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Aurora Neurodiversity Program 2023: APS6 Senior Program Support Officer Melbourne, VIC

Specialisterne Australia offers an alternative pathway for people on the autism spectrum to connect with employers who recognise and value the contributions and talents that individuals on the spectrum can bring to their organisations. We are excited to partner with Services Australia in their Aurora Neurodiversity Program,, for a Program Support Officer from within our community of talented autistic candidates.

About Services Australia

We touch the lives of almost every Australian and we are here to help people meet life’s challenges. Services Australia is responsible for the delivery of advice and high quality, accessible social, health and child support services and payments. We continually build on our foundation of service excellence to shape how government services are delivered to the Australian community. Our task is to modernise the way we work to deliver simple, helpful, respectful and transparent services every time. We offer work that improves the lives of Australians, great working conditions, workplace diversity and inclusion that reflects the community we serve and flexible work practises for work and family life balance.

Aurora offers:

  • An inclusive recruitment process that allows candidates to demonstrate their skills and capacity in a format that removes barriers from traditional recruitment processes

  • 18-month employment contract with a competitive salary

  • Learning and development – including on-the-job and formal training/qualification

  • Ongoing support and coaching throughout the program from an experienced neurodiversity specialist provider

  • A dedicated agency relationship manager.

About the role

1 X APS6 Senior Program Support Officer

About the team - The Networks and Partnerships

The Networks and Partnerships Team supports the agency's relationships with key federal and state government partnerships including Department of Social Services (DSS), Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) and Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA).​

Roles and activities

  • The Networks and Partnerships Team provides secretariat services for a range of strategic partnership forums at Band 3 and Band 2 levels. As Secretariat, the team enables and manages the specific Bilateral Management Agreement (BMA) objectives of each entity and ensures streamlined coordination and operation within the Terms of Reference (ToR).

  • The team also maintains the Corporate Calendar to allow visibility of strategic meetings scheduled in advance to assist with planning and alignment Bilateral Agreements

  • The Networks and Partnerships is the agency's lead subject matter experts on managing and documenting bilateral agreements with other government entities, and supporting business areas who own those relationships. Our team has a role in:

  • Supporting business areas to negotiate new bilateral agreements and associated documentation

  • Providing advice and support in relation to the agency's Bilateral Agreements Framework and ANAO obligations

  • Reviewing a Protocol, Services Schedule, Letters of Exchange or other agreements.


The roles are full-time, non-ongoing/ongoing, non-ongoing contracts for up to 18 months.

Location of role

The role is located in Melbourne CBD, VIC.

Aurora Neurodiversity Program 2023

APS6 Senior Program Support Officer | Melbourne, VIC

Please Note: All applications must go through Specialisterne Australia. Our partner employers do not handle applications directly for these opportunities.

What you will do

Program Support professionals provide support to several related projects within a specific program. They monitor project schedules and budgets, prepare progress reports, and liaise with key stakeholders.

Senior Program Officers provide operational support to local teams to support the delivery of the agency’s programs. They contribute to strategic planning for programs, changes in workplace practices and business improvement initiatives, and deliver programs in accordance with business requirements and work area priorities.

They also play a key role in developing and maintaining relationships with internal and external stakeholders, and may provide operational leadership to a team.

As a Senior Program Support Officer you will work as part of a multi-skilled team to:

Duties may include some or all of the following:

  • Promote and implement programs administered by the agency

  • Provide leadership to a team and develop staff capability through coaching, mentoring and on the job support

  • Maintain effective relationships with internal and external stakeholders to deliver program services and build service delivery capability

  • Attend interagency meetings and forums to obtain and share information

  • Assist with strategic planning for programs with a particular emphasis on addressing the service delivery needs of different community groups

  • Liaise with stakeholders to resolve complex program and policy issues and improve access to services, payments and programs offered by the agency

  • Provide expert advice to staff and stakeholders regarding policy, procedures and programs

  • Analyse and report on the achievement of business outcomes, key performance indicators and quality assurance to assist the local leadership team in managing overall performance

  • Contribute to relevant business and people planning and develop local strategies to improve against key performance indicators

  • Contribute to policy review including the development of new policies and guidelines perform independent research and analysis including preparation of draft reports on relevant program activities and/or project milestones

  • Prepare draft reports, briefing papers and Ministerial correspondence for review by senior staff

  • Exercise appropriate delegations in accordance with legislation and guidelines.

What you should have

These things are important to have:

  • Work in and adapt to a fast paced changing environment

  • Communicate in an effective way

  • Build relationships and engage with diverse groups of people

  • Negotiate and influence in an effective way

  • Understand change and communicate it to staff in a meaningful way

  • Collaborate with other staff in immediate area and in other areas of the agency

  • Research, analyse and make sound decisions using appropriate judgement

  • Plan, organise and prioritise work for self and team

  • Coach, train and mentor staff.

What is nice to have: These things are not essential, but if you have them that’s great:

  • Love problem solving

  • Enjoy performing research and analysis activities

  • Can communicate and convey key messages, verbal and written

  • Can work as part of a team

What you must have To apply for these roles, these things are essential:

  • Must be 18 years of age or over

  • Must have a diagnosis of autism (including Autism spectrum disorder, Asperger's disorder, Autistic disorder, or PDD-NOS). ‘Specialisterne may be required to provide evidence of your diagnosis to Services Australia to confirm your eligibility for the program.’

  • Must have proof of Australian Citizenship and agree to background checks

  • Must be able to obtain a Baseline security clearance

  • Must live (or be willing to relocate to) a daily commutable distance to Melbourne CBD.

Application process:

Step 1

Before you can apply for jobs through Specialisterne Australia, you must first register with us as an eligible candidate using the form on this page. You only need to do this once, existing candidates already registered using this form can proceed to login at the candidate portal. To commence the registration process, please make sure you have the required documents stated below:

  1. Evidence of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis. Evidence could be a Diagnostic Assessment or a letter from a treating medical practitioner.

  2. Proof of Australian Citizenship. Accepted documents are one of the following:

  • Australian Birth Certificate

  • Current Australian Passport

  • Certificate of Australian Citizenship

Step 2


Upload your documents using the form provided on this page below. A member of our team will check your eligibility and you will then be sent a link to complete an online registration form with Specialisterne Australia. After you have completed your registration form, you will be sent a link to the candidate portal to upload supporting documents and apply for our jobs.


If you have already registered as an eligible candidate with Specialisterne Australia using the form below and have an account, you can login to your account in the candidate portal to apply for the jobs or opportunities you are most interested in. A link to the candidate portal is contained in the form provided on this page below.

Step 3

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to participate in activities and assessments delivered by Specialisterne and Services Australia to determine their suitability for the various opportunities. Talk to us if you need some flexibility to participate in these, particularly if you cannot attend because of work or study commitments.

Step 4

At the conclusion of the activities, successful candidates will be offered employment. If you are unsuccessful, you may be considered for other Specialisterne opportunities.

Activities will be delivered in-person and online in a virtual assessment centre environment and therefore candidates are expected to have use of their own computer with a webcam and microphone and have access to the internet.

About Specialisterne Australia

Specialisterne Australia exists because autistic candidates are being overlooked for employment, largely due to the many barriers that autistic candidates come up against when competing for employment in typical recruitment practices.

Specialisterne has created an end-to-end recruitment and employee support framework that removes those typically found barriers, and replaces them with practical, demonstrative assessments and activities whereby candidates, over a patient process, have the opportunity to:

  • better understand the requirements of the roles they are competing for to assess if they are the right opportunities for them

  • meet team members and managers throughout the process

  • connect with others who have previously gained employment via this program

  • demonstrate through practical assessments and activities their motivation and suitability for the available roles over a patient process

  • ‘show’ what they can do (not just tell someone what you can do)

At Specialisterne Australia our values are Respect, Clarity, Accommodation, and Accessibility. We keep these in mind in all that we do. We work with our partner employers to promote and sustain a diverse and inclusive workforce.

To support you further throughout your journey, we provide a mentor and buddy, and we work with you to tailor an individual plan to accommodate your needs in the workplace, also providing a period of support for both you and your future employer, ensuring a successful transition into your new role.

More information:

We look forward to receiving your applications.

Aurora Neurodiversity Program

A pathway for people with autism to start their career in the Australian Public Service (APS) with opportunities in Services Australia.

The Aurora Neurodiversity Program (the Program) recognises the unique skills and talents people who are neurodivergent can bring to work. The Program seeks to improve career outcomes and offers professional development and work experience by providing a gateway to the APS.


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