Back to top
Blog postNews

We're looking for a Principal Consultant!

Are you an outstanding consultant with experience in the design and implementation of research and/or evaluation projects in Australia and/or the Asia-Pacific region?

Are you seeking opportunities to use your skills and experience to create positive social, economic, and environmental change?

The organisation

Sustineo is an innovative, award-winning consulting firm working at the intersection of research, evaluation, and impact in Australia and the Asia-Pacific. We combine the rigour of academic research with the targeted advice, practical recommendations, and value for money of the commercial sector. We have a proud history of helping diverse organisations in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific to understand and solve difficult problems and contributed to sustainable, positive change.

Sustineo’s core capabilities include applied social research, monitoring and evaluation, impact assessment, performance assurance, strategy, and governance. We work across a range of sectors including climate change and sustainability, law and justice, economic development, and rural, agricultural and community development. Our small core team is supported by a network of associates who are specialists in their field.

The opportunity

In the context of Sustineo’s expanding portfolio of work, we are looking for a Principal Consultant to join our dedicated and collegiate team. Ideally, we are seeking someone with strong experience in either applied social research and/or monitoring and evaluation. In the role, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to:

  • play a key role in building and expanding Sustineo’s business by leading their own practice area, aligned with Sustineo’s strategy and vision
  • lead the design and implementation of complex and varied projects that creates positive social, economic, and environmental change in Australia and the Asia-Pacific
  • work closely with the CEO to inform and implement Sustineo’s business strategy
  • develop professionally in a supportive and collaborative small team environment
  • supervise and mentor outstanding junior staff.

The person

We are looking for a highly motivated and adaptable person who shares our dedication to creating positive social, economic, and environmental change. As Principal Consultant you will be recognised for your specialist capabilities in research or evaluation and expertise in at least one subject relevant to Sustineo’s work. You will have a demonstrated ability to lead the delivery of high-quality projects in the consulting space. You will have a strong network in Australia and/or internationally, and the proven ability to both identify and win work.

The role

The Principal Consultant role will involve responsibilities across the organisation. These will include:

  • Project Delivery – oversee and lead the delivery of research and/or evaluation projects including methodology development and delivery, management of budgets and timeframes, quality assurance, and client management.
  • Business Opportunities – lead and drive the identification and securing of new business opportunities and project work, and support the consolidation of our current clients and markets.
  • Consulting Capacity – supervise, mentor, and support the development of team members at all levels, aligned with Sustineo’s core offerings.
  • Sustineo Profile – help to build broader awareness of Sustineo’s brand and develop our reputation as a company that delivers high-quality work.
  • TBD – as shaped by you and by your strengths to help support.

The position could be part- or full-time, as negotiated with the successful applicant.

The attributes

Sustineo team members are dedicated to their work, have outstanding skills conducting culturally and contextually appropriate mixed methods data collection and analysis, and take the time to enjoy working in an important space and with wonderful people. The successful applicant will bring their own unique range of skills and attributes to our work. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the attributes and skills we value:

  • Demonstrated expertise in delivering complex social research projects using qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed methods approaches
  • Demonstrated expertise in evaluation and/or impact assessment, including project and program evaluation design, methodology, conduct, and analysis; and design of M&E frameworks and methodologies
  • Demonstrated experience in building a pipeline of business with diverse clients and partners
  • Subject matter expertise that complements Sustineo’s key work areas
  • Demonstrated experience in managing project teams as well as supervising and mentoring junior staff
  • Demonstrated excellence in written and verbal communication, and highly developed interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work flexibly, efficiently, and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong networks in government and/or development aid donor organisations.

We know from research that some potential applicants, particularly females, do not submit applications if they feel they do not fully meet the requirements of the position. If you’ve read the position description up to this point but talked yourself out of applying, we encourage you to reconsider and keep reading!

Other specifics of the position

The Principal Consultant is expected to have at least 15 years’ relevant experience (although those with less than 15 years of highly relevant experience are also welcome to apply) and advanced academic qualifications in international development, law, economics, statistics, public administration, social policy, or similar.

The position will ideally be based in Canberra, but remote working arrangements will be considered. The Principal Consultant will likely be required to travel within Australia and overseas. The salary range will be between $115,000 to $135,000 (plus superannuation), depending on experience. Alternative remuneration packages, for example based on billable time only at a premium rate, can be negotiated.

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are important parts of Sustineo’s workplace culture and our work. We do not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability. We encourage applicants from historically underrepresented groups. If this role sparks an interest for you but you feel you don’t match all the criteria and are unsure of your fit, please reach out for a discussion.


You must have legal rights to work in Australia. A person can legally work in Australia if they are an Australian citizen or permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen, or they hold a valid visa with permission to work.


Applications are due 11.30pm Sunday 7 January 2024. Applications must include:

  • Resume outlining your experience and qualifications relevant to the role, and including details for two referees (3-page limit).
  • Cover letter that describes why your skills, experiences, and qualifications make you the best candidate for this opportunity (2-page limit).

Applications and any questions about the role should be sent to with the subject line ‘Recruitment – Principal Consultant’.