Operations Manager - Christmas Island


Parks Australia


Christmas Island, WA

Salary etc:

$120,290 - $129,379 p.a. + super (EL 1).

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, 60 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 Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (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.

Australia has one of the largest networks of marine parks in the world. Marine parks protect the diversity of life in our oceans–from astonishing coral reefs in our tropical seas to deep ocean canyons and undersea mountains in temperate marine regions. This branch oversees the ongoing management of each of the six Marine Park Networks, Policy and Programs Coordination, Science and Management Effectiveness and Authorisations and Compliance.

Christmas Island National Park protects 63% of Christmas Island for conservation and visitor enjoyment. This includes programs that manage, and monitor threatened and endangered species populations, visitor management activities and the rainforest rehabilitation program.

The Job

The Operations Manager position presents a unique opportunity to contribute to diverse programs which protect, conserve, and enhance the values of Christmas Island National and Marine Parks. The ideal candidate for this position will have extensive experience in program management, including managing day-to-day protected area operations. The position requires the ability to efficiently and effectively balance the allocation of physical resources and people in a complex environment characterised by competing priorities. This is a challenging but incredibly rewarding position for the right candidate.

In this role, you will be required to:

  • Determine the strategic direction for the work area and align longer-term planning with agency goals and objectives.
  • Build and manage relationships with the park management team, engaging and collaborating with the park manager, business manager, and program managers to achieve outcomes and facilitate cooperation.
  • Lead, train, and mentor a team of staff and volunteers, addressing Parks Australia’s Work Health and Safety requirements to ensure a safe work environment, while supporting staff to work effectively within the Australian Public Service framework.
  • Provide expertise across a broad range of activities, ensuring in-depth knowledge of and compliance with relevant legislation and policy frameworks, and overseeing the development and maintenance of systems, policies, and procedures.
  • Optimise safety management systems, including remote area communication systems, to ensure effective management of critical risks, and role-model safe work practices to ensure a safe environment for staff and visitors.
  • Develop and manage park emergency response arrangements, including effective stakeholder liaison to ensure comprehensive preparedness and response strategies.
  • Oversee the management of a large fleet of vessels, vehicles, mechanical equipment, and plant, ensuring effective maintenance and safe operation practices to support park management objectives.
  • Manage infrastructure, equipment, and visitor facilities, overseeing routine maintenance as well as major capital and housing works, ensuring alignment with strategic goals.
  • Support the achievement of team and individual outcomes, monitoring progress and delivering quality results by applying sound judgment, expertise, and knowledge.
  • Monitor emerging issues and identify impacts on agency priorities, engaging in risk management activities to mitigate potential challenges.

The position is based on the Christmas Island in Australia’s Indian Ocean Territories.

What we are looking for

Knowledge and experience

  • Demonstrated experience in living and working effectively in remote areas within multicultural communities.
  • Proven track record in program management within remote areas, navigating challenging procurement and supply chain environments.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement cost-effective frameworks for managing equipment, fleet, and infrastructure in a remote area.
  • Experience in managing and implementing safety initiatives/programs in a remote and unique working environment.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of managing protected areas, including natural resource management, visitor experience and tourism strategies, and regulatory compliance activities.
  • Experience or knowledge of working within government or large corporate environments, managing budgets and processes, ensuring compliance with procurement and work health and safety legislation and policies.

Skills and capabilities

  • Highly developed planning skills with the ability to implement complex works programs and major projects, preparing detailed management and performance reports.
  • High-level written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to advise, consult, negotiate, manage conflict, and build effective relationships within a culturally diverse community, and with professionals, government agencies, and other external bodies.
  • Strong prioritisation skills with the ability to make informed decisions in high-pressure environments with multiple competing priorities.
  • A principled approach, acting professionally and ethically, adhering to APS Values and the Code of Conduct.

Please note that the successful candidate will be offered a non-ongoing vacancy for a period of up to 12 months. This merit pool established from this process may also be used to fill other non-ongoing and ongoing vacancies that may arise in the next 12 months where the duties are of a similar nature.

Eligibility and other requirements

Citizenship - To be eligible for employment with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water you must be an Australian citizen.


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