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Principal Research Fellow

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Organisation : Brotherhood of St Laurence

Location : Melbourne

Work type : Full-time

Salary type : Other

Application closing date : 15 Oct, 2021

About the role

We’re looking for a professional Principal Research Fellow with relevant experience who wants to join our 2,000+ team of staff and volunteers to make a difference on a full-time ongoing basis, working 40 per week based in Fitzroy

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) has a clear vision – an Australia free of poverty.
For almost 90 years, we have worked with policy makers and the community for systemic change that will prevent and alleviate poverty in Australia.

We are passionate about the work we do.

We strive to create change that lasts for a more compassionate and just society – a society in which we can all fully participate in social, civic and economic life with the dignity and respect we all deserve.


You’re an experienced Early Childhood Education researcher who strongly values working alongside communities to advance a systemic-change agenda. You are an organised, articulate, and supportive team leader who can help develop the talent of your direct reports. You are as comfortable listening as you are leading change. Thinking critically about the root causes of poverty is your default setting and you’re driven by a deep sense of social justice. You are mature in your approach to work, but also fun-loving and accessible to people from all walks of life. You’re as comfortable being in community as much as you are being behind a desk. Your dedication to engaging and elevating the voices of community is proven by your intentions, but more importantly, your actions. You are eager for an opportunity to lead, inspire, and set an agenda for systemic change in the ECE space.


The Brotherhood of St Laurence Research and Policy Centre explores the ways Australians are impacted by poverty and inequality. We especially focus our work on those who are most vulnerable. We use this evidence to advocate for systemic-change that will improve people’s lives. We currently have research teams that focus on Youth Opportunities (16-24 year olds), Work and Economic Security, Inclusive Communities, and Energy and Climate Change. We are excited to be expanding our teams to include an Early Childhood Education focus.


We are seeking a Principal Research Fellow to lead a new research team in Early Childhood Education. This role entails managing a team of three researchers who are executing an existing community co-designed, implementation study of HIPPY in First Nations communities. The incumbent will work closely with the team’s Research Fellow to ensure the already established HIPPY in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities study progresses successfully while maintaining fidelity of the existing research methodology and Indigenous research approaches.

The role will require collaboration with leaders across BSL’s services and programs to craft a systemic-change vision in the ECE space. Thus, the incumbent should have a deep understanding of the current gaps and policy needs in early childhood education (ECE) in Australia. We seek someone who is passionate about early childhood education and has strong interpersonal and communications skills. The PRF will need to also possess expertise of educational policy issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities—valuing a critical ideological approach to social justice in both thought and action.

The role is permanent, and full time with attractive salary packaging options.


Passion for supporting the mission of BSL, and delivering excellence in your role, are just the start.

To be considered for the role and be successful in it, we’re looking for an applicant who has the following key skills and experiences:

  • A relevant PhD qualification with extensive relevant experience or an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education/training
  • Highly developed knowledge of the field of Early Childhood Education (current issues and debates in research and policy)
  • Highly developed understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities including historical and contemporary issues, systemic inequalities, and issues of social justice
  • Highly developed knowledge of relevant ethical research practices and codes; including Indigenous research methodologies and community co-design principles
  • Demonstrated leadership skills
  • Highly developed, demonstrated research skills
  • Established publication record, (reports, journals and peer reviewed publications)
  • Demonstrated negotiation and management skills
  • Demonstrated stakeholder engagement skills
  • Highly developed project management and organisational skills, including the ability to manage staff, plan workload, manage budgets, prioritise and meet deadlines
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills to build effective relationships and liaise with a broad range of people across all levels, both internally and externally including people of all ages and from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Demonstrated proficiency with research related software (for example Nvivo and SPSS), bibliographic software such as Endnote, and Microsoft office software (Word, Excel, Access etc)
  • Understanding of and empathy with the values and ideals of the Brotherhood 
  • Demonstrated attributes:
    • seeks the common good – through compassion, a generosity of spirit and reliance on evidence
    • collaborative – working well with others to achieve common goals; a spirit of teamwork, and staff support
    • strong attention to detail


  • Extensive salary packaging options to reduce amount of tax you pay
  • Career development opportunities
  • Leave loading of 17.5%
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Employee Assistance Program


BSL employees enjoy a range of flexible work options and other attractive benefits. Recognising that there is no ‘one size fits all’ pattern of work–life balance, the organisation endeavours to provide options to suit the needs of all staff.

If this looks like a role that’s right for you, APPLY NOW or Contact Rhianna Brickle, Research Fellow at or 0482 162 050 with inquiries. 

To view the position description, please click here.

Applications close: Friday 15 October 2021 at 11:55 pm

The incumbent will be working out of the Fitzroy Head Office but will be working remotely during lockdown. You will be provided with a BSL laptop and phone.

People who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander are strongly encouraged to apply.


We are an EEO and understand the importance of diversity and inclusion. We recognise that everyone has the right to an equitable, safe and productive environment and to be treated with dignity and respect.  We welcome applications from all people regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, cultural background, disability or sexual orientation. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply.

Successful applicants will be subject to pre-employment checks including criminal history and working with children. Recruitment decisions are based on the key inherent needs and requirements of each role, and candidates are selected based on their unique strengths and characteristics.  Applicants must have proof of working rights in Australia.


About the organisation

Organisation Name : Brotherhood of St Laurence

How to apply

Applications not allowed for this job listing.


Please quote in application: Principal Research Fellow via Pro Bono Australia.

Profession: #Education_and_Training
Sector: #Children, #Community_Development, #Community_Engagement, #Community_Support_Services, #Consulting, #Disabilities, #Education_and_Employment, #Employment_Services, #Families, #Foundations_Trusts_and_Philanthropy, #Health_–_General, #Homelessness_and_Affordable_Housing, #Indigenous, #Other, #ResearchMedical_Research, #Social_Enterprise, #Youth_and_Young_People

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