Business Administrator

Full time or job share arrangement, Permanent/On-going

Astronomy Australia Limited

Astronomy Australia Ltd (AAL) manages the Astronomy Program of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). AAL is a not-for-profit company whose members are Australian universities and research organisations with a significant astronomical research capability.

Our vision is that Australian astronomy is world leading and publicly valued. Our mission is to facilitate access for Australian-based astronomers to the best research infrastructure, encourage the sharing of astronomical technical capabilities to maximise their value to the nation, and inspire Australians with these astronomical achievements.

This position is located at the Melbourne office of AAL, on the Hawthorn campus of Swinburne University of Technology, close to public transport, approximately 6km east of Melbourne’s CBD.

AAL offers relaxed, flexible, family-friendly work arrangements. Under current COVID-19 restrictions, AAL staff are predominantly working from home.

Position summary

The Business Administrator will support the administration of AAL’s research infrastructure grants, ensure ongoing compliance with the company’s reporting obligations, and assist with financial operations and the smooth operation of AAL’s offices.

AAL is open to a full-time or job share option for the right candidates.

No travel or staff supervision is required. As AAL is a small company, all members of staff are expected to spend some of their time assisting with general operations.

Statement of duties
Reporting Administration

AAL currently has funding agreements with three Federal government departments (DESE, DISER and DFAT). This position will assist with the reporting obligations associated with these and any future AAL funding agreements. The Business Administrator will be responsible for:

  • Overseeing AAL’s reporting schedule
  • Collating reports for funding bodies
  • Liaising with AAL staff and project leaders regarding reporting, contracts and finances.
Contracts Administration

AAL sub-contracts the management and development of astronomy infrastructure projects to universities and other third parties. The Business Administrator will be responsible for:

  • Assisting with the drafting of contracts and project schedules
  • Liaising with sub-contractors to modify and execute contracts
  • Overseeing the contract workflow.
Finance/Book-Keeping Duties

AAL has an operation budget of $1.5M and manages grants and other income in excess of $10M per year. AAL accounts are processed using MYOB accounting software. The Business Administrator will maintain an understanding of the accounting system and assist the Finance Manager by performing the following tasks:

  • Book-keeping activities such as accounts payable, accounts receivable and credit card reconciliation.
  • Essential financial processing such as payroll and month-end processes.
  • Collating project and financial information for management reports, financial reports for external stakeholders, and auditors.
  • Provide cover in the Finance Manager’s absence.
  • Assistance with financial and project reporting requirements for quarterly Board meetings.
General Administration

To assist the Director of Administration with the smooth operation of AAL’s offices, the Business Administrator will undertake some routine administrative tasks to support the AAL team:

  • Coordinate new starter procedures and manage office systems.
  • Assistance with arrangements for meetings and conferences.
  • Provide cover for booking travel and ad hoc tasks in the Director of Administration’s absence.
Experience and qualifications required

The successful candidate will require the essential skills, experience and qualifications below.

  1. A high standard of written and oral communication skills.
  2. Initiative and the ability to work independently to strict deadlines.
  3. Ability to develop relationships with and influence a range of stakeholders.
  4. Ability to organise and prioritise multiple tasks, solve problems, and work with interruptions.
  5. An excellent eye for detail which ensures minimal errors and the maintenance of high standards of quality by checking/monitoring processes and tasks.
  6. Considerable skills and experience using Microsoft Office products, specifically Word
    and Excel.
  7. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education, training and experience in
    similar roles.

To excel in the role, a candidate will need to draw on relevant job experience as listed below.

Desirable experience
  1. Experience working in a small not-for-profit company.
  2. Experience administering contracts and/or overseeing project progress.
  3. Financial book-keeping experience. Experience in using MYOB software preferred.
  4. Experience preparing progress and annual reports.
  5. Experience with office management systems and procedures.
  6. Experience using Microsoft Teams (or similar collaborative work environment) to create reliable, efficient processes.

Reporting to: Director of Administration
Hours: Full time or job share arrangement
Term of Employment: Permanent/On-going
Location: Hawthorn, Victoria
Salary: $75,000 – $95,000 + superannuation

One of the 256 groups of antenna tiles within the MWA radio telescope, photographed at night in front of the breakaways at Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara. Credit: ICRAR/Pete Wheeler
ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT)
ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) observatory at Paranal, with the Moon, Venus and Jupiter glowing brightly overhead. Image credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in remote WA. Credit: CSIRO.
Rubin Observatory on Cerro Pachon
Aerial view of the Rubin Observatory enclosure and support building at top, with the Auxiliary Telescope for atmospheric monitoring in the foreground. Image credit: Rubin Observatory/NSF/AURA
The OzSTAR supercomputer, located at Swinburne University of Technology. Credit: Carl Knox, OzGrav.