Chief People Officer

Ref: 6646

University of Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia

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Role Managed by:

Deborah Veness

Research Associate

t: 61 2 6198 3270


Primary Practice Group: Higher Education and Research

Salary & Benefits: commensurate with experience

Closing Date: 16/06/2023

Job no: 0415000
Location: Parkville
Role type: Full time; Fixed-term
Department/School: Office of the Provost
Salary: Executive Salary

  • A rare opportunity to help lead a transformational people agenda and cultural change for Australia’s leading university

  • Lead the evolution of the HR / People function and a talented team of professionals


We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work, and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.

About the University

The University of Melbourne is Australia’s leading university, with a 170-year tradition of higher education in all disciplines. Our enduring purpose is to benefit society through the transformative impact of education and research. This is reflected in our strategy to 2030, Advancing Melbourne, covering five key focus areas – Place, Community, Education, Discovery and Global. Advancing Melbourne will ensure that the University enhances its role as a leading force in contributing to Australia as an ambitious, forward-thinking country, while increasing our global reputation and influence.

About the role

An exciting opportunity presents itself to be a key part of this journey as the University’s next Chief People Officer (CPO). The University is operating in an environment of continuous change, arising from significant shifts in the external environment for higher education and reflecting the dynamic and ambitious work of one of the world’s great academic institutions. A University established to serve the public good through education and research, it is also a $2.7bn organisation with a complex workforce comprising approximately 9,000 staff and 5,520 causal employees.

In this environment the University’s Human Resources function needs to be at the centre of strategic and long-term people-related transformation and culture change for the institution, in the service of its mission and strategy. Guided by a reliable moral and ethical compass, the CPO requires a strong grasp of what constitutes a high-performing, contemporary human resources approach for a leading university in the 21st century.

About you

Exercising professionalism, discretion, confidentiality, adaptive leadership and a sophisticated level of judgement, the CPO will lead a highly strategic agenda for institution-wide transformation. As such, the CPO will have extensive experience working in and with senior leadership teams of large and complex organisations, and demonstrate the commitment, understanding and ability to exercise strategic leadership and advance the University’s new People Strategy. The CPO will bring high levels of professional expertise and integrity to leading the HR/People function, and will build and maintain strong and effective relationships within the team, with the Faculties and with wider University functions, and with other key internal and external stakeholders.   

Benefits of Working with Us
In addition to having the opportunity to grow and be challenged, and to be part of a vibrant campus life, our people enjoy a range of rewarding benefits.  To find out more, visit

Be Yourself
At the University of Melbourne we believe that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. We encourage applications from First Nations people, people of diverse ethnicity, nationality and faith, people with disability, neurodiverse people, and people of all genders, sexualities, and age groups.

Join Us!
The University of Melbourne will be supported for this appointment by the executive search firm Perrett Laver. If you wish to discuss this role further in confidence, please contact: Deborah Veness at Perrett Laver on +61 (0)2 6198 3270, or by email:

For more information and to submit your application please use the Download Further Details and/or the Apply Now button below.

The deadline for applications is midnight AEST on Friday 16th June 2023.

We are dedicated to ensuring barrier free and inclusive practices to recruit the most talented candidates. If you require any reasonable adjustments with the recruitment process, please contact  us at