Project Officer - Spatial Bushfire Recovery


OceanWatch Australia


Sydney, NSW (other locations considered)

Salary etc:

Salary range: $70,000 pro rata, full-time (ex Super). Contract: 10 months to June 2021

Fantastic opportunity for an enthusiastic individual who is passionate about the environment to join a vibrant national charity working with the seafood and marine community.

About OceanWatch Australia:

We are a national, marine environmental charity. OceanWatch has been recognised and supported as the Marine Natural Resource Management organisation by the Australian Government.

Our role is to promote best-practice activities and help increase long term returns to Australian fishers, including work to enhance fish habitats and improve water quality in estuaries and coastal marine environments.

Since our establishment in 1989, OceanWatch has managed and delivered a broad range of successful projects to improve environmental practices, protect threatened marine species, reduce by-catch, introduce sustainable technologies, change behaviours and restore important marine habitats.

About the role:

The Project Officer reports to the Program Manger- Environment of OceanWatch Australia. The role is responsible for delivering the following project and working through a complex prioritization process.

About the project:

This project aims to set up a predictive spatial mapping tool tailored to 6 regions of Australia (Northern Tasmania, Kangaroo Island, North Eastern Victoria, South and North NSW and Southern Queensland) that experienced severe fires and downstream coastal impacts.

By combining coastal community and seafood industry knowledge, exposure and vulnerability data with natural hazard predictions, the spatial tool aims to make qualitative cause and impact predictions.

The tool will support communities to discuss, plan and prioritise appropriate response actions that improve the outcome for fish habitats. This in turn leads to a more prepared coastal community and seafood industry with better evidence for future policy development and decision making.

In addition to the spatial mapping tool, a fish habitat protection protocol will be developed under this sub-project. The fish habitat protection protocol will outline the suggested decision making process to be followed post fire to mitigate against loss of fish habitat assets and will compliment and support the spatial mapping tool.

The development of the spatial tool and fish habitat protocol will enable OceanWatch Australia to work with regional NRM organisations and seafood industry/coastal communities to increase the resilience of marine ecosystems to the impacts of future bushfire events.

Key duties and responsibilities:

  • Provide technical advice and leadership in the development of a project plan that consults with multiple stakeholders of 6 regional locations to identify a project pathway to capture spatial data on assets, conditions and risks. Determine a method of displaying information to capture values to trial in community participatory conversations.
  • Through extensive and proactive engagement with landowners, asset managers, fire authorities, fisheries authorities, seafood industry and other stakeholders, seek and compile data compatible to the chosen platform and lead in negotiation of data sharing agreements ensuring data integrity.
  • Undertaking field travel or surveys to collect other non-documented data or anecdotal evidence around bushfire mitigation affects and point source interventions.
  • Testing predictive thinking by developing a “Fish habitat protection protocol” to assess current and future post fire mitigation options in the 6 regions and extend.
  • Representing OceanWatch in a range of forums in a consultative and facilitative role, establish stakeholder relationships, and provide specialist support and advice to regional bodies and communities.
  • Planning and designing future projects around disaster response and mitigation management activities.
  • Assisting with the preparation and distribution of written and graphic communications that require a high level of research, liaison, writing skills and collaboration with internal stakeholders.

Qualifications and experience criteria:


  • Relevant tertiary qualifications or demonstrated experience with systems, databases and spatial system applications; data capture standards and spatial analysis to inform decision making in an environmental management context. (GIS skills i.e. ability to both interpret and manipulate data and also to prepare a variety of maps and mapping files.)
  • Proven experience implementing decision support tools and processes.
  • Critical thinking and innovative approaches to high level problems.
  • High level of self-confidence, motivation, initiative and demonstrated ability to manage your workload and perform complex tasks with minimal supervision.
  • Current Australian drivers licence and willingness to travel.


  • Understanding of bushfire behaviour or experience with bushfire recovery.
  • Understanding of natural resource management and aquatic ecology.
  • High level verbal communication, demonstrated ability to lead workshops.

Special Requirements:

  • A willingness to work occasionally outside of normal office hours to represent OceanWatch Australia as required.

How to apply:

View details

Date published:


Closing date: