Research Assistant & Trainee Whip’s Clerk

The Office of Adam Bandt
Leader of the  Australian Greens
and MP for Melbourne

Closing Date

Tuesday, May,11 2021 - 11:59 pm

Job Title:  Research Assistant & Trainee Whip’s Clerk (12 months, starts mid-June) Job Category:  Personal Staff
Location: Melbourne or Canberra  Travel:  Regular Interstate
Salary Range: $64,684 - $76,508 p/a Position Type:  Full-Time
Allowances: $24,962 p/a Reports To:  Director, Parliament
Further information: Position Description PDF Last Reviewed: April 2021



The Research Assistant / Trainee Whip’s Clerk is a member of the Leader’s Office policy team and reports to the Director who is responsible for managing the overall parliamentary agenda and  executing parliamentary strategy. 

The Policy Research Assistant provides additional research capacity to the Parliament and Policy Unit.  This unit works to develop policy initiatives, proactive communications, advice on government legislation and analysis of other political policies. Research can be commissioned in a number of ways,  through parliamentary resources, source material or through networks. Qualitative and quantitative data analysis and psephology may also be required from time to time. The Policy Research Assistant may also assist with coordinating and reviewing a range of internal documents via established processes.

The position will also involve training in the role of the Whip’s Clerk and travel to Canberra during parliamentary sitting weeks. The primary responsibility of the Whip’s Clerk is assisting the Australian Greens Whip in managing the  Greens’ Senate parliamentary business. The role is responsible for coordinating the Senate parliamentary program and legislative initiatives of the Greens MPs. The Whip’s Clerk will provide advice and assistance on procedural matters to MPs and staff, and liaise with the other parties on Senate business. 

The Whip’s Clerk ensures that the MPs, senior staff and other relevant staff are fully informed about the business of the Senate, the legislative program and the key issues arising prior to and during parliamentary sittings. During sitting periods, the Whip’s Clerk will  provide regular advice and updates for the MPs and their staff on the status of business in the Chamber.

The Whip’s Clerk will provide policy and parliamentary advice to the campaigns team, assist in  disseminating the parliamentary work of the Australian Greens to the wider community and identify  campaigning opportunities within the parliament. 

The ability to undertake regular interstate travel to Canberra  for parliamentary sitting weeks is essential. 


The position is offered under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984, and employment conditions are outlined in the Commonwealth Members of Parliament Staff Collective Agreement 2015–2019. In addition to your salary, generous employer-sponsored superannuation of 15% is offered. 

The position is offered at an Assistant classification ($64,684 - $76,508  per annum) with an additional Parliamentary Staff Allowance payable in respect of overtime of $24,962 per annum for a total per annum salary range  of $89,646 – $101,470. 

A capped travel allowance is payable in respect of travel to Canberra for parliamentary sittings.

This is a 12 month non-ongoing position (maternity leave).  All Leader’s Office positions are open to restructure following an election or change of leadership with appropriate notice periods as per the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984.


  1. Provide research assistance to the policy advisors in the Policy and Parliament Unit in preparation for media pitches, speeches, policy development and parliamentary business.
  2. Analyse reports and quantitative data sets to extract key insights and prepare written reports.
  3. Prepare information and costing requests to the Parliamentary Library and Parliamentary Budget Office, and translate results into easily comprehensible reports for the policy and media teams.
  4. Engage with experts in the field to access opinions and reports.
  5. Proof-read and fact check draft policy initiatives and related documents, and assist in responding to inquiries for policy background information.
  6. Engage in training for the role of Whip’s Clerk.
    1. Assist the Whip and Senior Policy and Parliamentary Adviser (SPPA) in managing the  legislative and parliamentary program for the Greens in the Senate. 
    2. Advise senators and their staff on legislative business in the chamber during sitting periods  and co-ordinate MPs’ parliamentary business, including questions, motions, amendments  and private senators’ bills. 
    3. Work with the SPPA to develop strategic opportunities in the legislative program. 
    4. Establish relationships with Senate staff and counterparts in other parties to facilitate  communications on legislation and Senate business. 
    5. Identify campaigning opportunities in parliamentary work and assist in disseminating  parliamentary work to a wider audience. 
    6. Work with the campaigns and communications team in developing messaging and materials,  and monitoring media related to Greens parliamentary work and policy agenda. 
  7.  Other duties as directed. 

Selection Criteria

  1. Proven experience in research working with primary and secondary sources, including qualitative and quantitative data.
  2. Well developed written skills, including an ability to present complex content in a comprehensible style for communications purposes.
  3. Attention to detail for proof-reading and fact checking.
  4. An understanding of the Australian political context and an ability to acquire a sound knowledge of parliamentary procedures and processes. 
  5. Astute political analysis, common sense and capacity for strategic thinking. 
  6. Sound interpersonal communication skills, including networking and managing up and across an  organisation. 
  7. Strong organisational and time management skills, including flexibility and ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.
  8. Demonstrated consultation, negotiation and conflict resolution skills.
  9. Demonstrated ability to work with a small team in a dynamic work environment and work independently as required. 
  10. A commitment to the Greens’ principles and Charter. 
  11. An ability to work irregular hours during parliamentary sitting weeks and to travel interstate as required.


The Australian Greens encourage applications from any interested and qualified people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to apply. We don’t discriminate on the basis of sex, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. We welcome people with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to apply for all our roles.

All employees are expected to sign a confidentiality and code of conduct agreement prior to the  commencement of their employment. A probationary period of 3 months, with the option of extending  by a maximum of two months, will apply

Applications including a cover letter, addressing the selection criteria and resume should be emailed to no later than 11th of May 2021.

Prospective candidates will be shortlisted for interview.. All candidates will be informed of the status of their application within 10 days of the closing date.