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CEO - On the Line Australia

Brooker Consulting Pty Ltd
  • Job ID: AS797
  • Outstanding leadership opportunity in national mental health

On the Line’s professionally qualified team provides 24/7 omnichannel services, including phone and digital counselling, mental health apps, web portals, social media moderation and digital self-help solutions. With a current headcount of 122 staff, On the Line has revenue of almost $17m.

Your brief is to work with the Board in ensuring long term sustainability through profitable business development, and continuous improvement. You will optimise operations by diversifying services, and income streams, inculcating a positive workplace culture and further enhancing stakeholder engagement.

You are an inspiring and authentic leader, strategic thinker and developer of commercially viable businesses. Regarded by funders as a sector leader, you are an ethical, persuasive influencer and compelling communicator.

Position Description

The role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is authorised and responsible for the management of the organisation and its operations by way of delegated authority from the Board. The position is responsible for developing and implementing strategies, business plans and budgets for consideration by the Board.

As CEO you will ensure long term sustainability of the organisation through profitable business development and continuous improvement of structure, systems and processes supporting our people and our external stakeholders.

In the CEO role you will deliver organisational transformation to optimise the current business, and to diversify services and income streams to enable OTL to increase its reach and impact in the community, while reducing the cost to serve.

As CEO you will provide strong, clear leadership to the organisation acting with integrity at all times; delivering internal direction, goals and energy to the organisation’s personnel. You will be responsible for creating and maintaining a culture of commercial sustainability, integrity, performance and enablement, underpinned by and expressing the values and philosophy of the organisation.

As CEO you will identify and manage operational and corporate risks, manage the financial and other reporting systems to ensure the Board is provided with accurate and timely information on the performance of the organisation.

You will work with all stakeholders in order to position OTL as the key provider of 24/7 outsourced digital counselling services in Australia.

Key Result Areas:


Major Activities

  • Develop a staff culture in which people feel valued and respected, thereby encouraging all to always give of their best in pursuit of the organisation’s goals.
  • Comply with the ethical guidelines and policies of the organisation.
  • Inspire our staff to deliver on our goals through persuasive communication of our strategic direction, vision, mission and values across the organisation.
  • Inform the Board of all events within, or which reasonably should be within, his/her knowledge or awareness, which may or do have a material impact on the organisation’s activities or wellbeing.
  • Work with the Executive and leadership teams to ensure efficient and effective management of all aspects of the organisation.
  • Work with the responsible Executive and Managers to ensure our service centre targets and/or other measures are achieved.
  • Ensure OTL has the capacity and capability (people and infrastructure) to deliver quality services 24/7.
  • Role models the highest standards of integrity at all times.


  • Staff engagement measured through measures including: avoidable turnover, absenteeism, training $/FTE, workplace complaints.
  • Organisational guidelines and policies implemented across the organisation.
  • Strategic direction, mission and values and driven across and understood by the organisation.
  • Performance being met and reported to the Board on a monthly basis or as required.
  • Contracts adhered to as per their service level requirements.
  • Strategic Plans implemented.
  • Department and operational plans in place across the organisation.
  • Executive team performance appraisals completed annually. KPI’s reviewed annually.
  • Succession planning for key roles in place.
  • Team performance across each department is effective and targets met.
  • Regular meetings with the Board Chair and Executives.
  • Board advised of emerging issues of relevance to OTL.


Major Activities

  • Work with the Board and the Executive Team to develop/review a rolling three-year strategy which ensures organisational sustainability.
  • Ensure that the overall strategy is supported by:
  • a fully costed budget;
  • a board approved IT strategy to deliver service to internal and external stakeholders, process productivity and risk mitigation;
  • a Target Operating Model which facilitates our people, structure, processes and systems to combine to deliver the strategy;
  • a People strategy which leverages our staff’s experience, skill and motivation to deliver optimum results.


  • Annual Board strategic review process facilitated to deliver an approved strategic plan.
  • Operational business plans developed and implemented.
  • Key elements of the strategic plan tracked and reported regularly to the Board, including;
  • Project milestones;
  • Financial targets;
  • Risk assessment and reporting, especially with respect to external stakeholder relationships, staff culture and existential threats.
  • Target Operating Model approved by the Board as part of the strategic plan.

External relationships

Major Activities

  • Develop and manage relationships with external stakeholders, including; government and corporate funders, industry associations, regulators, media, unions, patrons and benefactors.
  • Manage EBA negotiations and develop strategies to ensure the EBA is managed sensitively and fairly to achieve successful outcomes for employees and OTL.
  • Secure existing funding sources and seek additional funding through relationships with local, state and federal government departments and agencies.


  • Funding relationships proactively managed with a “no surprises” approach that supports ongoing and new relationships.
  • Remuneration across OTL (EBA, Award and non-EBA employees) reviewed annually and incorporated into the budget cycle.
  • Opportunities for additional funding investigated and secured, subject to them meeting required financial hurdles and operational requirements.
  • Participation in appropriate business and professional associations, networks and activities relevant to the organisation’s interests.

Finance & Risk

Major Activities

  • Develop a budget which supports the strategic objectives and operational obligations while ensuring organisational sustainability.
  • Work with the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee (FRAC) to ensure that statutory reporting obligations are met and that key stakeholder reporting obligations are satisfied.
  • Manage OTL’s risk environment through ongoing management of the Risk Management Framework, including: the Board’s Risk Appetite Statement, the organisation’s Risk Profile, the mitigating Risk Controls and the assurance processes of Internal Audit and Compliance testing/attestation.


  • Annual budget approved by Board.
  • Key budget targets tracked and reported to Board, via FRAC, with material variance analysed and discussed with Board for consequences and potential remediation. These targets include, but are not limited to: revenue, expenses, surplus, cashflow, working capital ratio.
  • OTL meets all contractual reporting obligations of our Government and corporate funders.
  • OTL meets all legislative and regulatory reporting and audit obligations.
  • Annual review of the Risk Management Framework.
  • As required reporting to FRAC of new and emerging risk, plus material changes (in probability or consequence) to existing risk, plus changes to the control environment.
  • Regular reporting to FRAC on the effectiveness of the control environment through targeted and scheduled internal audit review and analysis of incident reporting.

Business Development

Major Activities

  • Identify opportunities for business development aligned to OTL’s strategic plan. This includes expansion of existing services delivered to existing funders, additional funders and also new services.
  • All new and expanded business must satisfy financial hurdles and operational capacity as approved by the Board.


  • Business revenue target as per budget.
  • Tenders and proposals to be subject to review by FRAC to ensure that revenue and margins are sustainable.
  • New contracts to be signed by the CEO and the Chair.
  • Business expansion and diversification to consider capacity and capability of the existing Operating Model with any requisite changes to be costed and considered for impact on business operations, especially our people.

Operational responsibilities

Major Activities

  • Proactively demonstrate values that ensure that OTL complies with Health and Safety obligations.
  • Maintain understanding and oversight of clinical governance to ensure best practice counselling service delivery.
  • Appoint and motivate key Executive and management personnel.
  • Set up, maintain and review organisational structure, systems, policies, processes and procedures, in order to guide, support, inform, service and monitor the prime functions of the organisation.
  • Conduct employee and customer satisfaction surveys annually.


  • Ensure proper control of health and safety duties within the organisation. Provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment for all employees.
  • Clinical framework and policies in place.
  • Performance review process undertaken annually
  • Survey results reported annually to the Board.

Technology and innovation

Major Activities

  • Ensure that OTL keeps abreast of evolving consumer trends and competitor activity with respect to service delivery.
  • Identify and pursue opportunities to leverage emerging technologies to respond to changing community needs.
  • Cost-effectively implement the existing Transformation Strategy and projects to increase reach and impact in the community.
  • Refine the service delivery model to take advantage of new technology enabled services and processes.


  • Three-year strategic plan takes account of technology developments.
  • Regular briefings to the Board on key changes in the technology landscape.
  • Project Management Office (PMO) governance and reporting in place.
  • Business cases developed for Board consideration and approval.
  • Cost-to-serve reduced and/or revenue increased as per business case

Candidate Selection Criteria

Qualifications and experience: essential

  • Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline (eg, Business, Counselling, Psychology, Social Work etc.)
  • Extensive experience in a senior leadership position with primary responsibility for strategy and operations.
  • Proven track record in organisational re-design and transformation.
  • Proven track record in developing and maintaining relationships with government agencies.

Qualifications and experience: desired

  • Post graduate qualifications in a relevant discipline (eg, Business, Counselling, Psychology, Social Work etc.)
  • Experience as a practitioner and/or manager/leader within a clinical governance environment
  • Previous experience as a CEO, preferably within a not-for-profit organisation.
  • Experienced in tender preparation and large contract negotiations.
  • Proven track record in cultural change.
  • Proven track record as a sector leader and experience engaging with industry/sector leaders and key influencers.
  • Proven track record in building credible and trustworthy brands, engaging with the media and being a prominent spokesperson.

Job competencies

  • Demonstrated ability to lead a large organisation creating a positive and service-orientated culture that drives performance and supports people development and well being.
  • Experience in finance, running a commercially sustainable operation, and managing a budget with particular attention to managing expenses.
  • Expertise in developing and implementing a strategic vision and future direction for a business, while being accountable to the Board of Directors.
  • Demonstrated ability to drive revenue and develop the business.
  • Substantial leadership experience at an Executive or CEO level.
  • Ability and experience to drive the performance of the company and proactively drive commercial and Government relationships and contracts.
  • Successful record in leading transformational change to drive growth and performance.
  • Proven experience developing digital and innovation strategies to create new products, services and business models.
  • Current National Police Records Check (or willing to obtain one).
  • Current Working with Children Check.

Personal competencies

  • Inspirational and authentic leader: Mission and results driven, with the ability to get tasks done through the coordinated efforts of the team. Demonstrated track record leading people and teams in complex and ambiguous environments. Energetic, calm under pressure and objective. Demonstrates integrity and personal credibility and acts in accordance with beliefs, standards and values. Has learned and grown through acceptance and proactive analysis of personal/organisational failures. Prepared to ‘get hands dirty’ and lead by example. Shows an interest in every staff member as an individual.
  • Strategic thinker: Understands the ‘big picture’ of the Australian mental health system and, more broadly, the political, clinical and social frameworks which influence it. Demonstrated ability to develop and implement strategic, business and budget plans. Able to translate service delivery concepts into reality. Able to identify underlying issues in complex situations. Demonstrates sound cognitive and analytical skills.
  • Sector leader: A proven sector leader who collaborates with the key leaders and influencers within the Australian mental health system and advocates for policy and system-wide changes to improve mental health outcomes. Actively promotes On the Line as a sector leader.
  • Persuasive influencer and compelling communicator: Able to effectively communicate with all stakeholders including government, politicians, sector leaders, the media and employees. Tailors the message to the audience while acting as a brand ambassador to any stakeholder. Can both give and receive clear instructions and direction; as good a listener as they are a communicator. Not afraid to be the bearer of bad news to the Board. Proactive and flexible, with a track record in developing strong commercial relationships.
  • Business developer: Understands the commercial drivers of the business, the levers of growth and cost reduction, and how value is created within the business. Able to develop an agile and responsive organisation that can identify and respond to community needs quickly. Is market-driven and customer-focused. Demonstrated capability to act quickly and decisively in response to business or performance issues. Intensely curious in pursuit of answers to questions or in search of opportunities.

Decision making authority

The Chief Executive Officer is the key decision maker for the organisation via appropriate delegation by the Board as specified in the Delegations of Authority Policy.

Dimensions and working relationships

Team members supported:

  • Head of Shared Services
  • Head of Growth and Marketing
  • Head of Service Design and Innovation
  • Head of Operations
  • Executive Assistant

Working relationships:

  • Chair of the Board
  • Board Directors
  • Sub-Committees of the Board
  • Company Secretary
  • Key External Stakeholders (Government, Funders and Partners)

How to apply

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