Production Manager

Posted on Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

Position title: Production Manager

Reports to: Artistic Director

Direct reports: Producer; Venues & Front of House Coordinator; casual crew

Term: February­–September 2018, part-time, flexible

Work type: Contract fee, against deliverables

Salary: $20,000 fee (pro rata of $80,000 FTE remuneration package)

Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) is an internationally acclaimed annual festival that celebrates the literary arts. The program features around 300 individual events over 10 days, with the participation of over 250 artists. It is delivered from venues in and around Fed Square and Melbourne’s CBD.

Under the creative leadership of Artistic Director Marieke Hardy, MWF will design and deliver festival programs that inspire, challenge and delight audiences and artists.

MWF seeks an experienced technical and operations lead to manage and deliver the staging and production of all festival events.

In 2018, the festival is on from 24 August to 2 September.

The role is expected to require approx. 60 days total over the term. The post-holder will work from the MWF office although some work can be conducted remotely. We anticipate the role will require approx. 6 days from commencement until the end of March; and approx. 30 days until the end of July. The role is likely to require full time work through August and to the end of the Festival. Full on-the-ground availability is required from bump in, through the festival, to bump out.

Role purpose


  • Provide consultation and advice to the Artistic Director as the artistic program develops, including on the suitability of venues and spaces


  • Successfully mount and stage all technical aspects of the Festival to support the artistic program
  • Determine and refine technical and staging requirements in line with the expectations of the Artistic Director and the needs of artists and performers
  • Work with venues and suppliers to coordinate lighting, sound, staging, electrical infrastructure, communication systems and other equipment required for all Festival events
  • Source and hire all production, technical and operational equipment required to produce and stage the Festival; build and leverage trade and sector relationships to secure economies and discounts
  • Manage and communicate appropriately with venue partners and suppliers on all production schedules for Festival sites and venues, including bump in and out schedules
  • With support from the Producer, integrate format, production, staging and technical needs into production planning, including sound-check schedules, call sheets
  • Develop, manage and execute key infrastructure projects including those developed with external partners. Projects may include temporary structures, demountables and installations, a Festival Bookshop and a Box Office
  • Design and implement Safety and Risk Management strategies; ensure OH&S standards are met; determine permit or license requirements for Festival sites; apply for and secure permits
  • Create and manage venue plans, site plans, for Festival sites and venues
  • Supervise bump in and bump out


  • Manage production budget
  • Engage, direct and supervise in-festival casual crew including production assistants and technical operators; create and manage rosters
  • Practice excellent record-keeping including financial record-keeping to ensure timely supplier payments and payment invoicing
  • Collaborate with Venues and Front-of-House supervisor to deliver consistent and exemplary audience experience in Festival venues and spaces
  • Observe relevant milestones
  • Contribute fully to wrap up and reporting processes

Selection Criteria

MWF seeks an experienced production manager or technical director who has:

  • Managed production and technical direction of major festivals and events
  • Knowledge of trade suppliers, and the ability to source equipment economically
  • Experience in budget preparation and monitoring
  • Experience of risk management and OH&S practice
  • Experience engaging, hiring and directing crew
  • A strong work ethic, able to work in a small team and with a high level of autonomy, self-motivation and initiative

More information

The MWF office is located in The Wheeler Centre in the State Library of Victoria. The Festival board oversees the governance and strategic direction of the Festival. Currently there are six positions at MWF, supported by a team of contract positions.

The Festival is a not-for-profit organisation funded by box office and other earned income; state, local, federal and international government funding; sponsorship, donations and fundraising. 

Please contact us for additional materials about Melbourne Writers Festival. Email 

Application Process 

Applications close at 9am AEST on Monday 15 January 2018 

Please provide the following in a single Word or PDF document with the document title “your surname, your first name, Production Manager”:

  • Cover letter
  • A statement addressing each of the six key selection criteria (maximum three A4 pages)
  • Curriculum Vitae

Please send your application to with subject header “Production Manager application <your name>”.

Melbourne Writers Festival is an equal opportunity employer.