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  • Position title: Scientific Officer – Farm animal welfare
  • Term: Permanent position
  • Work type: Full time
  • Salary range: $65k to $71k + 10% superannuation
  • Location: Deakin Office, Canberra. This role can be worked remotely

Exciting opportunity to use your science skills to improve the lives of farm animals.

The RSPCA is Australia’s leading animal welfare organisation and one of Australia’s most trusted charities. We work to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection.

RSPCA Australia is seeking an experienced, dynamic and highly motivated scientist or veterinarian to join the RSPCA science and policy team, based in the federal office in Canberra.

The successful applicant will contribute to the strategic work of RSPCA Australia in providing evidence-based advice and advocacy to help improve the lives of animals, with a primary focus on farm animal welfare.

Key responsibilities of a Scientific Officer include:

  • Reviewing relevant scientific literature and preparing evidence-based information and advice on key policy areas
  • Establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships with government, industry and RSPCA member societies to promote RSPCA Australia policies through the use of science
  • Collaborating with the campaigns and communication team to support campaign and communication activities on key farm animal welfare issues
  • Representing RSPCA Australia on relevant national committees and working groups involved in the setting of animal welfare legislation, strategies and related plans and documents
  • Understanding RSPCA Australia policy/position and applying negotiation skills as required in order to advance animal welfare in key policy areas
  • Updating and developing RSPCA policy and position papers, discussion papers, research reports, information sheets and Knowledgebase articles
  • Responding to public, media and other enquiries
  • Representing RSPCA Australia in the media and other public forums
  • Preparing scientific and technical information and advice on relevant key policy areas for the RSPCA Australia Board and its subcommittees as required
  • Preparing submissions to government or external organisations on documents including, but not limited to, national Standards & Guidelines, industry-specific guidelines, and other documents relevant to RSPCA Australia policies
  • Contributing to the content of the Animal Welfare Science Update
  • Administering the RSPCA Australia Scholarship Program

Responsibilities Specific To This Role:

  • Reviewing farm animal welfare standards for the RSPCA Australia Approved Farming Scheme
  • Supporting the implementation of the Approved Farming Scheme in an advisory capacity
  • Assisting in the organisation of the annual RSPCA Australia animal welfare seminar

As a member of a small office and team, other duties and activities that contribute to the work of RSPCA Australia will be required from time to time.

Occasional interstate travel and work after ordinary business hours will be required in this role.

Employment Conditions

This is a permanent position, subject to a six-month probation period. Employees are expected to work a 38-hour week and are entitled to 20 days recreational and 10 days sick/carers leave per year. Normal business hours are between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday. Some flexibility with working hours can be negotiated.

About RSPCA Australia

The RSPCA is Australia’s best known and most trusted animal welfare organisation. Crucial to reaching and maintaining this position is our strong focus on science- and evidence-backed policies and positions.

RSPCA Australia is the federal body of the eight autonomous state and territory Australian member Societies. RSPCA Australia works with its member Societies in establishing national policies and positions on animal welfare, as well as working with both government and industry on national animal welfare issues. The Board of RSPCA Australia comprises a nominated director from each of the member Societies plus a recruited Chair and up to two other recruited Directors.

RSPCA Australia’s mission is to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection.


How to apply

Your application should include:

A cover letter which includes your responses to the following selection criteria:

  • A proven interest in animal welfare and commitment to the objectives and policies of the RSPCA
  • Tertiary qualifications in a relevant discipline (e.g. zoology, animal science, veterinary science)
  • At least two years’ experience in preparing and undertaking scientific investigation and analysis
  • The enthusiasm and confidence to represent the RSPCA publicly at a national level in the media, in presentations and on working groups
  • Well-developed research and analytical skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • The ability to communicate effectively to both a scientific and lay audience
  • The ability to plan and prioritise a varied workload and meet fixed deadlines
  • The ability to work independently and collaboratively and to react quickly to a range of different demands.
  • Post-graduate qualification in a relevant discipline
  • Specific experience relating to the welfare of dairy cattle, horses and/or the transport of farm animals
Your Curriculum Vitae which should include the names and contact details of two referees.

Up to three examples of your written work. These can be from a range of publications (scientific papers, reports, print or online articles, or similar).

Applications should be submitted with ‘Confidential – Scientific Officer’ in the subject line via email to

Applications must be received by 5pm 22 November 2021.

For further information contact the RSPCA Australia office on (02) 6282 8300 or