Head of Public Diplomacy

Australian High Commission
Starting Salary of £67,177 - £73,247 per annum
Closing date
30 Jun 2022

View more

Contract Type
Full Time
Public Affairs / Policy
Senior Management
Public Sector
Business Type
Flexible Working Hours, Pension
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Contract: Permanent

Full-Time: 36.75 hours per week

Classification: LE7

Starting Salary: £67,177 - £73,247 per annum


About the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The role of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is to advance the interests of Australia and Australians internationally. This involves strengthening Australia’s security, enhancing Australia’s prosperity, delivering an effective and high-quality overseas aid program and helping Australian travellers and Australians overseas.

The department provides foreign, trade and development policy advice to the Australian Government. DFAT also works with other Australian government agencies to drive coordination of Australia’s pursuit of global, regional and bilateral interests.


About the position

The Head of Public Diplomacy is responsible for overseeing the design and implementation of the High Commission’s strategy to advance Australia’s national interests, government priorities and influence in the United Kingdom. This includes developing a range of strategic communications and public diplomacy programs to enhance the Australian Government’s public engagement and promote policy advocacy activities in the United Kingdom.

The key responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead the development of the High Commission’s public diplomacy strategy to advance Australian Government priorities and increase influence in the United Kingdom.
  • Oversee implementation of the High Commission’s annual public diplomacy program through the delivery of major public campaigns, events, exhibitions and formal functions promoting foreign, trade and economic policy matters, along with science, innovation, cultural and creative industry, sports, culinary, alumni and academic issues.
  • Coordinate strategic communications planning, including management and guidance of staff responsible for the High Commission’s website, social media, speechwriting and public events.
  • Evaluate and report on the effectiveness of public diplomacy programs and implement recommendations to improve engagement and outreach.
  • Manage the Public Diplomacy branch, including responsibility for the achievement of team outcomes, and monitoring progress to deliver quality strategies and initiatives.
  • Manage the Public Diplomacy budget, including forecasting and acquitting expenditure and allocating resources to maximise outcomes and ensure financial probity requirements are met.
  • Obtain funding and sponsorship for public diplomacy events from government and corporate institutions and manage relevant grants processes.
  • Provide high-level expert advice to the High Commissioner and senior officials at post and in Canberra and make recommendations to inform decisions on a range of communications and public diplomacy issues.
  • Represent the views of the High Commission at meetings and engage with key stakeholders to promote Australian interests and identify opportunities to achieve outcomes and facilitate outreach strategies.
  • Present and deliver speeches at a range of forums, events and functions to strengthen strategic relationships with a broad range of stakeholders.
  • Manage complex stakeholder relationships and negotiate on behalf of the High Commission to resolve and mitigate risk on issues which impact public perceptions of Australia in the United Kingdom.


Qualifications / Experience


  • In-depth knowledge and experience in one or more of the following fields - foreign and trade policy, public policy, strategic communications, cultural/arts, media, public diplomacy or campaign management.
  • Thorough knowledge of Australian government policy and priorities.
  • Demonstrated experience programming and implementing public diplomacy strategies, including the delivery of major programs and high-profile events.
  • Ability to lead teams and projects, allocate resources appropriately, and work collaboratively to achieve desired outcomes to a consistently high standard.
  • Strong writing and advocacy skills and the ability to deliver content for reports, briefs and media platforms and an ability to navigate complex media environments.
  • Sound judgement and organisational skills, including the ability to manage competing priorities and meet time-critical deadlines.
  • Well-established and extensive networks among influential opinion leaders and relevant stakeholder groups in the United Kingdom.
  • Highly persuasive with strong negotiation skills with a well-established capacity to develop effective stakeholder relationships and cultivate networks.
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills, with proven ability to communicate with influence and present information effectively, both among opinion leaders, relevant stakeholder groups, and the public. 
  • Proven budget management skills, including experience delivering project objectives according to strict financial and procurement policy procedures.


  • Ability to obtain and maintain an Australian Government security clearance is desirable, though not essential


  • Right to Work in the United Kingdom
  • The position will require anti-social hours including some after hours and weekend work



Please address each of the selection criteria for the role in the spaces provided on the application form. Drawing on your prior experience, please provide examples of where you have demonstrated the required competencies or transferrable skills.

The word limit is strictly 250 word per response. The panel will not assess responses that exceed the word limit.

A. Ability to supervise the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of the High Commission’s Public Diplomacy strategy. 

B. Proven record of high-level stakeholder management and influence including negotiating and mitigating risk and public perceptions of Australia in the UK.

C. Experience in setting priorities for a small yet busy team and managing workflows to ensure efficiency and delivery of agreed outputs and goals.

D. Experience in providing strategic direction and guidance on public engagement, cultural and advocacy activities.

E. Ability to manage, organise and negotiate the Public Diplomacy personnel and financial resources and ensure financial probity requirements are met.

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