Chief Finance Officer - CSIRO - ExecutiveCareer

First listed on: 08 September 2022

 Chief Finance Officer


Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation

The Opportunity

  • Provide strategic insight to support and enable CSIRO’s financial sustainability
  • Promote a strong internal service culture
  • Apply today to join Australia's National Science?Agency!

CSIRO Finance’s objective is to provide reliable, accurate, timely, customer-focused information and relevant value-adding, strategic insight to support and enable CSIRO’s financial sustainability through the effective use of resources.

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) forms an important part of the CSIRO Leadership Team (CLT) and takes on the leadership of a team of professionals in order to provide centralised, strategic advice, transactional services, and dedicated business partnering to the organisation.

The CFO makes a critical contribution to CSIRO’s ability to achieve its business objectives through the achievement of corporate outcomes that deliver improved people, resource, and financial management.  The CFO will provide strong leadership and management to the Enterprise Services Group as well as lead and promote a strong internal service culture, ensuring a service delivery approach that is responsive to the operational and strategic needs of the organisation. 

The incoming CFO will be a trusted advisor to the CSIRO Board and Executive Leadership Team and will work closely with them to develop CSIRO’s operating and capital budgets (for internal and government application), deliver financial reporting and analysis to a range of internal and external users, and provide financial support and advice for commercial transactions, research projects and major (generally infrastructure) projects. 

The position is responsible for developing and sustaining effective relationships with CSIRO leadership across the organisation and providing appropriate financial processes, guidance and advice to assist the achievement of enterprise and business unit plans. The CFO will also be responsible for developing and sustaining effective relationships with external stakeholders, such as Department of Finance, Department of Industry, Science and Resources, and the Australian National Audit Office, and other government agencies and for providing timely and relevant advice through to the Minister and other Government stakeholders as required.

Your duties will include:

  • Use superior influencing and leadership skills to consistently broaden the mindset of CSIRO’s Board, Executive and Leadership teams to drive an organisational shift to opportunities aligned to CSIRO’s Strategy; including provision of high level analysis, financial modelling and advice on the commercial and financial effects of business unit strategic plans.
  • Use strong strategic thinking, superior thought leadership and communication skills to lead the finance function to deliver its vision and long-term strategic goals to the corporate, in-business and service centre teams.
  • Provide high level technical, analytical and financial expertise on complex problems and accountability for the organisation’s financial position.
  • Lead the finance function to provide quality assured financial accounting and management services to the business with an emphasis on prioritisation, risk management, relevance, accuracy, timeliness and consistency.
  • Lead, coordinate and manage the accurate delivery through to government of CSIRO financial information including the Annual Financial Statements and Budget Estimates.
  • Lead and leverage the strong relationships with CSIRO’s Business Unit Directors and influence their thinking and approach to financial and funding strategies including the development of innovative approaches to commercial and global advice and partnering.
  • Lead, manage and enhance strong and productive relationships with external stakeholders, particularly within government, on CSIRO financial matters, including the Department of Finance, Department of Industry, and the ANAO.
  • Drive the development and maintenance of an effective financial control framework that is consistent with the Commonwealth Government’s Financial Management principles, frameworks, and principles.
  • Lead and promote an appropriate focus on CSIRO’s compliance with statutory and regulatory finance requirements and promote organisational adherence to financial policies, standards, and procedures.
  • Lead and manage the annual Operating and Capital Budgeting processes working closely with the Executive Team and all parts of the business.
  • Lead and deliver the monthly and annual financial reporting (budget-forecast-actual) to the business, Executive, Board and government to ensure accuracy and alignment of information and focus on critical matters.
  • Oversee the performance and development of direct reports and develop a working environment that promotes the safety and wellbeing of staff, knowledge sharing, fair and consistent performance management, and learning & development.

To be considered you will need:

  • A relevant tertiary qualification, CA/CPA qualifications and demonstrated experience in working within/alongside the Commonwealth Government’s financial management principles and frameworks.
  • A track record of at least 10 years’ experience in a senior financial managerial or similar position with a track record of success.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide high level strategic financial leadership in a commercially focused public sector organisation while maintaining high standards of compliance with statutory and regulatory finance requirements.
  • Proven ability to anticipate complex financial issues and evaluate commercial opportunities with a high level of judgment.
  • Proven capacity to set strategy and to influence key initiatives that drive change and continuous improvement and deliver cross organisation solutions – including cultural change.
  • Able to deliver results in an environment of ambiguity and lead multiple initiatives across a complex organisation.
  • Demonstrated senior experience and achievements in a complex and multi-faceted environment, preferably Federal Government, as an effective and inclusive leader of highly productive and diverse teams with the ability to inspire high performance and foster an innovation culture.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage effectively at Board and Executive Team level, building, and maintaining strong professional and collaborative working relationships with key internal and external stakeholders, including multiple government stakeholders.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication, interpersonal, negotiation and representational skills.

For full details about this role please review the Position Description

Location: Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane
Salary: Attractive salary package available
Tenure: Indefinite
Reference: 88705


This is a security assessed position. To be eligible you must hold an Australian Citizenship and be willing and able to meet Negative Vetting Level 1 Security requirements.

Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.

To enter a CSIRO site, CSIRO will require you to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (or show a valid medical exemption from vaccination). If you are unable to meet this requirement, then you must return a negative result on a Rapid Antigen Test (within 48 hours prior to attending site) and wear a face mask whilst on the CSIRO site. These requirements apply if you are attending a CSIRO site as part of a recruitment process.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please send your application directly to Heidrick & Struggles at

In your application you will need provide your CV and a cover letter outlining your motivation and relevant capabilities and experience you could bring to this role. 

Applications Close

25 September 2022, 11:00pm AEST