Are you interested in volunteering with VALS?

VALS is supported by a number of talented volunteers who contribute to a number of different functional areas within the organisation, VALS has a long history of working with volunteers to facilitate social change Indeed VALS was founded by a group of talent and dedicated individuals who volunteered their time to ensure that the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were supported.

It is notable that this group and those that came thereafter were the champions of social change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people in Victoria and more broadly.

If you would like to contribute to a dynamic, rights focused organisation committed to the fight for justice for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples register your expression of interest in volunteering with VALS today.

VALS Client Experience Interns have a primary responsibility for supporting VALS clients through the Client Feedback Program.

Volunteer duties and responsibilities
As a VALS Client Experience Intern at VALS, you will help by performing the following duties:
• Engaging current VALS clients via the phone and organising a time suitable to gather their feedback
• Introducing themselves to the clients, and explaining what will happen to the material gathered
• Asking feedback questions and compiling the answers
• Refer the client, with their permission, to the Supervisor, should the client request more support
• During the interview process, you will be asked your interests and what your desired outcome of this opportunity will be – we will try to cater to your future aspirations

Skills, qualifications, or experience required (or desirable) for role
We are looking for a volunteer with the following attributes to fill this volunteer role:
• Patience and empathy
• An understanding of barriers facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples • Awareness of self-care

Background checks for role 
We are committed to recruiting dedicated, professional volunteers with good skills and experiences appropriate for the role.
• Resume
• A Valid Working with Children Check (Employee or Volunteer)
• Police check
• COVID-19 proof of vaccination certificate
• Please note: This opportunity does not have a closing date

How to apply:
If you wish to apply for this volunteer opportunity, please email through your application to our Volunteer Coordinator, Dayle Jones (E: djones@vals.org.au)

VALS Criminal Law volunteers will primarily be responsible for:
Assisting the Criminal Law Practice with day-to-day activities and procedures.
The Criminal Volunteer role works collaboratively with the Criminal Paralegal and supports the functions of the Criminal Law Practice.

Your role is expected to be one day per week, for six months, and you will complete the role onsite at VALS head office in Preston.

As a Criminal Law Volunteer at VALS, you will assist the Criminal Law Practice with day-to-day activities and procedures. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Triaging client calls,
  • Conducting intakes,
  • Facilitating client referrals,
  • Legal research,
  • Legal analysis (under the supervision of a solicitor),
  • Transcribing legal materials,
  • Booking client appointments,
  • Data entry.
    The Criminal Volunteer role works collaboratively with and supports the Criminal Paralegal.

 

We are looking for a volunteer with the following skills, qualifications, or experience to fill this volunteer role:

  • Currently studying a LLB, JD or other legal course (including PLT).
  • Experience in a similar role is regarded but not essential.
  • Ideal role for students wanting to learn in a professional environment and develop their CV whilst supporting VALS.

Background checks for role 
We are committed to recruiting dedicated, professional volunteers with good skills and experiences appropriate for the role.
• Resume
• A Valid Working with Children Check (Employee or Volunteer)
• Police check
• COVID-19 proof of vaccination certificate
• Please note: This opportunity does not have a closing date

How to apply:
If you wish to apply for this volunteer opportunity, please email through your application to our Volunteer Coordinator, Dayle Jones (E: djones@vals.org.au)

 

Purpose: VALS Policy, Research and Advocacy volunteers will primarily be responsible for: Research of policies, drafting of documents, including submissions, factsheets, and briefings.

Volunteer duties and responsibilities: As a Policy, Research and Advocacy Volunteer at VALS, you will help by performing the following duties: Daily tasks may include; o Policy research o Assist in the drafting of VALS submissions, factsheets, briefings and speaking notes o Other duties as directed by the Supervisor, volunteer coordinator or VALS staff

Skills, qualifications, or experience required (or desirable) for role We are looking for a volunteer with the following skills, qualifications, or experience to fill this volunteer role: • Understanding of and commitment to Aboriginal justice issues and human rights • Commitment to fostering collaborative working relationships with staff in the policy team and across VALS • Currently undertaking, or having completed, study or training in a relevant area (law, politics, communications) • Strong research, writing and communication skills

Background checks for role: VALS is very serious about its duty to provide clients with a professional service and to providing all people working at VALS with a safe and healthy working environment. We are a child safe organisation. We are committed to recruiting dedicated, professional volunteers who have the skills and experience appropriate for this role. For this reason, should you be interested in this role, we will need to collect the following information before you begin the role: Resume, a Working with Children Check, Police Check, Proof of Vaccination status. You will only have to provide this information following the initial meeting with the volunteer coordinator, and, if required, we will help to arrange for checks or help you apply for them. If you have any questions about these background checks, please don’t hesitate to contact VALS volunteer coordinator at djones@vals.org.au. Please note that we treat all information as sensitive and handle it in accordance with privacy laws.

How to apply:
If you wish to apply for this volunteer opportunity, please email through your application to our Volunteer Coordinator, Dayle Jones (E: djones@vals.org.au)

 

To determine eligibility VALS will:

  • enquire as to the Aboriginality of the client;
  • enquire as to perceived or actual conflict of interest;
  • enquire as to compliance with the Means Test;
  • consider the merit of the client’s matter.

Aboriginality
The first time someone uses VALS they must provide proof of their Aboriginality using the Confirmation of Aboriginality Form. This form must be signed and sealed by the Officer Bearers of a recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation.

Conflict
VALS must not decline to provide assistance to an eligible person, group or body on the grounds that the other party to the matter is an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person. In circumstances where the relationship between the parties to a case would result in a conflict of interest, that conflict must be managed in accordance with the Victorian Legal Practice requirements and Policy Direction 9 – “Managing Conflicts of Interest” – of the Attorney-General’s Department Policy Directions for the Delivery of Legal Aid Services to Indigenous Australians (2008).

VALS will not act if a conflict of interest exists. A conflict of interest may be an ‘actual’ conflict of interest or a ‘perceived’ conflict of interest. A conflict of interest can involve:

  • Clients who have different interests, such as VALS may have advised or acted for person “A” (old client) who has an interest that conflicts with person “B” (intended new client).
  • Clients and VALS, such as a VALS staff member or Board Member has an interest that conflicts with an intended new client. Conflicts involving client-provider relationships are:
    •  An owner, director, manager, employee, contractor or agent of VALS and/or;
    • An employee of the Department; and/or
    • A close relative (spouse, de facto, parent, sibling or child) of any of the above.

VALS provides assistance on a first in best dressed basis (i.e. provide direct assistance to the party who approaches VALS first). VALS will refer the other party to another legal service provider or “brief out” the client to a private lawyer (subject to the client meeting the requirements for brief outs). Where appropriate, VALS may act for one client and provide assistance by brief out to the other.

Means Test
Where a person seeks casework assistance, VALS must ensure that applicants satisfy the Means Testing provisions of the Policy Directions.

VALS must ensure that all applicants for legal casework assistance satisfy one or more of the following requirements:

  • Under 18 years of age;
  • Main source of income comes from Community Development Employment Projects; (CDEP) participant wages or Centrelink (or equivalent) benefits; or
  • Gross household income is under $52,000 per annum.

Note: Household income includes the income of your partner, spouse, relative including an adult child who you live with.

The Means Test will be administered in two parts:

Part A: Requires the completion of a small number of questions relating to the applicant’s personal circumstances and income level.

Part B: Is required where applicants do not satisfy the criteria in Part A. It requires more detail about the applicant’s income, assets, employment status and number of dependents.

Merit Test
Discretion will be used to determine if a particular case has merit.