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Head of Development

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Organisation : The Wheeler Centre

Location : Melbourne (CBD)

Work type : Full-time

Sector : Arts & Culture

Salary type : Annual Package

Salary : $110,000 per annum plus statutory superannuation

Application closing date : 23 Sep, 2019

About the role


The Head of Development reports to the Director and works as part of the senior management team to achieve significant private support for the Wheeler Centre. The Head of Development is tasked with conceiving and implementing a broad range of engaging, effective fundraising strategies that reflect and respond to the Centre’s creative vision, audience development strategies, and stakeholder expectations. With a focus on philanthropy and relationships, the Head of Development attracts grants from trusts and foundations, private support from individual donors, and – where appropriate – a range of sponsorship arrangements with both new and established corporate partners.


The Wheeler Centre is a fast-paced and ambitious organisation; to succeed in this role, you will enjoy being part of a highly motivated, collaborative, and imaginative team. Working closely with the Director and senior management team, this is a senior management role for a specialist with a strong track record in fundraising.  The successful candidate will lead our direct interactions with major donors, philanthropic bodies, and other key stakeholders, so will necessarily have a gift for communication and building relationships. The role is full-time with some evening and weekend work required. A passion for books, writing, and ideas is a must.



  • Lead and coordinate all forms of fundraising on behalf of the Centre; this will include making approaches to trusts, foundations, individuals and the corporate sector, either directly or jointly with the Centre’s Director or Board members.
  • Develop and implement comprehensive and effective fundraising strategies.
  • Set the annual fundraising targets with the management Team.
  • Research prospective donors and grants and initiate meetings and opportunities.
  • Write proposals and negotiate agreements.
  • Develop and maintain rapport and relationships with donors, trusts and foundations.
  • Provide overall direction and management of sponsor hospitality and functions, and ensure all contracted benefits are delivered.
  • Brief high-level stakeholders including the Board and the Director on fundraising issues and represent the Centre in a variety of forums, both internal and external.
  • Develop close working relationships within the philanthropic and cultural sector.
  • Control relevant budgets and ensure all financial and policy matters are managed in strict accordance with the Centre’s policies and procedures.



  1. A proven track record of success in developing and implementing effective strategic fundraising plans to deliver private support income.
  2. Highly developed oral and written communication, interpersonal and negotiation skills with the capacity to interact effectively with a wide range of corporate executives, philanthropic trustees, creative professionals, senior management, staff and contractors.
  3. Extensive networks in the corporate and philanthropic sectors.
  4. Highly-developed creative, analytical, planning and work-organisation skills including the ability to prioritise multiple competing timelines.
  5. Skilled relationship builder with extensive experience managing stakeholders and the ability to ensure a collaborative organisational approach to development.



  • The Centre is an Equal Opportunity Employer
  • The Centre provides a smoke free environment
  • This role requires occasional use of a vehicle and occasional physical activity; it is preferred that the successful candidate possess an unrestricted driver’s licence.

About the organisation

Organisation Name : The Wheeler Centre


The Wheeler Centre exists to drive the development and celebration of literature in Melbourne and beyond and to foster broad public engagement in books, writing and ideas. 


The Wheeler Centre is nationally and internationally renowned as a leading institution for the art of conversation, and champion of the transformative power of informed public discussion and debate.  An autonomous cultural organisation housed in the State Library of Victoria, the Centre programs over 200 public events each year, in its 250-seat performance space and in venues across Melbourne and regional Victoria.


The centrepiece of Melbourne’s UNESCO City of Literature designation, the Wheeler Centre is a physical hub and home for writers and literary organisations:


  • Australian Poetry
  • Emerging Writers’ Festival
  • Express Media
  • Melbourne City of Literature Office
  • Melbourne Writers Festival
  • Small Press Network
  • Writers Victoria


The ambitious and comprehensive combination of literary community, creative development, and audience engagement created by this hub cannot be found anywhere else, nationally or internationally.

How to apply for this role

Position Description : Head of Development PD

Applications not allowed for this job listing.

Please quote in application: Head of Development via Pro Bono Australia.

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