Using primary and archival documentation this article argues Governor Macquarie developed a range of complex and sophisticated management policies, practices and strategies which were designed to motivate convict workers and to positively extract productive labour from them. Indeed the range of policies adopted by Macquarie was surprisingly modern and nowhere is this more apparent than in his development of clear job statements and work regulations for a number of key jobs in the convict system. In practice these operated in a similar manner to the modern job description. This article examines the regulations developed for the management of a produce market, a turnpike road, the Sydney police, the superintendent of government stock and the government dock yards. It is argued that these regulations and work rules must be seen as the earliest forms of job description in the history of Australian labour management.