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Community Engagement Organiser

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Organisation : The Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Location : Melbourne, Online, Sydney

Work type : Full-time

Sector : Community Engagement

Salary type : Annual Package

Salary : 97000-107000

Application closing date : 30 Jun, 2022

About the organisation

Organisation Name : The Garvan Institute of Medical Research

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research brings together world-leading clinicians and basic and translational researchers to break down barriers between traditional scientific disciplines and find solutions to disease.


Garvan’s 2030: Discoveries to Impact Strategy is designed to galvanise Garvan’s researchers, professional staff, partners, donors and community around our vision of Global leadership in discoveries to impact, and to enable us as an Institute to deliver on that vision – such that Garvan becomes an institute where research discoveries are taken through to patient impact (new treatments, tests and prevention approaches), on a global scale.

About the role

Two positions are available in the Centre for Population Genomics (CPG), based in Sydney or Melbourne with remote working possible. Particularly seeking lived experience with one or more of the following cultural communities in Australia:

o             South-East Asian communities (eg, Cambodian, Filipino, Vietnamese, or other);

o             Oceanian/Pacifica communities (eg, Samoan, Fijian, Papua New Guinean, or other).


CPG is an initiative of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI). At CPG, we are working to create a world in which genomic information enables comprehensive disease prediction, accurate diagnosis and effective therapeutics for all people. Genomic medicine uses the information in a person’s genes to guide disease diagnosis and decisions about suitable treatments. In the future, health will be based on an individualised model of care, informed by the data contained in a person’s genes. Already today, understanding and treating genetic diseases depends on analysis of information from many people’s genetic data.


A significant problem is the lack of ancestral diversity in the genomic databases available for use in Australia. Databases that capture the genetic variation of healthy populations are critical for genomic medicine. These currently represent mainly people descended from Europe and the Americas. Under-represented or missing from these data are many of Australia’s minority ancestries, such as North African and Middle-Eastern peoples, South-East Asian peoples, Sub-Saharan peoples, and many others. The result of this lack of data diversity is inequity in access to accurate diagnosis and future developments in genomic medicine.



The Opportunity


The Community Engagement Organiser is a member of the Inclusive Genomics team at the Centre for Population Genomics. The Community Engagement Organiser will be responsible for working closely with members of the public from specific minority ancestry groups to support and coordinate outreach, education, qualitative research, co-design and recruitment into genomics research. Reporting to and working closely with the Lead, Inclusive Genomics, the Community Engagement Organiser will collaborate with the Senior Communities Specialist and the Community Health Education and Communications Officer in CPG.


Two positions will be filled. Both will have the key responsibilities listed below. One will also collaborate closely with the Research Fellow, Clinical Services & Research and other staff at the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, supporting qualitative research and co-design.


Key Responsibilities


The key responsibilities include:


1) Build and maintain relationships with individuals and organisations in specific communities

  • Collaborate with the rest of the team in building a strategy for engagement with specific ethnic ancestry communities
  • Determine residential locations (towns, suburbs) of communities / sub-groups of communities
  • Identify organisations (eg, churches, mosques, community groups) and social media membership groups that a community is represented by or can be reached through
  • Identify key organisations and individuals in specific communities who will be critical to engaging broadly with the community
  • Identify relevant medical providers (when required by specific projects) serving identified communities
  • Develop a thoughtful understanding of cultural norms and behaviours in specific communities and assist the IG team and CPG staff to understand these
  • Build strong working relationships for the IG team and CPG with both community and medical organisations and individuals, maintaining contact and communications with regard to projects and recruitment of research participants


2) Organise and facilitate community events and research

  • Plan, organise and facilitate community events, campaigns, qualitative research and co-design workshops, in collaboration with the rest of the IG team
  • Engage with community leaders, key contacts and other stakeholders to identify appropriate times and places for community education, information sharing and recruitment events
  • Coordinate planning and delivery of events when requested
  • Collaborate with consultants and collaborators, when required, on marketing campaigns and events in specific communities


3) Coordinate the work of community volunteers / field workers

  • Assist team in identifying appropriate community leaders and potential volunteers
  • Facilitate the in-community work of volunteers or short-term contractors assisting with community engagement
  • Ensure that the work and communications of volunteers / field workers is aligned with agreed strategy and plan for that community


4) Maintain records of contacts

  • Maintain accurate records of individuals and organisations in each community
  • Log contacts and exchanges, and share this information with the rest of the IG team


5) Collaborate on and support team with community research and other activities

  • Collaborate with the Senior Communities Specialist and other research leads to conduct interviews, focus groups and co-design events in specific communities
  • Collect and analyse qualitative and some quantitative data, according to agreed project plans
  • Provide initial drafts of analyses and research findings
  • Create and maintains accurate records of research data and results, in accordance with policies and procedures
  • Collaborate with the Community Health Education and Communications Officer to develop and disseminate messaging and assist communications staff by sharing story ideas that community members would be willing to have broadcast
  • Contribute to desk research, including literature reviews, and ethics applications
  • Assist with the writing/adapting of consent forms and survey tools in line with community preferences/norms
  • Travel if required (across Australia) and be on the ground, with the Centre team, at the time of surveys and blood collections, supporting the Project Management team to ensure smooth logistics and clear communications with the community members


Snap shot of benefits


  • This is a 3-year full time fixed term contract with a salary of up to $97,000 + super + salary packaging (dependent on experience)
  • Generous salary packaging ($15,900 for general household expenses and $2,650 for meal/entertainment allowance on top of base salary)
  • Ongoing training and development
  • Location / remote working flexibility
  • Additional day’s leave as Garvan Day
  • Discounted Health Insurance
  • Lifestyle discounts with our community partners


About You


The key skills and experience include:


The key skills and experience include:

  • Lived experience with one or more of the following cultural communities in Australia:
    • South-East Asian communities (eg, Cambodian, Filipino, Vietnamese, or other);
    • Specific Oceanian communities (eg, Samoan, Fijian, Papua New Guinean, or other).
  • Demonstrated commitment to working within Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities on social or health issues
  • Experience in the conduct of qualitative research and the analysis of interview and focus group text documents (use of Nvivo or other qualitative analysis software desirable)
  • Experience in report writing or writing up research findings
  • A bias towards applied community work, rather than academic publications
  • Some training or experience in cultural competency, anti-bias thinking, methods of diversity & inclusion or cross-cultural communication


The key interpersonal skills include:


  • Exceptional people skills – must be able to speak with sincerity and clarity to people across a wide range of Australian communities, navigating language and cultural barriers, and quickly build genuine connections with community representatives
  • Strong networking and collaboration skills – friendly demeanour and an ability to build and maintain strong work-related relationships
  • Clarity in writing – demonstrated ability to write clearly and succinctly
  • Ease speaking in public – able to speak comfortably in front of a crowd and one-on-one and respond articulately to difficult questions while advocating for the importance of inclusive genomics
  • Desirable: experience traveling or living in multiple communities, would be a substantial advantage in this role


How to Apply


To apply for this position, please submit your application with a CV and cover letter as one document, stating why you are interested in this role, outlining your key skills and experience that are listed in this position description.

How to apply

Applications not allowed for this job listing.


Please quote in application: Community Engagement Organiser via Pro Bono Australia.

Profession: #Community_Services
Sector: #Community_Engagement


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