Vaga Servisu - Political Research Officer - Level 4 - Australian Embassy Timor-Leste



The Australian Embassy is seeking a highly motivated and experienced person to fill the long-term position of Political Research Officer (Locally engaged staff, level 4), working across its Political and Public Diplomacy team. The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate achievement against the following selection criteria:


  • A high level of communication and interpersonal skills that can be applied in building productive working relationships with the Government of Timor-Leste, political parties, civil society and other stakeholders;
  • Thorough understanding and knowledge of Timor-Leste politics, economics and government systems and processes and strong networks of contacts reflective of this.
  • Demonstrated initiative, motivation and flexibility including the ability to work independently in a proactive manner.
  • Sound judgement and analytical skills and ability to translate this into written reports.
  • Personal initiative, good judgement and responsiveness.
  • Familiarity with the Australia and Timor-Leste bilateral relationship.

Applicants should also have the following qualifications and/or experience.

  • Tertiary qualifications, experience or knowledge in political science, international relations, economics and/or another related degree.
  • Excellent English and Tetun (required) and Portuguese (are highly desirable) including interpretation and translation skills.


The salary for this position starts from USD16,608 per annum for 37.50 working hours per week. This figure excludes 13-month salary.


About the position:

The Political Research Officer will be a part of the largest diplomatic mission in Timor-Leste. Under general direction of the First Secretary (Political), the Political Research Officer will produce written reports, undertake research, and provide administrative support on a range of political, trade/economic, social, security, and international issues and policies.   This role will assist in  keeping the Ambassador, the Deputy Ambassador and the Political Team updated of political and security developments in Timor-Leste; help grow and strengthen relationships with key contacts; provide briefings for key stakeholders; support visits to/from Australia; and manage the Direct Aid Program. The position also provides diary and administrative support to the Deputy Ambassador.

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

  • Maintain and deepen a current understanding of Timor-Leste Government policies and emerging issues of interest to Australia to inform reporting, strategies and discussions.
  • Monitor, analyse and report on political, parliamentary and security developments in Timor‑Leste in collaboration with the Senior Political Research Officer. 
  • Undertake research and analysis in order to provide advice, insights and briefings on key policy trends and drivers, and emerging themes related to government policy, business, and non-government stakeholders including Timorese press, TV, radio, and social media.
  • Assist with preparing a range of correspondence on key issues, including reports, talking points and summaries. 
  • Administer the Direct Aid Program, a small grants program, designed to further Australia’s foreign, trade and public diplomacy objectives.  This will involve some budget and program management.
  • Build, develop and maintain collaborative networks with external contacts including government officials, other missions, the private sector, civil society, thinktanks and academics.
  • Attend political events, seminars and functions in Timor-Leste and report on outcomes.
  • Coordinate logistics, assist with draft programs and contribute to program development for ministerial and official visits, including making appointments with high-level officials and providing advice on meetings and events.
  • Support diary management for the Deputy Ambassador.
  • Provide interpretation support for the Ambassador, Embassy staff or visiting VIPs, as required.

Qualification and Experience

  • A qualification in a relevant field and/or relevant work experience in a related field such as the Government, Diplomatic or NGO sectors.
  • Thorough understanding and knowledge of Timor-Leste’s history, politics, economics, government and parliamentary systems and processes.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, and excellent interpersonal and liaison skills that can be applied to build and maintain strong relationships.  
  • Sound judgement, analytical and critical thinking skills and ability to use this for written reports.
  • Strong organisational skills and ability to work under time pressure.
  • Demonstrate initiative, motivation and flexibility including the ability to work independently in a proactive manner.
  • Excellent English and Tetun (required). Portuguese language skills (reading and writing) are highly desirable.


Applications – Please respond to each of the selection criteria separately by providing examples of your achievements. The total response to selection criteria must be in English and not exceed two (2) pages.  Please also include a Curriculum Vitae in English, not exceeding two (2) pages.  The closing date is on Wednesday, 29th May 2024 at 4.30pm (Dili time).


Referees – Please provide the name, position, phone number and email address for two recent professional referees in your written application.  Referees will be contacted for short listed applicants only. You will be notified if your referees are to be contacted.


How to apply

Please send applications via email to Position descriptions is attached and also available on the Australian Embassy website and also available from the Australian Embassy’s guard post. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interview.


Other requirements

Successful applicants are required to obtain a satisfactory police clearance and medical check. The position will involve travel in Timor-Leste and may also involve limited international travel.



The Australian Embassy is committed to providing equal employment opportunities, access, equity and social inclusion for all employees, and in particular for women and people with disability. We welcome all applicants and encourage women and people with disability to apply.

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