Principal Sector Specialist (Health) | Flexible work arrangements available | Canberra, ACT

  • SES Band 1
  • Global Cooperation, Development and Partnerships Group, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
  • Full-Time permanent position, flexible work arrangements available
  • Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1) or ability to obtain an NV1 and NV2 on commencement
  • Canberra, ACT


The Program

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) works to make Australia stronger, safer and more prosperous, to provide timely and responsive consular and passport services, and to ensure a secure Australian Government presence overseas.

The department provides foreign, trade and development policy advice to the Government. We work with other government agencies to ensure that Australia’s pursuit of its global, regional and bilateral interests is coordinated effectively.

DFAT is the lead agency managing Australia’s international presence. We manage a network of more than 100 posts across five continents. We have a dedicated and professional workforce and we employ staff in Canberra, state and territory offices and at overseas posts.

Australia is working with partner governments to help contain the spread of COVID-19, including to access vaccines, conduct public health awareness campaigns and support local health systems. The Australian Government’s Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security (the Centre) was established in 2017 to contribute to the avoidance and containment of infectious disease threats in the Indo-Pacific.

The Centre leads the delivery of the Australian Government’s $523.2 million Regional COVID-19 Vaccine Access Health Security Initiative and the $300 million Health Security Initiative. Further information on DFAT’s current health priorities is available in Partnerships for Recovery - Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response and performance framework.


The Opportunity

The Principal Sector Specialist - Health (PSS Health) will advance Australia’s interests by ensuring Australia’s world-class public health and medical research expertise is used for the good of our region, with a particular focus on responding to COVID-19 in the Indo-Pacific.

The PSS will help lead Australia’s COVID-19 response, including working with our partners to provide COVID-19 vaccine doses to the region and support global vaccine efforts. More broadly, the position is responsible for guiding DFAT’s health investments, including supporting the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security, providing public health advice, and representing Australia in relevant international fora.

The PSS is a senior specialist position based in the Global Cooperation, Development and Partnerships Group in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

It is located within DFAT’s Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security in Canberra. Applicants require a strong understanding of health in international development contexts, and strategic, representation, advocacy, management, coordination and liaison skills. Public health or medical qualifications are desirable.

The candidate will be required to:

  1. Lead on the provision of medical and public health advice to support DFAT’s foreign policy and international development objectives, with particular focus on Australia’s COVID-19 response, health security and universal health coverage.
  2. Guide the implementation of DFAT’s health investments, in particular the Regional Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative and the Regional Health Security Initiative.
  3. Represent Australia with partner governments and at key global and regional health forums.
  4. Foster linkages and advance relationships between Australian public health and medical institutions and experts in the Indo-Pacific region.
  5. Guide the development of health-focussed staff, particularly posted officers working in health.

Possible future international travel may be required.


About You

The candidate should be a public health physician (preferred) or have a master’s degree in public health with more than ten years practical experience in public health leadership roles in government, community organisations or international settings.

Experience in international development, humanitarian response or complex health settings would also be an advantage.

Candidates must be Australian citizens. This is a security-designated position. Prior to engagement, the selected candidate will be required to hold or obtain an Australian national security clearance at Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1) as a minimum, with a requirement to obtain an NV2 on commencement.


Further Information & How to Apply

Abt Associates is supporting DFAT with the recruitment for this position. The successful candidate will be directly contracted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

To apply, please email to request the required Application Form. Applications must be completed using the Application Form and should be submitted in word format to the Abt Associates careers page:

Position specific information should be directed to Robin Davies, Head, Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security on +61 2 6261 9083. Queries about the selection process should be directed to the DFAT Recruitment Team at:

We welcome and thank all applicants however only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Closing Date:  AEST 11.59pm – Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Similar searches: Per annum, Full-Time, Medical Specialist (Non-GP), Fixed Contract, Government Institution, South Australia, Canberra & ACT