Australian High Commission
Kingdom of Tonga




                          Senior Program Manager Vacancy          

The Australian High Commission in Nuku’alofa invites applications for the position of Senior Program Manager – Economic Governance and Infrastructure.

About the role:

Under general direction, the Senior Program Manager is responsible for delivering Australian development policies and programs in Tonga, through leadership and management of development activities, and building effective partnerships with relevant stakeholders in Tonga and the region. Senior Program Managers currently lead small teams managing and providing policy advice on a portfolio of activities under Australia’s overarching development framework Partnerships for Recovery and the Tonga COVID-19 Development Response Plan.

This is a full-time position based in the Australian High Commission.

To discuss any aspects of the role, you can contact [email protected] or phone (+676) 20400.

Terms of employment:

The terms of employment will be in accordance with the Nuku’alofa – Locally Engaged Staff Terms and Conditions of Employment.  Employment will be offered on a permanent (on-going) contract basis at the LE7 broadband level with an annual salary range between TOP $56,884 to TOP $66,546 depending on experience.  Continued employment is subject to a successful completion of a six-month probation period.

The Australian High Commission in Nuku’alofa will not be responsible for any costs incurred if applying for a Tongan visa, relocation costs, nor the return of the officer and family to their country of origin at the end of the contract.

How to apply:

A hard copy of the Duty Statement and Requirements can be collected from the Australian High Commission reception.

Applications should include:

  • A covering letter (maximum one page)
  • A curriculum vitae (maximum three pages) which includes details of two referees, one of whom should be a current or recent manager and
  • A written response detailing how your qualifications, skills and experience will enable you to successfully perform this role (maximum 1000 words).

Please submit your application either by email to [email protected] or in a hard copy addressed to HR Personnel – Job Vacancy and dropped off at the Australian High Commission in Nuku’alofa.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 4.00 pm on Friday 12 August 2022.

 Late or incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.  We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.


Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Position number



Senior Program Manager – Economic Governance & Infrastructure





Reports to (title)

Deputy Head of Mission








About the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The role of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is to advance the interests of Australia and Australians internationally. This involves strengthening Australia’s security, enhancing Australia’s prosperity, delivering an effective and high-quality overseas aid program and helping Australian travellers and Australians overseas.

The department provides foreign, trade and development policy advice to the Australian Government. DFAT also works with other Australian government agencies to drive coordination of Australia’s pursuit of global, regional, and bilateral interests.

The Australian High Commission represents Australia’s interests in the Kingdom of Tonga.  This involves delivering an effective and high-quality overseas development program, economic, people-to-people and security partnerships, and helping Australian travellers and Australians overseas.

The key responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to:

  • Manage the effective delivery of Australia’s policies and programs in Tonga in collaboration with Australian, Tongan and international partners with a high level of independent decision-making
  • Ensure DFAT’s policy requirements are met (including cross-cutting policies such as gender, disability inclusion, child‑protection and climate change), undertake financial and quality assurance, and support alignment with Government of Tonga policies
  • Commission, oversee and undertake research, analysis, pipeline planning, and problem solving on relevant issues (for example economic governance, infrastructure, and gender) to inform DFAT engagement
  • Report on program outcomes, provide expert and evidence-based advice and draft or provide significant English language written input to DFAT policy, reporting, complex correspondence, briefs and submissions (including for the Head of Mission, Minister(s), DFAT Executive and Australian delegations) on a wide range of matters relevant to Australia’s work in Tonga
  • Identify development, fraud and other program risks and engage with counterparts and the Deputy Head of Mission to manage and mitigate these risks
  • Monitor and report on emerging DFAT, partner government and other agency policy developments, and maintain a thorough understanding of how issues directly relate to the multilateral and bilateral relationships between Australia and the Pacific
  • Contribute to DFAT’s relationships in Tonga by developing and maintaining strong external relationships with relevant senior Tongan Government officials, development partners and other stakeholders
  • Negotiate and collaborate with senior Tongan Government officials and other bilateral / multilateral development partners on formulating, developing and implementing aid activities, and influence and support the Tongan Government to drive performance and value for money for these programs
  • Set the strategic framework for performance management within a small team through effective business planning, communications, and providing performance feedback for program managers
  • Represent the Australian High Commission, promote policy dialogue and provide detailed advice on Australian participation at a range of national and regional forums and meetings


  • Relevant tertiary qualifications and/or work experience in development, economics or a related field
  • A sound understanding of the economic, political and social issues facing development in Tonga, and the work of the Australian development program
  • Highly developed program management skills, with supporting skills in financial management, contract management, and monitoring and evaluation
  • Excellent people skills including management and leadership experience, and the ability to build effective working relationships with a diverse and cross-cultural set of stakeholders (externally and internally)
  • Ability, sound judgement and confidence to drive work forward with minimal input from supervisors
  • Highly developed and influential English language communication skills (written and oral) that support decision-making, advocacy, coalition-building and public diplomacy
  • Flexibility to adjust to new areas of policy or program focus as needed
  • Tongan language skills are highly desirable