First listed on: 15 June 2022

Legal Counsel (Work Health & Safety)


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

The Opportunity

  • Provide legal advice, documentation and support in relation to a wide range of WHS matters
  • Demonstrate legal leadership in the area of WHS
  • Work collaboratively as a team to support CSIRO's strategic and scientific objectives and legal compliance 

CSIRO are seeking a qualified law professional with relevant industry experience for a fantastic indefinite opportunity as Legal Counsel (Work Health & Safety).

The Enterprise Legal Team provides expert legal advice and support across a range of practice areas, including corporate governance, compliance, administrative law, privacy, freedom of information (FOI), property, procurement, work health and safety, workers compensation, employment, industrial relations, litigation and research ethics. 

The role of the Legal Counsel (Work Health & Safety) is to provide high-quality legal advice, tailored to meet the requirements and circumstances of internal clients, taking into account CSIRO’s regulatory compliance obligations and strategic objectives, in the focus area of workplace health and safety (WHS).

Your duties will include:

  • Providing legal advice, documentation and support in relation to a wide range of WHS matters including:
    • advice under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth) and other regulatory regimes in respect of notifiable incidents, applicable duties, legislative interpretation, and the application of legislative requirements to the day-to-day activities and practices of CSIRO staff
    • managing interactions and investigations with regulators and other relevant stakeholders, primarily Comcare but also in relation to the highly regulated areas of gene technology, biosecurity, radiation safety, chemical safety etc.
  • Providing advice that is accurate, clear, timely, practical, risk-adjusted and solutions-focused and which takes into account strategic priorities, applicable law and relevant CSIRO and Commonwealth policy considerations.
  • Developing an understanding of CSIRO’s strategic objectives, business operations, internal and external stakeholders, political context, relevant industry partners and regulatory interactions.
  • Demonstrating legal leadership in the area of WHS through handling requests, providing practical advice and supporting and participating in relevant internal education, compliance programs and working groups. 
  • Exercising initiative and influence to build relationships with key internal clients (such as the Director, Health Safety and Environment) and help position the Enterprise Legal Team as a “trusted advisor” in CSIRO, in order to provide proactive advice.
  • Contributing to the ongoing legal education and training of internal clients in legal areas falling within the Enterprise Legal Team practice, including WHS law.
  • At all times, maintaining confidentiality when dealing with personal and commercially sensitive information.
  • Generating improved solutions to complex problems and resolve issues efficiently and effectively using creativity, reasoning and past experience.
  • Working collaboratively as part of a geographically-dispersed team to carry out tasks in a timely fashion in support of CSIRO’s strategic and scientific objectives and legal compliance.

Location: Melbourne or Canberra preferred, but other capital cities may be considered
Salary: AU$117k - AU$138k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Indefinite
Reference: 84001

To be considered you will need:

  • Tertiary education:  A degree in law from an Australian tertiary institution, or a comparable overseas qualification, which is appropriate to the classification and duties of the Legal Counsel (Work Health & Safety) role.
  • Practising certificate: A current Australian practising certificate or entitlement to hold an Australian practising certificate.
  • Relevant experience: A minimum of approximately five (5) years of post-admission experience, in the legal practice area of WHS, either in private, in-house and/or government role(s).
  • Demonstrated strong technical knowledge and applied post-admission experience in the legal practice area of WHS, either in government and/or for government clients
  • As part of the Enterprise Team and with limited technical supervision, the ability to work efficiently and effectively as a WHS legal adviser and, in partnership with relevant in-business teams, to support the legislative and regulatory compliance, strategic objectives and operations of CSIRO.  
  • A history of professional and respectful behaviours and attitudes in a collaborative and constructive environment.
  • Demonstrated flexibility in thinking and responding to organisational change by adapting strategies, goals and priorities.
  • Proven ability to anticipate and manage problems in ambiguous situations, develop appropriate solutions based on thorough evaluation and interpretation, and defend the conclusions with reasoned arguments.
  • High-level written and oral communication skills and the capacity to identify and influence critical stakeholders to gain support for new proposals/ideas/requirements.
  • Demonstrated ability to foster and develop strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • A record of adherence to professional ethics and standards.
  • Post-admission experience advising on workers compensation, employment law, industrial relations, compliance, property, procurement, corporate governance, FOI and/or privacy law is desirable.
  • Post-admission experience working in or advising research organisations, universities, independent statutory agencies (State or Federal) or other government entities is desirable.

For full details about this role, please review the Position Description.


Applications for this position are open to Australian Citizens, New Zealand Citizens and Australian Permanent Residents only.

Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.

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

7 July 2022, 11:00pm AEDT.

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