Associate Director, Policy and Advocacy

  • Join a leading global organisation dedicated to children’s rights and gender equality

  • High-impact role driving strategic policy, advocacy and government relations

  • Senior leadership opportunity

The Opportunity 

This is a rare opportunity to join the Senior Leadership Team at Plan International Australia as Associate Director, Policy and Advocacy. This high-impact role will see you create positive outcomes for children, particularly girls, through highly effective policy, advocacy, government relations and youth engagement.

We are looking for someone with political acumen and a commitment to impact, who shares our vision of an equal world. Leading a small and highly effective team, you will design influential advocacy strategies and policy positions, and then deliver on these through sharp government relations and advocacy engagement.

Who are we?

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.

We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it’s girls who are most affected.

Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all children.

We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.

We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 85 years and are now active in more than 80 countries.

What is it really like?

The Policy and Advocacy team exists to drive strategic, high-impact engagement with the Australian Government to benefit children, particularly girls, in development and humanitarian settings globally.

This small team is highly focused to achieve cut-through, influence and impact on PIA’s advocacy priorities. The role will build a robust evidence base for advocacy; shape influential thought leadership with the Australian Government; involve young people meaningfully in advocacy approaches; and engage directly with political stakeholders to achieve critical policy and advocacy outcomes.

As a leader within the organisation, you will demonstrate strong political acumen and a laser focus on impact. Your ability to manage stakeholders and collaborate effectively across the organisation, including with senior leaders and international colleagues, as well as with external sector partners, will be essential for success.

In alignment with PIA’s core mission, this role will lead efforts to encourage Australian Government support for adolescent girls and children in development and humanitarian settings, including initiatives related to climate action. The role works at a strategic and operational level, designing high-impact advocacy strategies, building relationships at multiple levels across government and parliament, and delivering the key policy and advocacy activities required to influence change, from policy positions and statements through to research reports and submissions.

Core to your approach will be a commitment to working in partnership with young people and local partners. Plan International Australia has a reputation for innovative, sector-leading youth advocacy, and this role provides the opportunity to continue advancing this through work with young people in Australia, the Pacific and internationally.

Our office is in Southbank. We’re looking for someone who can undertake some of their work here, and some of their work at home.

We work hard, but we are always flexible and supportive, offering inclusive leave.

We have weekly team meetings, and regular organisation-wide catch ups. From salary packaging to an Employee Assistance Program to support your wellbeing, we are a people-first workplace.

Who are you? 

We are looking for someone who has demonstrated experience and possesses true enthusiasm for advocacy and social impact.

The core skills we are looking for are:

  • An understanding of the role of research, government relations, media and activism in influencing change
  • A high-level understanding of at least one of PIA’s domains of influence (human rights, children’s rights, gender equality, international development, humanitarian impact, climate) and processes for influencing outcomes in this space
  • Strong relationship management skills, including experience in government and/or public service engagement
  • Astrong understanding of parliamentary and political processes in Australia
  • Alignment with PIA values and commitment to social impact, feminist leadership and sharing power

Our commitment

We make hiring decisions based on your skills, passion and experience – this experience extends outside the workplace and includes lived experience. Even if you don’t wholly fit the criteria, we still want to hear from you! At PIA we believe in looking for perspectives and abilities that new team members can bring and add to our culture.

We are dedicated to working with people from all sectors of the community. We strongly encourage applications from the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community.


  • We operate in a hybrid model, working from home or the office, and with capability to support remote workers interstate
  • An open workplace in a central location in Southbank, Melbourne
  • A flexible and supportive workplace culture to make space for the other important parts of your life
  • We care about people’s learning and career ambitions and have a learning & development framework to support this
  • Regular organisation events, offsite staff sessions and social events to make sure we stay connected
  • Salary packaging
  • Employee Assistance Program and other initiatives to support your mental health and wellbeing
  • An inclusive working environment with various groups such as Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Working Group, Reconciliation Action Plan Group (RAP), Pride Network Committee and Social Committee.

Hours and pay & location

This is a full time, ongoing role. The role is classified above award, aligned with SCHADS award. We have hybrid model working arrangements available, and are open to interstate applications.

What’s Next?

Read the full Position Description (PD) and see whether you think the role is right for you. If you’re interested, upload your cover letter and resume through either SEEK or Ethical Jobs. Include in your cover letter how your skills align with the criteria as set out in the PD.

Once we’ve got these, if you advance to the next stage, you will be contacted and invited to an interview, either online or face-to-face at the office.

Please note: When you apply, and if you are comfortable to do share, please know PIA upholds a safe space to share the pronouns you use and is also prepared to make any reasonable accommodations or adjustments you may need throughout both the recruitment process as well as the course of your employment. 

Apply before 22nd July 2024!

Plan International believes that in a world where children and program participants face so many threats of harm, it is our duty to ensure that we do everything we can to keep children and program participants safe. As part of our efforts to create safe environments for children and program participants, candidates will be required to complete a satisfactory National police Check, sign our Safeguarding policies and code of conduct, and where necessary complete a Working with Children Check.

Join Plan International Australia and help create justice for children and equality for girls.  

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