Chief Legal Officer, CSIRO

Date Posted: 11 Jun 2024
Views: 122 | | Applications:

Location: Sydney, NSW, AU | Brisbane, QLD, AU | Melbourne, VIC, AU | Canberra, ACT, AU

Company: CSIRO

Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation

Child safety

CSIRO is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people involved in our activities and programs. View our Child Safe Policy.


The Opportunity

  • Work for Australia’s National Science Agency
  • Become CSIRO’s inaugural Chief Legal Officer
  • Provide strategic vision and leadership to a highly capable team of professionals



The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is one of the largest and most multidisciplinary, mission-driven, research and development organisations in the world.  Focused on creating a better future for Australia, we are a statutory corporation within the Australian Government’s Industry, Science and Resources (DISR) portfolio and are committed to solving the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We’re the people behind Wi-Fi, soft contact lenses and the Hendra virus vaccine, and we’re Australia’s leading patent holder. We are also highly connected, working with universities, governments, Australian and international businesses of all sizes across all major industries, and with communities around the country. With more than 6,000 staff, we deliver around $10.2 billion of annual benefit to the nation through our science, advancing Australia’s national prosperity, as well as creating environmental and social benefits.


The Role

Following an Enterprise Services reform, CSIRO is seeking to appoint an inaugural Chief Legal Officer (CLO) to lead the newly established, dedicated Legal function, combining the legal, paralegal and Board office professional service teams.

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, and working closely with CSIRO’s Executive Leadership team and Board, the CLO will be responsible for nurturing and developing a collaborative Legal function that can effectively deliver core services to CSIRO. Concurrently, the CLO will draw on past experience and expertise in organisational transformation, to effectively contribute to CSIRO’s ongoing Enterprise Services reform.


The Chief Legal Officer will also be responsible for:

  • The role of General Counsel.
  • Ensuring the highest standards of professional integrity are maintained across the Legal function.
  • Providing empowering and inspirational leadership to the multi-disciplinary functions of the new Legal team.
  • Advising CSIRO’s Executive, Senior Management and Board, on a broad range of legal matters affecting or relevant to CSIRO’s operations.
  • Identifying and undertaking business process improvements that supports the provision of efficient professional services and systems.

As a key member of CSIRO’s Leadership Team, you will employ your superior collaboration and communication skills to balance delivering Legal’s functional and strategic objectives with CSIRO’s enterprise-wide priorities and outcomes.


Location:        CSIRO’s major city sites
Salary:            Attractive salary package + 15.4% superannuation, negotiable for the right candidate
Tenure:           Specified Term of 3 years - Full-time


About You

We are seeking a highly motivated, commercially astute and strategic legal professional with:

  • A minimum of fifteen years post-admission experience, including significant experience in private law firms, in-house and/or government legal roles. (Experience working in, and deep technical legal knowledge and understanding of, the Commonwealth operating environment will be held in high regard but is not essential).
  • Exceptional interpersonal, influencing and communication skills with a proven ability to form and maintain relationships with a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders, including demonstrated experience working closely with Board and C-Suite.
  • A history of developing and leading collaborative, collegiate, high-performing teams who are sought for their trusted advice across their organisation.
  • Strong business acumen, an outcome-focussed approach and formidable financial management skills.
  • A proven track record in leading collaborative change.
  • A degree in law with a current unrestricted Australian practising certificate.
  • Values aligned to those at CSIRO CSIRO values - CSIRO


For a detailed overview of the role and responsibilities, please view the position description here:



Applications are open to Australian and New Zealand Citizens and Australian Permanent Residents only.

The successful candidate will be required to undertake a National Police Clearance or equivalent as well as an Australian Government Negative Vetting 2 Security Clearance (and other potential background checks).


Flexible working arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 


Diversity and inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 



At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

CSIRO is committed to values-based leadership to inspire performance and unlock the potential of our people.

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!


How to apply

Please apply on-line with a cover letter or executive summary (of no more than 2 pages long) accompanied with your CV, both of which outline your motivations for applying and your key skills and experience to enable you to meet the requirements of this role. Note, you do not need to specifically address the selection criteria in your application.  


Applications close

11:59pm Sunday 14th July 2024 (Australian Eastern Standard Time)


We encourage early applications as late applications will not be accepted.

11:59 PM

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