Deputy Enforcement Commanding Officer (Ocean Class)

Job Req ID

ABF - 129397






APS Level 6 - $84,335.00 and $99,779.00 plus 15.4% super 


Employment Type

Ongoing (Permanent), Full-time 


Flexible work



Contact Officer

Scott Normile - Ph: 0427 271 083 




Applications close on 02/10/2023 at 11:59pm AEST (midnight) - Late applications will not be accepted.


About our opportunity


This process is being used to fill up to 4 vacancies. A merit pool may be established and used to fill similar vacancies for up to 18 months.




About our team


Maritime & Detention | Maritime Border Command | Marine Crew Rosters & Deployment | Maritime Deployments and Support


About the Home Affairs Portfolio


The Home Affairs portfolio brings together Australia's federal law enforcement, national and transport security, criminal justice, emergency management, multicultural affairs and immigration and border-related functions and agencies, working together to keep Australia safe. Be part of something bigger: contribute to building a secure Australia that is prosperous, open and united. Join a connected team of professionals, where you can be your authentic self; grow your career while making time for all parts of your life.


About the Australian Border Force


The Australian Border Force (ABF) is an operationally independent body under the Home Affairs Portfolio. The ABF operates in a rapidly evolving global environment. We must perform to the highest standards while remaining agile to anticipate and respond to emerging threats, and capitalise on opportunities to partner with domestic and international border, customs, immigration, intelligence and law enforcement agencies. To deliver our mission in the face of advancing technology and new threats, it is not enough to be reactive; we must be professional, disciplined and collaborative.


Branch Overview


Marine Deployments and Support Branch deploys sea-going marine Border Force Officers to Australian Border Force Cutters (ABFC) and Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Ocean Protector where they undertake a range of border enforcement activities throughout the Australian maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This includes offshore maritime patrols and response, surveillance and deterrence activities that support civil maritime security operations and respond to identified Maritime Security Threats (MSTs) including:

  • Illegal Maritime Arrivals (IMAs)
  • Maritime Terrorism
  • Piracy, Robbery and Violence at Sea
  • Prohibited Imports and Exports
  • Exploitation of Natural Resources
  • Illegal activity in Protected Areas
  • Marine Pollution
  • Compromise to Bio-security.


ABFC crew perform varied duties, which include boarding operations, bridge and engine room watch keeping, deck and engine room tasks and maintenance, meal preparation and vessel cleaning tasks. Officers maintain a capability to allow for re deployment within the fleet or general duties within ABF.


Our ideal candidate



  • Highly motivated and capable of performing duties with no/minimal supervision
  • Ability to maintain composure under stress, when confronted with a highly aggressive and threatening situation
  • Ability to identify risk in a dynamic operational environment
  • Ability to lead subordinates effectively, including the management of poor performance
  • Think logically under stress and when fatigued, in a dynamic environment
  • Displays integrity, high ethical standards and maintains confidentiality and discretion within a high risk environment
  • Displays resilience
  • Undertake Government directives which may appear ethically and morally challenging
  • Culturally aware, including awareness of Religious fundamentalism
  • Maintains professional boundaries and standards
  • Safety conscious
  • Emotionally intelligent
  • Sound attention to detail
  • Develops and maintains relationships with teams and stakeholders based on trust; effectively manages conflicts and escalating situations
  • Physically fit
  • Ability to work in confined spaces, not claustrophobic and able to wear self-contained breathing apparatus
  • Ability to Work at Heights and climb boarding ladders against moving target vessels in heavy seaway (Sea state 5)
  • Agile, flexible and adaptable to new or evolving scenarios and changing priorities
  • Responsible and accountable for actions
  • Highly motivated and capable of coordinating multiple work areas to complete tasks within set time frames
  • Build and maintain productive working relationships with shore side support staff
  • Utilise developed interpersonal skills to facilitate and promote effective interactions with clients, colleagues and stakeholders
  • Ability to think logically when fatigued and in a stressful environment
  • Present information in a clear, timely and effective manner through oral and written communication.


Position Summary


The Deputy Enforcement Commander (DEC) reports directly to the Enforcement Commander (EC) aboard Ocean Class Vessels, ABFC Ocean Shield or ADV Ocean Protector and executes the directions of the EC in support of the management, sustainment and development of the enforcement capability aboard the Ocean Class Vessel in order to enforce border protection legislation. 


This requires the DEC to:

  • Execute and conduct boarding operations against target vessels as Boarding Commander (BC)

  • Manage and coordinate the enforcement teams during the security watch keeping of any transportees.  Further, the DEC will manage the processing and housing of the transportees, including their ongoing health and welfare, in association with the embarked medical staff

  • Manage the Force Protection security arrangements aboard to ensure the safety of the crew and the ship, when faced with non-compliance or higher level threat (e.g. embarked transportees and or when on passage or berthed in foreign ports or waterways).


Duties and responsibilities


Specific duties/responsibilities

The DEC will be required to:

  • Manage and the Ocean Class maritime tactical enforcement boarding and security operations, to ensure compliance with mission directives
  • Manage, lead and execute Ocean Class tactical enforcement operations against the identified maritime security threats
  • Manage, lead and execute the boarding, searching and apprehension of domestic and foreign vessels. Further, these duties extend to the safe and timely handling of apprehended personnel, plus ensuring the safe and effective navigation of any apprehended vessels in accordance with Commonwealth regulations/orders
  • Manage the transportees, to ensure the safety of the ship, crew and clients from any non-compliance or mass threat, identified within the transportee cohort
  • Liaise and cooperate with embarked, key maritime enforcement stakeholders and client agencies, both foreign and domestic (Commonwealth and State) in the delivery of enforcement and operational tasking's in the maritime domain
  • Manage the boarding of vessels in accordance with legislated powers and established processes, including boarding and searching activity, seizing prohibited goods, apprehending and questioning suspects and obtaining statements
  • Assist in critical incident scene coordination
  • During Ocean Class deployments, the DEC may be required to manage in excess of 34 subordinate officers (all ranks)
  • Administer the Maritime Powers Act and other specified legislation and laws
  • Complete enforcement, operational and departmental reporting requirements
  • Report to the EC on the status of the enforcement capability of the vessel, including the identification of enforcement capability limitations, against the identified maritime security threats
  • Manage the operational capability of embarked enforcement team through appropriate training and development programs
  • Manage in the work place, the promotion of safety, awareness and environmental policies, including the delivery of a safe working environment
  • Ensure enforcement and operational related work permits and risk assessments are conducted
  • Ensure the timely completion of all operational administrative duties associated with any enforcement operation
  • Manage enforcement staff in coordination with the emergency response plan, during ships emergency drills and/or incidents
  • Where required the DEC may lead on-scene Marine Tactical Officer (MTO) Teams in response to emergencies at sea, such as Search and Rescue (SAR) operational activities, including mass casualty triage International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
  • Manage all subordinate officers' welfare, development and career progression.  The DEC also ensures that all divisional reporting is maintained to departmental standards and that MTOs remain current with department requirements and reporting.




  • Contribute to on-board emergency response and communicate effectively within teams
  • Ability to plan, organise and control processes and resources to deliver specific goals or objectives
  • Highly motivated and capable of completing tasks within set time frames
  • Build and maintain productive working relationships with shore side support staff
  • Utilise developed interpersonal skills to facilitate and promote effective interactions with clients, colleagues and stakeholders
  • Ability to think logically when fatigued and in a stressful environment
  • Present information in a clear, timely and effective manner through oral and written communication.




Knowledge of and ability to apply relevant legislation, including:


  • Maritime Powers Act 2013
  • Privacy Act 1988
  • Customs Act 1901
  • Australian Border Force Act 2015
  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, in particular the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)
  • Quarantine Act 1908
  • Navigation Act 2012
  • Migration Act 1958
  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Marine Orders and Marine Notices
  • International Maritime Organisation Conventions (SOLAS, MARPOL, International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keepers (STCW), Maritime Labour Certificate (MLC), Load Line, International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG), Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) and SAR).
  • Ability to interpret and apply relevant Departmental policies, standard operating procedures, instructions and guidelines
  • Awareness of other cultures and cultural practice, including indigenous communities and neighbouring countries.


Additional information


Highly Desirable

  • Certificate of Competency (CoC) Coxswain Grade 1 Near Coastal, as issued in accordance with Marine Order 505, or higher qualification
  • Existing maritime or law enforcement experience
  • Custodial Firearms Safe Handling (CFSH) qualification
  • Authorised Arms Issuing Officer (AAIO) qualification.



  • Obtain and retain a security clearance of Negative Vetting 1 (Secret) level
  • Successfully complete and maintain an Advanced First Aid Certificate, including Advanced Resuscitation
  • Certificate of Medical Fitness for sea duty in accordance with Marine Orders Part 9 (Health Medical Fitness) and having due regard to the guidelines for Medical Inspectors of Seamen as set out by AMSA
  • Certificate of Safety Training (COST; STCW Reg VI/1)
  • Undertake and pass ABF Marine Induction Training
  • Undertake and pass Ocean Class specific training and endorsements
  • Successfully complete and pass the ABF Use of Force (UoF) Medical Assessment
  • Successfully complete the UoF Functional Fitness Assessment
  • Successfully complete and pass UoF Psychometric Assessment
  • Successfully complete and pass Swim Test
  • Ability to obtain and maintain UoF qualifications
  • Obtain and maintain an Antarctic conditions Medical and Dental assessment when required
  • Ability to obtain and maintain an official passport
  • COVID-19 vaccinations (It is a mandatory condition of your employment that, you have been fully vaccinated, and attain full vaccination (including one COVID-19 booster dose to maintain an 'up-to-date' status).


These positions are in child-related employment and compliance with the following legislation is a requirement:

  • Children's Protection Act 1993 (SA); and
  • Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld); and
  • Working with Children Act 2005 (Vic); and
  • Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 (NSW); and
  • Working With Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 (WA); and
  • Care and Protection of Children Act 2007 (NT); and
  • Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011 (ACT)


For a person convicted of certain offences to apply for child-related employment. The successful applicant must read and sign the Child Protection Mandatory Behaviours Declaration and undertake to comply with it; complete the Department's Child Safeguarding eLearning; and hold a:


Employment is subject to the ABF Career Management and Posting Principles and is subject to postings consistent with that framework. Whilst employed as a sea-going Officer your conditions of service will be commensurate with the Department of Home Affairs Workplace Determination 2019.


Other Information


This is a seagoing position and as such, living space is limited with shared cabins and communal ablutions for crew. There may be limited internet access and phone connectivity for extended periods. The ABF Cutters operate in remote areas and there is limited opportunity to be transferred ashore during deployment.


This is a designated ABF position. You will be a sworn officer and are subject to the ABF Career Management Posting Principles and the Uniform and Appearance Standards Procedural Instruction. Officers are subject to employment conditions and allowances as specified in the Department of Home Affairs Workplace Determination 2019.


Although every effort will be made to maintain a scheduled roster, occasionally due to operational requirements your roster patterns may vary in accordance with the Workplace Determination.


Please visit our website for more information about the Department of Home Affairs or Australian Border Force


How to apply


Please submit your CV through the Home Affairs’ recruitment system to the Applicant Response field in (ourPeople) before the closing date on 02/10/2023  at 11:59pm (midnight) AEDT – Late applications will not be accepted.


Please prepare a one-page Applicant Response in relation to the advertised role, outlining:

  • how your skills, knowledge and experience will be relevant to this role
  • why you are interested in the role and what you can offer us
  • any specific examples or achievements that demonstrate your ability to perform the role.


When preparing your response please take into account the following capabilities:

  • Achieves results
  • Supports productive working relationships
  • Communicates with influence
  • Demonstrates professional/technical proficiency.


Applicant response documents must be 11pt Arial font in MSWord or PDF format, include your full name and the Requisition Number - 129397 in the document footer.


Prior to preparing your response it is recommended you review the Work Level standards relevant to the classification you are applying to. It may also be useful to refer to the Integrated Leadership Systems information relevant to the classification.




To be eligible for the position you must be an Australian Citizen.


The successful candidate will be required to obtain and maintain a Negative Vetting Level 1  (AGSVA) security clearance and an Employment Suitability Clearance (ESC).


Diversity and inclusion


The Department is committed to workforce diversity and applicants who are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, come from a diverse cultural or linguistic background are encouraged to apply.


Technical assistance


For technical enquiries please call or email for assistance:



Please include any applicable screen captures, a response will be provided during business hours.




The Department of Home Affairs offers an attractive remuneration package, including salary, superannuation benefits and flexible working conditions appropriate to the level of the position.


The Department may provide relocation assistance to eligible APS employees required to relocate. The level of assistance will vary depending on the reason for relocating and your personal circumstances. For further information please enquire with the contact officer listed in the advertisement.


Information about employment and advice on how to apply for vacancies can be obtained from the Department’s website at


Candidates should be aware that in roles where vaccination against COVID-19 is required by public health orders/directions or other legislation proof of vaccination will be required. If a candidate is not fully vaccinated or is unwilling to be vaccinated within a reasonable time period, they may not be offered that role.