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Chief Operating Officer

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Organisation : UPLIT Association Inc.

Location : Brisbane (South Brisbane)

Work Type : Full-time

Sector : Arts & Culture

Salary Type : Annual Package + Commission

Application Closing Date : 4 Jan, 2019

About the Role

UPLIT is embarking on an exciting period of renewal and change to reimagine its core offering – Brisbane’s iconic annual literature event, the Brisbane Writers Festival. The UPLIT Board is offering a rare opportunity to a person with outstanding interpersonal skills and commercial acumen who can work closely with the CEO & Artistic Director to develop and deliver a new strategic plan. We are looking for an experienced or suitably qualified Chief Operating Officer (COO) to oversee our organisation’s ongoing operations and procedures. You will be the company’s second-in-command and responsible for the efficient operation of the business.

The COO role is a key member of the senior management team, reporting only to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Artistic Director. We are looking for an experienced and effective leader, who can competently maintain control of diverse business operations. If you also have excellent people skills, business acumen and exemplary work ethics, we’d like to meet you.

The goal of the COO position is to secure the operational efficacy of business to drive extensive and sustainable growth.

UPLIT enriches and connects Queensland communities through stories and ideas. Presenting a suite of annual events, including our highly regarded flagship Brisbane Writers Festival, UPLIT strives to:

  • Engage existing and new audiences of books, writing and ideas through dynamic social and cultural conversations
  • Build lasting connections with and between communities through transformative cultural experiences
  • Promote high quality writers and thinkers, while strengthening the pathways for emerging talent
  • Contribute to innovation and new thinking about literature and writing as an art form, and
  • Build and consolidate foundations for sustainable growth.


The COO is responsible for the operational and commercial leadership of UPLIT to deliver on its mission to connect Queensland through story.  Reporting to the CEO & Artistic Director, you will play a key role in managing and delivering Development & Fundraising, Marketing & Communications, Finance, IT, Legal & Compliance and HR.

The COO works collaboratively and strategically, reflecting the organisation’s values with a focus on fostering, developing and maintaining a broad network of support for UPLIT with government, current and prospective commercial partners, philanthropic contributors and community stakeholders.

The COO sustains and cultivates a strong financial position and efficient operating model with a focus on sustainability and ensuring UPLIT remains a great place to work for permanent and seasonal staff, and the many volunteers who enable BWF each year.

Governance and Compliance

  • Ensure Board meetings are effectively serviced with appropriate information and the Board is kept informed of UPLIT’s financial position and operating plans, risks and challenges.
  • Ensure UPLIT is legally compliant in all areas of activity and fulfils its reporting requirements.

Commercial Leadership

  • Design and implement business & development strategies, plans and procedures.
  • Set comprehensive goals for performance and growth.
  • Oversee daily operations of the company and the work of executives (IT, Marketing, Sales, Finance, etc.).
  • Evaluate performance by analysing and interpreting data and metrics.
  • Write and submit reports to the CEO on relevant commercial, operational and strategic matters.

Financial Planning and Reporting

  • Lead the organisation to implement a commercially viable and sustainable operational model for long term growth.
  • Take overall responsibility for budget planning, monitoring and control process, in order to achieve financial targets approved by the Board.
  • Submit annual and project budgets and reports to the Board for discussion and approval.

Marketing, Communication and Development

  • Oversee the development and promotion of all brand activity, and maximise participation across UPLIT’s complete program of events.
  • Oversee delivery of the identification, conversion and maintenance of relationships with current and prospective corporate and commercial partners.
  • Develop and diversify income streams including earned income, and corporate and philanthropic support for UPLIT and its programs.
  • Maintain collaborative and regular communication with UPLIT’s philanthropic, government, corporate and private stakeholders, and ensure that all reporting requirements are met.

Human Resources

  • Lead employees to encourage maximum performance and engagement.
  • Manage the performance of Development, Marketing and Operational staff and any external contractors pertaining to these areas of work.
  • Resource the organisation with the staff and volunteers required to deliver UPLIT’s strategy, and maintain a positive and safe working environment for all staff and volunteers.
  • Manage disciplinary and grievance issues, where necessary consulting with the Chair.


  • Proven experience as Chief Operating Officer or similar role
  • Proven track record in development and fundraising (specific experience in the arts sector will be favourably considered)
  • Understanding of business functions such as HR, Finance, marketing etc.
  • Demonstrable competency in strategic planning and business development
  • Working knowledge of data analysis and performance/operation metrics (specific knowledge of arts sector trends and audience engagement preferred)
  • Working knowledge of IT/Business infrastructure and MS Office
  • Outstanding organizational and leadership abilities
  • Excellent interpersonal and public speaking skills
  • Aptitude in decision-making and problem-solving
  • BSc/BA in Business Administration or relevant field; MSc/MBA is a plus

About the Organisation

Organisation Name : UPLIT Association Inc.

Established in 2016 as an expansion of Brisbane Writers Festival, UPLIT was created to support all the literary events and programs presented year-round. While UPLIT's flagship program is Brisbane Writers Festival, the organisation presents a variety of experiences connecting Queensland through story.

Apply for this Job

Position Description : UPLIT COO PD and Selection Criteria

For details concerning this role, please contact

Zoe Pollock

Phone : 0414452562

Email :

Applications not allowed for this job listing.

Please quote in application: Chief Operating Officer via Pro Bono Australia.


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