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Executive Director

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Sustainability, Climate, CSR, EMS
Location Australia (New South Wales) - Australasia
Town/City Melbourne or Sydney. East coast capital city negotiable for the right candidate.
Salary Additional Information $100,000 - $120,000 annually, negotiable within the range.
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Board & Executives
Deadline 27/03/2017
Company Name Climate Action Network Australia (CANA)
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) logo
Also Listing:

The CANA Executive Director is a lynchpin role for the climate movement. The Director is a leader and strategist – helping develop the movement’s strategic insights and setting direction. The Director is a networker and facilitator – bringing together key leaders and campaigners through forums and campaigns to learn and work together. The Director is a manager – co-ordinating the work of the CANA Network Support Team staff and projects and managing the financial sustainability of the organisation.

CANA has recently been reformed and rejuvenated and is now entering an exciting new phase in both strategy development and innovative campaign coordination. Key to both is the ongoing work to build and diversity the movement, build trust and collaboration, and engage and excite with new campaigning capacities and approaches. All this and more will be the Director’s focus.

To be considered for the role, you will have strong strategic leadership skills and experience within a social movement context. You will have proven senior experience in campaigning, familiarity with and commitment to community organising, and experience as a leader within formal and informal collaborations or alliances. You will be an excellent facilitator, with a strong background in stakeholder engagement and good relationships across sectoral divides. You will have experience with financial management and reporting, and be a strong manager and leader of teams and staff. You will have experience working within Australian social movements, and with climate change related campaigns. You will bring enthusiasm and a positive empowering attitude to the role and your relationships.

For questions or a discussion regarding the position please call: Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, Chair of the board, on 0428 480 409; or Louise Tarrant, board member, on 0408 626 341; or email chair@cana.net.au.

The opportunity

  • Lead a core organisation within Australia’s climate movement at a critical time for climate action
  • Increase the effectiveness and power of the climate movement in Australia to achieve change
  • Work with the CEOs and senior staff of Australia's leading environmental non-government organisations and civil society organisations acting on climate change to develop shared strategy and powerful campaign collaborations – including the Australian Conservation Foundation, GetUp, Greenpeace, Oxfam, Solar Citizens and many more.
  • Lead strategy, relationship building and capacity building across the climate movement
  • Build a culture of collaboration and network organising with our members and allies

Who we are

The Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) supports our members and their allies to take actions to protect people at home and abroad from climate change, to safeguard our natural environment, and to build a fair, clean, healthy Australia for everyone.

To achieve this, we are creating a diverse network with distributed leadership that links people and organisations working towards our vision. The network supports the setting and achievement of shared goals and provides the underlying infrastructure that supports us to work together.

The Network Support Team (the CANA staff team) focus our work to deliver on three key priorities:

  • Relationships – core to any functioning social movement and collaboration are strong and trusted relationships. We help members and allies develop relationships between organisations and sectors through shared campaigns, capacity building and strategy development, and regular gatherings such as retreats and assemblies.
  • Capacity building – we help our members and allies develop capacity across their organisations and campaigns through shared learning and skills development. We particularly focus on developing community organising skills and strategy through the Organising Hub.  
  • Strategy – we assist our members and allies develop shared strategy and strategic alignment on priority campaigns and issues. We help ensure a clear focus on long term strategic development alongside immediate priorities.

Key relationships

  • Reports to: The Board
  • Directly manages: The CANA Network Support Team (the staff)
    • Network Organiser (Membership and Events)
    • Network Organiser (Campaigns)
    • Network Organiser (Outreach)
    • Organising Hub Manager
    • Administration Assistant
  • Internal relationships: Staff, board, administrative and finance assistants at NGO partner organisations.
  • External relationships: CEOs and lead campaign staff of ENGO and civil society member organisations, grassroots member groups, leadership figures from across allies including unions, social services, aid and development, indigenous leaders, health sector, faith networks etc, major donors and philanthropic networks, political stakeholders including elected representatives, business allies, international climate movement networks including CAN International.

Core responsibilities

Strategic planning

  • Lead and coordinate development of shared strategy for both long term movement development, and short-medium term campaign priorities including relevant state and federal election campaigns. In 2017-18, this includes the development of a network wide strategic plan.

Management of CANA staff

  • Develop and deliver the CANA Network Support Team (Staff) strategic plan, including three year and annual planning and objectives.
  • Manage and develop staff to deliver outcomes and grow in their roles.

Relationship building and collaboration

  • Ensure ongoing engagement, collaboration and strengthening of relationships between CANA members through delivery of shared campaigns and regular retreats or other events.

Capacity building

  • Grow and diversify active members within the network.
  • Ensure the Organising Hub continues to develop skills and strategies of community organisers across the network.


  • Achieve financial sustainability for CANA, including maintaining membership levels, fundraising, and management of finances and reporting.
  • Ensure strong management and administration of CANA’s new Small Grants Scheme.

Key selection criteria

Leadership - Committed to helping organisations and leaders across Australian civil society to work together to adequately respond to climate change; demonstrated experience leading communities and/or organisations to achieve campaign outcomes; ability to inspire others to action, and empower others to lead with them; demonstrated ability to take initiative and drive outcomes.

Strategy - Excellent strategic analysis and strategic planning processes; astute to political and other opportunities and threats; proven ability to lead others through a strategic process; ability to manage competing strategies such as short and long term strategies; ability to identify immediate priorities and bring other leaders through that process; strong understanding of different theories of change and the role of different approaches in a complex strategy.

Relationship building - Strong and trusted relationships across Australian civil society; ability to manage relationships throughout conflict and disagreement; invests time and resources in building and maintaining relationships.

Collaboration and facilitation - Strong personal commitment to collaboration as an essential element of campaigning at scale; demonstrated experience leading or facilitating a collaboration or alliance of formal and informal membership; demonstrated experience working with structured and fluid processes; ability to guide process and lead a collaboration; ability to manage conflict, negotiate outcomes and build alignment among team members.

Campaigning - Strong understanding and experience of campaign strategy, planning, execution and evaluation; demonstrated experience leading a civil society campaign; strong understanding of different theories of change, and the roles of different organisations within a campaign; skilled negotiator; confident communicating with key decision makers and media.

Communication - Communicates in a clear and concise way; understands the target audience and objective of the communication; experienced in communicating complex messages to a wide variety of audiences using a variety of formats and channels.

Management - Demonstrated experience managing staff and development of a team; demonstrated experience managing budgets and reporting at a senior level; demonstrated experience managing delivery and administration of contracts; solid understanding of governance requirements for Australian NGOs.

Qualifications and work requirements


  • At least three years experience in a leadership role within a social movement
  • At least three years experience in Australian social movement campaigns
  • Experience working with environmental NGOs and diverse stakeholders across civil society
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed
  • Ability for regular domestic travel to capital cities
  • Relevant permits to work in Australia


  • Experience with major donor fundraising
  • Experience reporting to a board or committee of management
  • Experience working on climate change related issues

CANA aims to be as diverse as the country we are trying to change. We are an equal opportunity employer and people who identify as: Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, coming from a non-English speaking background, women, LGBTQ+ are encouraged to apply.

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