Senior Advisor: Policy and Systems

  • Are you passionate about creating social change?
  • Are you a critical thinker with a solutions focussed approach?
  • Do you want to work in a growing international community organisation that’s leading Australia’s efforts to end HIV transmission?

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) is looking for a Senior Advisor: Policy and Systems to help AFAO achieve its change agenda.

AFAO leads Australia’s community response to HIV and contributes to action on HIV/AIDS globally and in Asia and the Pacific. The position plays a critical role in supporting AFAO to achieve its goals of leading Australia’s community response to HIV and advocating for AFAO’s members’ and communities’ interests.

The Senior Advisor: Policy and Systems is based in Sydney, Australia, and reports directly to the Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

Our member organisations represent the diverse communities most affected by HIV – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities, sex workers, people who inject drugs, people with HIV and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Our close connections with our communities provide us with rapid intelligence on changes in Australia’s HIV epidemic, allow us to mobilise and respond quickly and to act as a trusted communication channel to government, research and clinical partners. We support our members by advocating in forums and government processes, providing a public voice on HIV. This includes leading the formulation of positions, submissions and responses as new systemic and technical issues, evidence and technology emerges.

This role is about creating change that improves our national response to HIV and supports Australia to meet its targets in the National HIV Strategy. It includes a strong focus on identifying systemic and institutional barriers to effective HIV prevention, health promotion and service delivery. The position holder will be required to comprehensively understand the nuances of HIV, Australia’s community-led HIV response, the complexity of Australia’s public health system and the role of federalism in influencing public policy decision making in Australia.

 Key Skills and Experience

  • Capacity to conceptualise solutions to complex issues relevant to HIV, public health and diverse sexual and gender identities.
  • Excellent written and oral communication and interpersonal skills including experience in grant writing.
  • Experience of engaging with Australia’s public health regulatory frameworks and other government processes.
  • A proven track record of planning and using diverse influencing strategies to achieve organisational goals.
  • Outstanding negotiation skills for achieving results while maintaining important relationships and for representing the organisation.
  • Ability to work collaboratively to resolve complex issues, including with stakeholders who may hold differing views and conflicting interests.
  • Experience in policy consultation, research, analysis and development.
  • Excellent project, organisational and time management skills, including the capacity to manage concurrent projects and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent judgement to manage and advise on sensitive issues that may involve reputational risk.
  • Tertiary qualifications in one or more of science, public policy, law and social sciences and the humanities or equivalent experience in social change, policy, project management or a similar field.

 The successful applicant will have an understanding of and commitment to AFAO’s communities.

To apply for this position, please first download a copy of the Position Description. Your application should include a document addressing the skills and experience listed in the Job Description, your CV and three professional referees. Applications can be submitted to Renee Parker at

The position is offered on an ongoing basis.

Applications close: Tuesday 11 December 2018. 

For more information on AFAO – To discuss the position, please contact Heath Paynter, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, on 02 9557 9399 or at