First listed on: 25 August 2021

SKA Program Leader


The Opportunity

  • Be part of the most ambitious and challenging radio telescope project in the world
  • Enjoy an attractive salary package with flexibility to work full-time or part-time
  • Work with global and Australian leaders in astronomy and space

The Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) is a next-generation global radio-astronomy facility that will revolutionise our understanding of the Universe and the laws of fundamental physics. It is one observatory with two telescopes – SKA-Low in Western Australia and SKA-Mid in South Africa. The SKAO is managed from its headquarters in the United Kingdom.

SKAO will work in partnership with Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, to operate the SKA-Low telescope. CSIRO is involved in several facets of the SKA-Low in Australia including construction (digital processing, infrastructure, and antenna station management and deployment, integration and verification, and software) and as an operating partner (SKAO will partner with CSIRO to operate the SKA-Low Telescope and support construction).  CSIRO also operates the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) which hosts multiple national and international radio astronomy telescopes and is where the SKA-Low Telescope will be located. 

The CSIRO SKA Program Leader is responsible for the day-to-day oversight and coordination to ensure that CSIRO successfully delivers its portfolio of obligations towards the SKA Observatory (SKAO) and the Australian Government. The CSIRO SKA Program Leader will work to ensure that CSIRO’s SKA activities and obligations are successfully delivered throughout the complex and lengthy SKA construction period leading to SKA Low telescope operations, whilst ensuring CSIRO’s core interests are upheld. 

As a member of the Space & Astronomy Executive team, the SKA Program Leader will participate in the Business Unit’s strategic activities to ensure its ongoing growth and success in the era of the SKA. This role ensures that CSIRO maintains a unified communications path to its stakeholders and the SKA Organisation. 

Your duties will include:

  • Coordination of all CSIRO’s SKA related activities. This includes ensuring planning and execution of obligations delivered by S&A alone as well as those requiring contribution from other parts of CSIRO.    
  • Being the central point of contact between SKAO and CSIRO on matters which are not managed via the formal contracting process for operational and construction activities. 
  • Acting as trusted advisor and liaison between CSIRO and other stakeholders such as the WA Government and DISER’s SKA team, on matters which are not managed via the formal contracting process for site activities. 
  • Establishing and enacting the CSIRO SKA Program plan (for the period 2021-2028) to ensure that S&A has clear sight of its CSIRO SKA obligations, and that there is effective communication to all participants in the endeavour.
  • Proactively promoting innovation and technology (IP) returns to Australia from CSIRO’s SKA activity. 
  • Maintaining excellent relationships with the SKA Low Telescope Director and their deputy, working in a spirit of true partnership to deliver the Low Telescope and services. 
  • Contributing to the forward strategic direction of the business unit and helping to build CSIRO’s strategy for telescopes on the MRO site

Location: Perth, WA; Sydney, NSW
Salary: AU$139k - AU$208k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 5 years
Reference: 77254

To be considered you will need:

Essential Criteria:

  • Bachelor’s/Master's degree in a scientific or technical discipline in conjunction with demonstrated achievement in senior advisory and managerial roles, ideally with postgraduate managerial qualifications.
  • Proven ability to communicate with, influence and motivate staff while working in an uncertain and complex regulatory environment.
  • Excellent English oral and written communication skills, with the ability to present in public forums to a diverse audience.
  • A history of establishing and leading cooperative teams, promoting diversity and inclusion, and a record of strong leadership that has contributed to or defined policy direction and strategy. 
  • Proven ability to foster effective relationships, using complex influencing strategies to ensure alignment between client or stakeholder needs and CSIRO’s objectives.
  • Demonstrated ability to anticipate and successfully manage major conceptual scientific, technical, commercial or management problems, which have a significant impact at a Business Unit or Organisational level. 


  • Demonstrated experience interacting with a broad community of individuals, including indigenous groups.
  • Experience in the construction and/operation of large?scale astronomical or science research facilities.
  • Current drivers licence.

For full details about this role please review the Position Description


To be eligible to work in CSIRO you must be an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or either hold, or be able to obtain, a valid working visa.

The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent. Additional integrity checks may be required for specific roles which require security clearance for working with children, Australian Government cybersecurity requirements or other identified security roles.

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. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

21 September 2021, 11:00pm AEST/AEDT

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