Looking for a seasoned policy all-rounder

I’m inviting applications for a Canberra-based policy adviser.

As the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities, Treasury and Employment, the issues that I work on range across economic dynamism, better functioning markets, inequality, impact evaluations, including randomised trials, and building social capital. Economic training, an interest in the voluntary sector and a love of Canberra are definite pluses.

In contributing to the Albanese Labor Government’s commitment to deliver a better future for Australians, my office is energetic, progressive and considered.

I have a broad range of ways I engage on policy issues and help develop new solutions to the challenges we’ve set ourselves as a government. My policy work is the basis of op-eds and interviews, social media, tele townhalls, podcasts, and public events.

As in all walks of life, it always helps to surround yourself with people who can teach you something. So if you understand employment policy better than me, can pick a path through complex policy problems or have a knack for communicating important economic ideas, then I want to hear from you.

The base salary ranges from $91,990 to $150,086 depending on skills and experience. In addition to the base salary, a Staff Allowance ($31,702) reflects parliamentary work patterns.

As the workload sometimes exceeds 40 hours a week and can be unpredictable, the position includes an additional staffing allowance. Some travelling, with an occasional overnight stay, may also be required.

Among the attributes that would be desirable are:

  • Economics qualifications / economic policymaking experience; and
  • A track record of policy-based writing or publications
  • A background working in the parliamentary environment. 

Women and people from culturally and linguistically diverse groups tend to be underrepresented, so are particularly encouraged to apply for this position.

If you're interested, please send a CV with a covering email and a short writing sample (500-1000 words) to [email protected]. Applications close at midnight on 24 September.

For further information on the position, please email [email protected]. In case you're interested in learning more about my approach to work, check out my Twitter feed, my website or read my Ten Principles of Politics:

  1. How we practice politics can be as important as the policies we pursue. Since this is politics, we’ll never be universally popular. But we should treat co-workers, constituents and colleagues with respect and dignity. This is especially important when dealing with vulnerable constituents.
  2. Our communications should try to engage with the better instincts of Australia, to tell stories, make new arguments, and convey fresh facts. When we dumb down debates and demonise our opponents, progressives lose. When we enrich the public conversation, we win.
  3. None of us would be here without the Labor Party. It is Australia’s oldest and greatest political party, and will outlast all of us. We have a responsibility to cherish its traditions, make it stronger and more democratic, and help Labor win elections.
  4. When we cannot help someone, we should tell them honestly, and use that time to help others; particularly the most disadvantaged.
  5. We should be working on the most important things possible – big ideas, critical questions, major community issues. The only way to get the space to do this is to say no to less important priorities. We can do anything, but we cannot do everything.
  6. Experimenting is good, and learning from our mistakes is healthy – but only if we share what we’ve learned with our team and our Labor colleagues.
  7. Envy and hate are two of the biggest timewasters in politics. Media coverage is a means, not an end. Working in politics is a privilege, and we’re lucky to do it. Our office should be the positive, respectful and safe work environment we would want for every employee in the country.
  8. Wherever possible, we should draw on the strengths of diversity, and collaborate with colleagues on policies, campaigns and events. Labor is the party of “we”, not “me”.
  9. Don’t apologise for spending time with friends and family, exercising or reading fiction. Not only is socialising important in itself; a well-rounded life helps us do our jobs better. Strive for calmness, balance and gratitude.
  10. Act ethically, crack jokes when we can, and keep a sense of perspective. The typical career lasts around 80,000 hours. Let’s make them count.

Employment conditions are set out in the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984, Commonwealth Members of Parliament Staff Enterprise Agreement 2020-2023 and relevant determinations and directions.

Below are some of the formal aspects of the role:

Position Detail

Assistant Ministerial staff play a key role in supporting the daily work of Assistant Ministers: working with the public service to provide policy advice, offering strategic insight and helping communicate and advance the Government’s policy agenda.

Advisers provide political, strategic and executive support. As a political unit and administrative function that directly supports an Assistant Minister of the Australian Government, the office has a leading role in the management and coordination of policy, communications and administration of the portfolio and works in conjunction with the apolitical Australian Public Service to deliver the Government’s agenda.

The Position

The successful candidate will provide expert advice and support directly to the Assistant Minister, reflecting consultation and collaboration across offices and broader stakeholders, to solve complex policy, administration and political challenges. You will contribute to the strategic direction of the office, champion a positive workplace culture and oversee the delivery of Office outputs.

  1. Oversee and coordinate the provision of expert advice and support to the Assistant Minister and chief of staff on priority, complex and sensitive policy, public administration and political issues.
  2. Provide clearance of relevant briefs to the Assistant Minister and any other relevant correspondence and communication materials that require high level oversight.
  3. Build and maintain effective relationships with the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministerial offices and the Australian Public Service.
  4. Advise, support and represent the Assistant Minister in a wide variety of negotiations, meetings and consultations.
  5. Perform other duties as required by the Assistant Minister.


  1. Experience in leading, managing and advising on a wide range of policy, administrative, parliamentary and political matters in demanding professional circumstances.
  2. Ability to build effective relationships with internal and external stakeholders to achieve whole-of-government strategic objectives.
  3. Demonstrated ability to quickly absorb and consider briefing material for senior officials on a broad range of complex matters.
  4. Knowledge of the political process and the Australian parliamentary system, including public policy development and implementation.
  5. Ability to maintain composure in the face of complex and unexpected challenges, as well as flexibility and resilience to effectively resolve complex problems and prioritise competing demands.


Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.