Marine Communications Technical Officer

Job Req ID

ABF - 130197






APS Level 4 - $71,201.00 and $76,799.00 plus 15.4% super (part time pro-rata)


Employment Type

Ongoing (Permanent), Full-time 


Flexible work



Contact Officer



Applications close on 10/12/2023 at 11:59pm AEDT (midnight) - Late applications will not be accepted.


About our opportunity


This process is being used to fill up to 9 immediate vacancies. A merit pool may be established and used to fill similar vacancies for up to 18 months. 


About our team


National Operations | Maritime Border Command | Marine Crew Rosters & Deployment | NA


Marine Deployments and Support Branch deploys sea-going marine Border Force Officers to ABF vessels and ADF 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.


ABF 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.


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 subject to the ABF Career Management Posting Policy and the Uniform and Appearance Standards Procedural Instruction. Officers are subject to employment conditions 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


Our ideal candidate


Marine Deployments and Support is seeking applications from professionals who can respond positively to a challenging and high-pressure environment. The programme of the Branch is high profile, with added sensitivity due to the armed nature of the workforce, demanding a high level of training and qualifications as well as liaison with other agencies and ABF Commands.


The work you will undertake entails spending substantial time away from home for extended periods usually up to 31 days but possibly up to 36 days, on a Fly In Fly Out roster. Marine Communications and Technical Officers must also manage and be responsive to a range of requirements, including:


  • Be able to perform duties in the maritime environment including lengthy deployments on unstable platforms in uncertain and variable weather and sea conditions

  • Compatible with sharing facilities, when living within the close constraints of a vessel for an extended period of time

  • Be able to deploy for at least 31 days at a time with no opportunity to return to port or home

  • Demonstrate flexibility and initiative in response to allocated work, including assisting in the completion of work outside of assigned responsibilities.


Deployment to vessels reflects the operational priorities of the ABF and rostering as determined by the relevant policies and procedures. Officers are expected to be flexible and agile in responding to rostering and deployment by the ABF.


Depending on operational requirements and the circumstances of candidates, the Marine Unit permits domiciling in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and Darwin.  Where a successful applicant is offered a position in a location that requires them to relocate, the ABF may meet fair and reasonable relocation costs.



  • Flexible, resourceful and solves problems

  • Selfless leadership values

  • Self-control in critical situations

  • Effective critical thinking and decision making

  • Strategic Thinking

  • Managerial and Planning / project management skills

  • Clear concise communicator

  • Continuous quality improvement

  • Self-motivated, innovative and able to implement change

  • Culturally aware, particularly with regards to dealing with stakeholders in remote and inshore maritime environments

  • Awareness of other cultures and cultural practice, including indigenous communities and neighbouring countries

  • Physical fitness.


Duties and responsibilities

The ABF Marine Unit - Cape Class Marine Communications Technical Officer (MCTO) will be required to:

  • Assist the Chief Engineering Officer (CENG), Communications Officer (COMMS) and Commanding Officer (CO) in the safe and efficient operations of all (internal and external) communications (including wideband satellite system), sensors and navigation equipment and provide advice in regards to maintenance (planned, corrective and preventative) of the vessels electronic equipment

  • Assist with on-board marine duties including radio and surveillance sensor operation and gathering of electronic evidence. Carry out all forms of maintenance on vessel electronic equipment as scheduled by the Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) or as delegated by the CENG

  • Action software configuration changes in accordance with the approved procedure. Carry out electrical and electronics repairs and maintenance of systems only if authorised to do so in accordance with the assignment of Technical Authority. Ensure compliance with Work Health and Safety (WHS) in the work place

  • Assist in bridge and engineering watch keeping as directed

  • Assist with vessel running and maintenance duties as delegated by the CENG.


Marine Technical Support section

  • Work within the Marine Technical Regulatory System (MTRS) as a Suitably Qualified and Experienced Person (SQEP)

  • Provide the CO with assistance through the conduct of on-board analysis, maintenance and administration of marine technical matters relating to the MCTO position

  • Input the electronic and communications maintenance requirements into the vessel's deck and engineering maintenance plans

  • Manage and implement electronic and communication elements of the engineering maintenance plan

  • Manage the ships communication, navigation, electronic sensors and information systems

  • Perform daily system operational tests of all on-board communications, navigation and sensor systems, including pre and post sailing checks

  • Operate electro optical surveillance system during boarding evolutions and as directed

  • Manage the operational capability of the tenders' electronic and communication systems

  • Liaise with shore based Marine Technical Support Officers to aid in fault diagnostic for communications, navigation, electronic sensors and information systems

  • Take an active role in the familiarisation of other crew in relation to on-board communications, navigation, electronic sensors and information systems

  • Work closely with the Marine Deployments and Support Branch to assist the development of new Instructions and Guidelines (I&Gs), Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Emergency Procedures

  • Interpret and apply Work Health and Safety (WHS) and other relevant maritime industry legislation

  • Carry out duties during emergencies and drills

  • Assist in providing on-site support, when required, to assist in the coordination of maintenance, warranty and survey tasks

  • Provide marine technical advice to ABF Marine Unit and clients, as required

  • Assist with general deck, engine room and ship's husbandry duties including food preparation and domestic hygiene duties

  • Be responsible for creating complete and accurate records in accordance with the Recordkeeping Practice Statement and Instruction and Guidelines

  • Provide advice and/or assistance to Central Office, as required

  • Contribute to the management of vessel operations in heavy sea states

  • Contribute to on-board emergency response and communicate effectively within teams

  • Build and maintain productive working relationships with shore side support staff

  • Plan, organise and control systems, processes and resources to deliver specific goals or objectives

  • Utilise developed interpersonal skills to facilitate and promote effective interactions with clients, colleagues and stakeholders.


Additional information


Conditions of service will be commensurate with the Department of Home Affairs Workplace Determination 2019 (WD):

  • Remuneration as a Marine Communications and Technical Officer will reflect an APS 4 base salary and allowances dependent on rostering and vessel being crewed

  • Amongst other allowances, on successful completion of the training program, marine seagoing officers currently attract a commuted seagoing allowance (CMA) of between 60-63% of base salary -



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 International Convention for 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 (Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), MARPOL

  • Ability to interpret and apply relevant Departmental policies, standard operating procedures, instructions and guidelines. Compliance with Vessel Safety Management Systems (SMS).


Mandatory Qualifications

  • Certificate II in Electronics; equivalent or higher (must provide evidence).


Highly Desirable 

  • Possess or have the ability to obtain Certificate III in Electronics; equivalent or higher.


Mandatory Role Requirements
Relevant technical knowledge (or ability to acquire knowledge) and diagnose and report technical issues with experience and or certificate or skills in:

  • Marine Navigation systems

  • GMDSS general operator's certificate

  • Marine Communications systems 

  • Satellite

  • HF, VHF and UHF

  • Secure communications

  • Radar

  • AIS


  • Electro Optical Surveillance System (EOSS)

  • LAN and WAN

  • Server and enterprise environments

  • Computerised maintenance systems

  • Apply relevant legislation, policy and guidelines

  • Apply a broad knowledge of ABF functions, responsibilities and organisational linkages

  • Possess the skills, ability and qualifications to be awarded a Technical Authority (TA) under the Marine Technical Regulatory System (MTRS) as a Suitably Qualified and Experienced Person (SQEP)

  • Possess or have the ability to obtain, General Operators Certificate (GMDSS)

  • Possess or have the ability to obtain Electronic Chart Display Information System (ECIDS) Maintainer - generic and specific required

  • Possess or have the ability to obtain Restricted Electrical Licences 

  • Advanced Fire Fighting Training

  • Certificate of Proficiency of Survival Craft and Rescue Boats other than Fast Rescue Boats

  • Provide Medical First Aid On-board a Vessel Training (AMSA) 

  • Long range radio operators Licences 

  • MED 2 or higher

  • The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers 1978, as amended, (STCW) Certificate of Competency issued by AMSA in the following subjects;

    • Certificate of Safety Training (COST)

  • Successfully complete Marine Induction Training;

    • Undertake and compete Border Force Officer units as directed

    • Undertake and pass psychometric testing

    • Undertake and successfully complete the Operational Readiness Assessment which includes the Basic Fitness Assessment and the ABF Medical Assessment

    • Certificate of Medical Fitness for sea duty in accordance with Marine Orders Part 76 (Health Medical Fitness)

    • Must be able to pass a swim test

    • Obtain and maintain a security clearance of Negative Vetting 1 level

    • Certificate of Safety Training (COST)

    • Successfully complete and maintain an Basic First Aid Certificate (HLTAID011) and CPR (HLTAID009)

  • Ability to obtain an Official Passport

  • Swear an oath or make an affirmation

  • Actively participate in career management (postings and deployments)

  • Be uniformed. Prepared to deploy on board a vessel for up to 36 days at a time

  • Must read and sign the Child Protection Mandatory Behaviours Declaration and undertake to comply with it; complete the Department's Child Safeguarding eLearning

  • 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).


How to apply


Submit your application and CV through the Home Affairs’ recruitment system (ourPeople) before the closing date on 10/12/2023 at 11:59pm (midnight) AEDT  – Late applications will not be accepted.


As part of your application you will be required to prepare and submit a one-page applicant response document 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 the following capabilities:

  • Achieves results

  • Supports productive working relationships

  • Communicates with influence

  • Demonstrates professional/technical proficiency.


Applicant response documents must be a minimum 11pt font in MSWord or PDF format, include your full name and the Requisition Number – 130197 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 or have a disability 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.