This client applied for a role of Director/Head of School in the tertiary sector; he gained a job interview was offered the role and accepted. The selection criteria component involved the addressing of a total of seven criteria listed under Essential and Desirable sections. In addressing the five criteria listed under the Essential section, content/examples for each one was written and maintained at just under one page. Following are part excerpts from three of the criteria.

High level communication and interpersonal skills with the capacity to successfully negotiate and engage with a diverse range of stakeholders, clients and staff.

As the lead on numerous natural resource management (NRM) and environmental projects, I facilitated and negotiated between end users, asset owners, funding bodies and consultants to ensure deliverables and expectations were met. In my role as Project Officer with the Department of XYZ, I was engaged to negotiate land use issues when landholders were not operating according to compliance. In one instance, I led negotiations and facilitated a win-win outcome between diverse groups of stakeholders: two government departments, a group of landowners, and the forestry industry. The process involved facilitating initial meetings with each individual stakeholder group separately in order to gain an understanding of their perspectives on the issues at hand. Thereafter, my strategy involved finding the commonality amongst all stakeholders and to bring them together on common ground; this avoided conflict and lessened animosity. To effect this, I facilitated an onsite meeting, bringing each of the stakeholder groups together to openly discuss their perspectives. This meeting was instrumental in securing a resolution that eliminated a potential court proceeding. Furthermore, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was drafted outlining key outcomes and undertakings for each stakeholder, and time frames for their deliverables. Importantly, a positive atmosphere and camaraderie was developed (reversing the initial animosity felt) between neighbouring landholders as they felt a positive outcome was reached that was not only of benefit to them on an individual level but also on a much wider scale.

Demonstrated ability to implement business and revenue raising strategies.

In my role as Regional Coordinator with NNN, I was extensively involved in securing funding for various programs for 160 groups. I identified available funding sources and determined which projects would fit into allocated funding. To identify funding sources, I utilised an expansive list of existing professional networks/contacts and also established and developed new networks. New networks were developed via cold canvassing local government departments with interests and/or links to the Primary Industries sector; and by investigating different organisations to determine commonality or a link which could be presented as a means of establishing prospective relationships and building new business; hence, injecting further revenue into the organisation’s revenue stream. Cold calling existing and new contacts was focused on introducing and discussing the application of funding or in working together to apply for joint funding. My efforts in this regard were instrumental in securing approximately $300k in funding over a 16 month period.

High level understanding of tertiary education and training particularly related to Primary Industries training.

My understanding of tertiary education and training includes formalising an individual’s existing skill set into recognised qualifications; and developing training opportunities for individuals in regional and remote locations to secure gainful employment both within and around the regions. I am aware of and see a critical need for the additional implementation and delivery of tertiary and VET training programs in remote and regional locations. This will facilitate the growth of a pool of skilled individuals to prosper not only as individuals but also in terms of developing regional and remote communities, and to help slowly build them to urban standards economically. There are two industries centred on remote communities: education and land management; and the other, focused on agriculture enterprises such as cattle stations in the NT regional and remote regions. For example, cattle stations are presently struggling to attract and maintain skilled and motivated staff. Tertiary education would be the best resource for individuals/students to develop the skill set required to fill these positions, and to give them the confidence to be able to undertake requisite duties and to remain in these roles for an extended duration. Critical factors (such as attracting staff, low retention rates and high turnover) impact adversely on business at many levels especially in terms of cost. Attracting the right employee and retaining long term employment helps businesses (land owners) in running a stable operation, and in turn realising strong business outcomes. Tertiary education and training in regional and remote locations can play an instrumental role in facilitating this breakthrough.

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Annie Cerone