director people & culture in Adelaide

marilize de witt, hr partners
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adelaide, south australia
human resources
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working hours
15 years
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marilize de witt, hr partners
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job description

This position will lead the highly valued function of People and Culture across the university’s campuses with the support of a team of approximately 55 mixed HR professionals. The University is a vibrant and colourful environment with 2,500 permanent and fixed term employees and 3,000 casual workers who we work with during a calendar year.

The Director of People and Culture will be part of the executive leadership team and reports into the University’s Chief Operation Officer and will work collaboratively with executive/key leaders and internal and external stakeholders.

This role is key to supporting and mentoring leaders in the organisation, as well as ensuring that human resources strategies are closely aligned with the university’s objectives. The ideal candidate would demonstrate the experience, skills and abilities to lead a university People & Culture team and has a keen eye for continuous improvement which will ultimately lead to developing processes that help to streamline university operations. The role is also a regular advisor to the Senior Executive and a regular attendee at Senior Executive Team meetings.

We are seeking a highly skilled, technically strong and dynamic P&C leader with suitable prior experience in the tertiary education or similar public sectors. The University has been through significant organisational change in the last few years and now the organisational change activity has reduced and improving P&C services and processes is the critical focus. The University also recently implemented a new HR management platform, Workday, which is now operational and being refined to suit the university’s needs.

About the role

Key components will include;

  • HR Strategy, development and alignment to University strategy
  • Workforce Development, lead organisational and cultural change and implement improvements which advance the University’s strategic plan and positive transformation agenda.
  • Manage the delivery of professional guidance, coaching and support across the full range of human resources and organisational development activities
  • Manage, lead, build and develop the People & Culture team of the University.
  • Identify potential issues and address how processes, procedures and policies can be improved.
  • Contribute to maintaining a sound industrial climate with respect to industrial relations and employment matters.
  • Support the principles of the University’s diversity plans and drive other initiatives that promote diversity and equity across the University.

About you

We have a very highly engaged workforce and culture and therefore style and fit are very important to us so some of the personal attributes we are looking for are:

  • You need to be able to balance being pragmatic and getting things done whilst keeping your eye on the total picture.
  • You need to drive innovation not only in your own team but through an absolute relentless focus on customer service, feedback and quality.
  • You will need to be a strong communicator and be able to communicate to groups in public settings.
  • You need to have the ability to translate intellect and insight into actionable and practical steps.
  • You must be resilient, curious, love learning and actively share that learning.
  • You must be genuine and your passion for what you do needs to show through.
  • You need to be able to anticipate and predict potential employee industrial relations risks.

You are the ideal candidate for us, if you have a passion for diversity, you're a people’s person who values building and maintaining relationships; with a strong network and natural leadership abilities. You bring a depth of experience as a HR professional at leadership level now and a demonstrated ability to drive change and projects. You have had success in implementing and executing HR strategies, refining processes and designing solutions that optimises organisational performance.

To succeed in this environment, the successful candidate must have relevant HR tertiary qualifications (a masters is strongly preferred) and have demonstrated the ability to think strategically but act operationally with a high level of conceptual, innovative, analytical and problem solving skills.

Previous demonstrated ability across all pillars of HR, and with a proactive and innovative approach will hold you in good stead, as will your ability to communicate and influence at all levels within the organisation.

To apply, please use the button below. Alternatively, please call Jeannette Lang or Marilize De Witt on 03 8621 5700 for a confidential discussion, or apply directly at quoting reference number 14M0442574.

At HR Partners, we are passionate about providing equal employment opportunities and embracing diversity to the benefit of all. We actively encourage applications from any background.


HR Director, Head of HR, People & Culture Director, Chief HR Officer, Chief People & Culture Officer


Relevant HR tertiary qualification (a masters is strongly preferred)