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Pacific Partnerships Manager

Pacific Partnerships Manager

Moore Park, Sydney NSW

Rugby Australia (Rugby AU), the governing body of Rugby Union in Australia, is looking for an experienced, dedicated and committed Project Manager to be responsible for and leading the organisation’s Pacific Partnerships.

Based in Sydney and reporting to the General Manager, Community Rugby, the Pacific Partnerships Manager is responsible for delivering a suite of projects funded by the Australian government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and supporting the associated partnerships between rugby Australia, the Australian Government, Rugby Australia, and relevant Pacific Island Rugby Unions.

This includes the three-year Australia Pacific Rugby Union Partnership which Rugby AU and Oceania Rugby are working in partnership to deliver to increase access and opportunities for Pacific rugby union teams from May 2021 to June 2024. This project spans twelve activities in four countries targeting over 25 teams and at least 250 Pacific players and officials. 

The program will enable Pacific women’s and men’s rugby union teams to gain access to top-tier rugby union competitions hosted by Rugby Australia, in parallel to investing in new regional Oceania Rugby tournaments. It will ensure Pacific union players have greater access to high-performance coaching and training facilities and Australian rugby union experts. It will also expose Australian rugby union players, coaches and officials to more training and match opportunities in the Pacific. Activities will primarily engage Pacific countries where rugby union is the national sport – Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and to a lesser degree, Papua New Guinea.

Principal Accountabilities


  1. Primary responsibility for project management of the Australia Pacific Rugby Union Partnership,
  • contract management – manage all contractual obligations, including qualitative reporting and acquittal of funds for the head contract between RugbyAUand DFAT; and subcontracts, which currently include Oceania Rugby and Fiji Rugby Union. 
  • internal project management –oversee and ensure that all RugbyAUprojects and activities are delivered.
  1. Lead Rugby Australia’s other DFAT funded programming including coordination of Rugby Australia activities, liaison with Pacific Unions, reporting, acquittals, procurement and diplomacy activities as well as other related activities and projects
  2. Establish a project plan, detailed budget, appropriate governance, internal communication arrangements and media and diplomacy initiatives for each DFAT funded RA project.
  3. Implement and monitor activity progress and risks, and revise plans as required.
  4. Work closely with internal Rugby Australia DepartmentsandOceania Rugby to maximise the impact of PacificAus Sport projects for the intended beneficiaries and the partners. 
  5. Work with the internal RugbyAU team – including the External Relations Team - and Oceania Rugby to identify and deliver creative international diplomacy, media and engagement opportunities.

Partnership Management

  1. Assist the External Relations Team to manage the strategic partnership with DFAT and Oceania Rugby.
  2. Establish and maintain strong relationships and close collaboration with:
  • Oceania Rugby representatives to coordinate and deliver shared projects and service the DFAT agreement and relationship.
  • Rugby Unions in the Pacific, including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, PNG and Solomon Islands to deliver relevant, tailored benefits to each country
  • With DFAT, Canberra and representatives at the Australian High Commissions/ Embassies in the target countries. 

Strategy & Collaboration

  1. Provide input into Rugby Australia’s strategic plan implementation with an emphasis on partnerships, diplomacy, and high-performance rugby outcomes.
  2. Prepare grant submissions.

Essential Experience / Competencies

  • Evidence of effective project management including planning, delivery, monitoring and evaluation, agreements, and reporting, ideally in the sports sector. 
  • Proven budget management experience.
  • Experienceservicingor working to deliver / project manage government projects and partnerships and delivering public diplomacy/government or international relations outcomes, including delivery of engagement opportunities, events and media. 
  • Demonstrated skill and sensitivity in engaging with multiple stakeholders, at varying levels and in different geographies. 
  • Cross-cultural competency.
  • A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and/or relevant experience.
  • Ability to travel both domestically and internationally. 


  • Experience working in or engaging with organisations in the Pacific Islands.
  • Knowledge of the sports sector and high-performance development, particularly Rugby Union.
  • Knowledge of Australian government / DFAT public diplomacy and international development sectors and funding programs .Prior experience working with or for government agencies such as DFAT would be well regarded
  • An understanding and interest in Community based diversity and inclusion programs and outcomes.

Funding for the position is tied to DFAT’sPacificAusSport program and is currently secured until 30 June 2024. 

To apply please send your CV and cover letter supporting your application to Rachel.Buckling@rugby.com.au.

Applications close 20 December 2021.