Published October 14, 2021
Last Modified October 14, 2021
Penington Institute
95 Drummond St, Carlton, Australia
Contact Phone Number
Closing Date
October 29, 2021

Job Description

Penington Institute, an independent and not-for-profit organisation, actively supports the adoption of approaches to drug use that promote safety and human dignity. It does so through thought leadership, community education, front-line worker training, research and policy formation.

The successful candidate will work as part of a small and high-functioning team that reports to, and collaborates with, the Manager, Research and Policy on strategic policy, research and advocacy activities.

Key responsibilities

  • Take a proactive role in identifying and staying informed about policy issues relevant to drug use.
  • Draft high quality submissions and reports to government, the Executive, key strategic committees and other stakeholders.
  • Engage with key stakeholders to keep abreast of developments and intelligence from front-line workforces and various networks.
  • Source and analyse relevant policy, research and data, presenting recommendations to ensure that Penington Institute makes well-informed, evidence-based decisions.
  • Write content on policy issues for our publications (media releases, websites, publications and campaign materials).
  • Contribute to other projects as required.

We offer a dynamic working environment and are located in Carlton, in the heart of the vibrant Lygon St precinct.

The position is a full-time or negotiated part-time contract for two years. The remuneration package will be negotiated with the successful applicant.

Please read the position description here.


Ensure your application includes a cover letter addressing the selection criteria and a current CV.

For further information on this position, please contact Dr Karen Gelb on +613 9650 0699.

Submit your application to Anna Rolle,

Applications close on Friday 29 October at 5pm; you are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Key Selection Criteria

Applicants should have:

  1. A relevant tertiary qualification or demonstrated equivalent competency.
  2. Experience in policy development.
  3. Excellent policy analysis, research and report writing skills, conceptual skills and a high degree of analytical and problem-solving skills.
  4. Excellent written and verbal communication skills and high-level consultation skills.
  5. Excellent planning and organisational skills and demonstrated ability to set priorities and meet deadlines.
  6. Demonstrated ability to determine long-term planning and key strategic directions and develop, implement and improve policies, processes and procedures.
  7. Ability to work with a high degree of autonomy and initiative in a complex and confidential environment.
  8. Experience in government and political processes is desirable.

Other criteria

People with a multi-lingual or diverse background, or with personal experience of drug use issues, are encouraged to apply.


  1. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with colleagues as an active member of a team.
  2. Demonstrated high level interpersonal, communication, liaison and organisational skills to be applied across a range of differing cultural environments and diverse communities and organisations.
  3. Able to participate and contribute to continuous improvement in a diverse and multidisciplinary team’s functioning in a cooperative and collaborative manner.

Builds and utilises stakeholder relationships

  1. Builds networks within the wider community, sourcing and developing potential contacts relevant to the position and Penington Institute.
  2. Maintains strong, positive relationships both internally and externally.
  3. Finds innovative solutions to resolve issues.
  4. Builds trust through consistent actions, values and communication.
  5. Keeps stakeholders up to date with issues and developments, escalating stakeholder issues as appropriate.

Eligibility criteria

  1. Holds Australian citizenship, permanent residency or proof of eligibility to work on an unrestricted basis in Australia.