in teams
  • have the ability to obtain and maintain a working with children and vulnerable people check
  • wear an official uniform supplied by the department, including during field operations (as applicable), in accordance with the department’s uniform policy
  • wear appropriate protective personal equipment and clothing to comply with departmental Work Health & Safety policies and procedures.

How to apply:

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Date published:


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