Primate Team Leader

National Zoo and Aquarium

“To inspire and assist in the conservation of the natural world through innovative and exciting educational experiences”

The National Zoo and Aquarium is a privately owned 19-hectare (47 acre) zoo and aquarium in the heart of Canberra.

We are seeking an experienced Primate Team Leader to join our Wildlife Department. 

The National Zoo and Aquarium has an extensive collection of both exotic and native species. The Primate Team (4 keepers per day) are responsible for the management of Cotton Top Tamarins, Marmosets (Pygmy and Common), Squirrel Monkeys, Black Capped Capuchins, Ring Tailed Lemurs, Black and White Ruffed Lemurs, Colobus, Francois Langur and Siamang. The Zoo is still undergoing expansion and the addition of more primates, particularly Great Apes is possible. Experience with Great Apes would be considered highly desirable for this position. 

The Role:

This role is hands-on and includes daily husbandry, animal care, record keeping, public encounters, exhibit presentation and maintenance, food preparation, implementing training and conditioning programs and enrichment schedules. The Primate Team Leader is also required to manage the breeding of Siamangs, Cotton Top Tamarins, Marmosets and Lemurs in line with SMP recommendations. 

The Primate Team Leader works with the National Zoo and Aquarium’s Executive Management Team with the day-to-day operations and leadership of the Primate Team, and to support the zoo’s strategic priorities in animal welfare and conservation.

The Primate Team Leader works closely with the National Zoo and Aquarium’s Veterinary Department to ensure the highest standards of animal care and welfare are maintained.  

This position will work across a 10-day fortnight including some weekend work. 

Minimum Qualifications Requirements: 

Certificate III in Zoo Keeping or Captive Animal Management or equivalent.
Demonstrates a high level of experience (minimum 8 years’) and expertise working with a wide variety of Primate Species, in primate husbandry, observation and management in a zoo or similar environment.
Demonstrated capacity to lead and work effectively in a team and to communicate well verbally and in writing.
A positive attitude and an ability to adapt to change.


Proven ability to maintain high standards of husbandry, hygiene and animal care.
Demonstrates excellent communication, interpersonal and organisational skills and proven experience with promoting a positive team culture.
Experience in training team members.
Demonstrated commitment to the conservation of species and ecosystems.
A demonstrated knowledge of the Five Domains of Animal Welfare.
Driver’s license and the ability to drive a manual vehicle (preferable).
Maintain up to date Covid-19 vaccinations.
Willingness to work on weekends. 


The successful candidate will work with a supportive team and will be encouraged to excel in their role.  Options for further relevant training or education will be available.  Remuneration to commensurate level of experience.

The National Zoo and Aquarium employs over 200 staff members across the Zoo and Jamala Wildlife Lodge. It prides itself in promoting a positive working environment and is committed to a health and wellbeing program for its staff. This includes access to physical exercise programs such as Yoga and Bootcamp classes held on site, gym memberships off site, monthly staff breakfasts and a social club. 

The National Zoo and Aquarium supports many conservation projects both locally and internationally each year, with funds raised through our animal encounters and the National Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Team (NZACT). An interest in promoting and participating in conservation projects is also encouraged. 

To be considered for this role please send a cover letter (to [email protected]) addressing all criteria, along with your resume including two references.