Why work at VALS?

Join the best

VALS is made up of Victoria’s most committed legal advocates, professionals and support staff who work to advance Aboriginal self-determination and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Victoria of all ages.

We know that our people make the difference. VALS is committed to diversity, equality and inclusion. We celebrate our team of diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, LGBTQIA+ and individuals from different cultures, language groups and experiences.

 

Grow, develop and be rewarded

You will have:

  • Opportunities to work on diverse matters and gain significant experience.
  • Opportunities to develop your own expertise and collaborate with colleagues and partners in projects, policy and legal reform
  • Access to generous staff benefits such as salary packaging options, flexible working arrangement, TOIL, pre-purchased leave, paid parental, carer and cultural leave and much more.
Full time and Part-time staff receive:
  • 10.5% Superannuation
  • 17.5% Leave Loading
  • 5 extra days leave on top of 20 days annual leave
  • Only required to work 35 hours per week, any extra hours worked will be calculated as your Time In Lieu (TOIL) – which you may use as additional leave hours
  • Access to company vehicles for any work-related trips
  • Salary packaging is available via Maxxia

Available positions

Aboriginal and/or Torres Straight Islander designated positions

These positions are classified under Section 12 Special Measures of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, and only available to Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

All roles are based at our Preston Office unless otherwise stated.

Salary Offering: 77,100.00 (VALS CPC 1.1) plus 10.5% Superannuation.

Office Locations: High Street, Preston

This role is full-time fixed term until 30 June 2024

This position may require regional and very occasional interstate travel.

 

 

OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE:

This position to perfect for a creative person that has a passion for providing educational material to members of the community through information sessions, promotional material, and interactive workshops.

These events and materials that this position will create will be delivered to the Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal community members and should be focused on providing legal knowledge and information across the Criminal, Civil and Family Law Sections. 

This role focuses on:

  • Community Development.
  • Raising awareness of the VALS’s Criminal, Civil and Human Rights, Balit Ngulu, Wirraway and Family Law related services.
  • Networking with stakeholders.
  • Crime Prevention within the community and Pro-actively working towards changing the negative existing perceptions of the Aboriginal community.
  • This role is ideal for a hand on, outgoing, self-motivated person who has a passion for helping the community and sharing knowledge to help empower our communities.
  • This role will require state-wide travel and networking to attend events and deliver information sessions to all communities.
  • Networking with stakeholders.
  • Crime Prevention within the community
  • Pro-actively working towards changing the negative existing perceptions of the Aboriginal community.
  • This role is ideal for a hand on, outgoing, self-motivated person who has a passion for helping the community and sharing knowledge to help empower our communities.
  • This role will require state-wide travel and networking to attend events and deliver information sessions to all communities.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Ensure that the Aboriginal community is educated and informed about their rights and responsibilities under the law by planning, preparing, marketing, implementing, and evaluating a variety of training and education programs and projects.
  • Design and delivery community legal education activities (funded and non-funded) community engagement projects that help community understand changes in law, what it means and how to seek help.
  • Community engagement at community events including NAIDOC Day, Reconciliation Day, Sorry Day and other community events.
  • Overseeing the information brochures and pamphlets to incorporate current legal issues for distribution to the Aboriginal Community.
  • Working with other stakeholders to create new shared educational materials for the community.
  • Ability to draft and read budgets for the events and projects undertaking within the program with the support of the Finance department.
  • Designing and delivering community information sessions, in-person and online, in collaboration with VALS solicitors, Regional CSO’s and Community Justice Programs staff
  • Work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders to: (a) understand key community legal education (CLE) priorities for Aboriginal people throughout Victoria of different communities, ages, genders, abilities and sexual and gender identities; and (b) plan, prepare, market, implement and evaluate rights-based training and CLE programs and projects for Aboriginal people and communities across Victoria.
  • Representing VALS in CLE forums and meetings
  • Building contacts through the Aboriginal community-controlled sector and collaborating with trusted partners to increase our reach and maximise our impact.
  • Consulting with community, identifying gaps in community legal knowledge and working to address them.
  • Working with the broader Communications and Policy & Advocacy team to deliver useful, accessible and timely CLE information via the VALS website, social media channels and other relevant social media and communication channels and platforms.
  • Ability to produce a variety of progress reports in various formats to be provided to Managers upon request.
  • Assist in the application of funding grants to enable the carrying out of CLE functions.
  • Acting as a lobbyist, and where able, assists with support programs that are aimed at addressing some of the issues known to contribute to Aboriginal people coming into contact with the Justice System as a result of family violence.

 

 

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA:

  • An understanding of the legal issues faced by Victorian Aboriginal communities.
  • An in depth understanding of the relationships between the VALS, government agencies and Koori organisations.
  • Demonstrated experience in event management.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Victorian legal system
  • Demonstrated managerial skills and/or qualifications, i.e. Certificate or Diploma in Community Services or Event Management, including the demonstrated ability to delivery community engagement activities
  • Excellent written, verbal communication and interpersonal skills.
  • A commitment to and understanding of Victorian Aboriginal culture and community, and the ability to communicate effectively with members of those communities.
  • The ability to work in a multi-skilled environment.
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Favourable if you are able to utilise design programs such as Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator

Please find information on how to apply below.

Salary Offering: $71,453.20 – $76,895.00 (VALS CPB 1.1 – 1.4) depending on experience, plus 10.5% Superannuation

Office Locations: Preston Office – 273 High Street, Preston VIC 3072

This role is full-time fixed term until 30 June 2024.

This position will require regional and very occasional interstate travel.

OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE:

As CSO you will act as a liaison between VALS and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people interacting with the justice system. 

The CSO helps address barriers Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people face in engaging with criminal, family and civil justice processes. CSOs have an educational role in crime prevention and reduction, and in conjunction with other facilities, offer alternative programs to Aboriginal communities.

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Respond to e-justice notifications, the on-call CSO, the Aboriginal Community Justice Panel (ACJP) or Victoria Police when advised that an Aboriginal person is being held in custody;
  • Contact the Aboriginal person in custody, provide basic information and exercise discretion as to whether the on-call solicitor should be contacted.  Reassure the client and explain legal terminology and processes used by the police and legal profession, not using legal jargon.  Where appropriate, take notes of the history of the client’s case and provide them to the solicitor;
  • Attend court to support the client and the solicitor; and as directed, lodge all necessary court documents;
  • Liaise and network with other Aboriginal organisations to promote VALS and be aware of programs that help prevent or reduce crime within Victorian Aboriginal communities;
  • Liaise with police and other persons within the justice system to ensure delivery of a culturally relevant service;
  • Represent VALS at various meetings and report back on those meetings to VALS management;
  • Perform a range of administrative tasks to ensure the effective delivery of services to VALS clients. This includes providing activity reports on a timely basis, attending staff meetings as required, and ensuring that data is entered into the VALS client management system

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA:

  • A demonstrated knowledge of the Victorian legal system;
  • An understanding of the legal issues faced by Victorian Aboriginal communities and a commitment to and understanding of Victorian Aboriginal culture and community, and the ability to communicate effectively with members of those communities;
  • Excellent written, verbal communication and interpersonal skills;
  • The ability to work in a multi-skilled environment;
  • Excellent computer skills, including experience with working with data bases 

Please find information on how to apply below.

This is an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander designated position, classified under Section 12 Special Measures of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.

This opportunity is only available to Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

Salary Offering: $71,453.2– $76,895.00  depending on experience plus 10.5% Superannuation

Additional Benefits:

  • 17.5% Leave Loading
  • 5 extra days leave on top of 20 days annual leave
  • Only required to work 35 hours per week, any extra hours worked will be calculated as your Time In Lieu (TOIL) – which you may use as additional leave hours
  • Access to company vehicles for any work-related trips
  • Salary packaging is available via Maxxia

Office Locations: High Street, Preston

This is full-time 30 June 2024.

This position may require regional and very occasional interstate travel.

 

OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE:

The Aboriginal Community Engagement Worker works as part a multidisciplinary team with Balit Ngulu youth lawyers to support Aboriginal young people engage with the justice system and build their resilience, wellbeing and ensure they are kept safe. 

Balit Ngulu offers Aboriginal children and young people in Victoria: 

  • Quality, timely and culturally safe legal assistance, including legal education, legal advice and representation at specific courts within Victoria. 
  • Advocacy and support for incarceration alternatives.

Person-centred and culturally relevant support plans that keep them safe and build their positive sense of self and connection to community.

Key Performance Indicators, Duties & Responsibility

The Aboriginal Community Engagement Worker works as part a multidisciplinary team with Balit Ngulu youth lawyers. The ACE Worker works alongside Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander young people (clients) to:

  • Promote cultural safety. 
  • Develop and implement plans that keep the young person safe, support their diversion from the youth justice system and build their resilience. For instance, working alongside the young person to identify and agree appropriate solutions that will work for them including setting goals and providing practical help and advocacy to achieve these goals.  
  • Provide transport to and from court and other appointments with the client, including attending court and appointments with them. For instance, acting as a source of support and advice for them at court, interviews, and other formal meetings. 
  • Support clients to access key information and services. This includes undertaking client liaison, warm referrals to relevant support services such as with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and advocacy as appropriate.
  • Represent and promote Balit Ngulu and participate in client case planning processes with partner agencies.
  • Maintain accurate and timely records of contacts with and for clients and undertake other administrative tasks consistent with VALS policies and procedures.  
  • As directed, undertake other duties that are incidental and peripheral to main tasks, provided such duties are reasonably within the employee’s skills and competence.

Key Selection Criteria

  1. Lived experience in an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community(ies) with demonstrated knowledge of issues that impact access to justice and support services for Aboriginal children and young people, ideally in Victoria. 
  2. A Certificate IV in Youth Work, Diploma in Youth Work and/or equivalent experience. If not at Diploma level, must be willing to undertake relevant professional qualification (which will be supported by VALS).
  3. Demonstrated experience working with Aboriginal young people.
  4. Excellent written, verbal communication and interpersonal skills.
  5. The ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment including assertively and respectfully with partners, including ACCOs and persons working within Victorian courts, police, youth justice and child protection and residential care services. 
  6. Good computer skills.

Key Selection Criteria- Desirable 

  1. Knowledge of Victorian legal system, including an understanding of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 and key amendments and associated policies and guidelines relevant to youth justice. This includes Children’s Court practices and procedures. 
  2. Work within the not-for-profit sector, ideally within an ACCO.
  3. Experience of working as part of a whole-family and whole-community approach to supporting clients.

Please find information on how to apply below.

Positions open to all applicants

All roles are based at our Preston Office unless otherwise stated.

Salary Offering: VALS LB 1.1 – VALS LC 1.3 ($77,425.00 – $93,945.44) plus 10.5% Superannuation and 17.5% Leave Loading

Office Locations: Shepparton

This role is full-time fixed term until June 2024

You will be required to travel across Victoria to deliver services to the Victorian Aboriginal youth communities (sometimes this travel will occur outside of usual business hours).

 

 

OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE:

As Lawyer or Senior Lawyer for the Balit Ngulu team, you will provide high quality legal services, including duty lawyer services, representation, advice, and information in criminal law matters to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in Victoria.  

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Under the supervision of the Practice Managing Lawyer, plan and deliver a quality legal service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in Shepparton and its neighbouring areas at various courts including the Children’s Court Criminal Division and Children’s Koori Courts in order to represent clients of Balit Ngulu Legal Service.
  • Participate in community legal education projects, law reform and other Balit Ngulu projects as required.
  • Maintain positive and collaborative relationships with key stakeholders, including Victoria Legal Aid, pro bono law firms, the Victorian Bar and other community organisations from both the legal and non-legal sectors.
  • Keep up to date with relevant legal developments and procedures by attending professional legal education programs and maintain an understanding of broader issues impacting the youth justice system and members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth Communities.
  • As directed, undertake other duties which are incidental and peripheral to the main tasks, provided that such duties are reasonably within the employee’s skills, competence and training.

 

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA:

  • Admitted to practice as a legal practitioner in Victoria, with at least 18 months post- admission experience.
  • Knowledge of and practical experience in the law and court procedures with a focus on the Youth Justice System.
  • A commitment to and understanding of the youth legal issues faced by members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Communities in Victoria.
  • Capacity to work as an advocate and caseworker in complex matters.
  • The ability to work collaboratively with others and to foster a co-operative and supportive team environment.
  • Sound interpersonal skills and the capacity to communicate effectively with members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth community.
  • A knowledge of the principles and values of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Services
  • Ability to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and acknowledge their diverse backgrounds, personalities and varying needs and the unique cultural ways in which they may be expressed.
  • Demonstrated computer literacy skills and proficiency using the Microsoft Office and other relevant software. The capacity to quickly acquire competency in the of VALS’s client data base (ActionStep).

 

Essential

  • Admitted, or eligible for admission, as a legal practitioner in Victoria

 

Desirable

  • A member, or eligible to be a member, of Victoria Legal Aid’s Youth Crime practitioner panel.
  • Experience working in the non-profit sector.

Please find information on how to apply below.

Salary Offering: $$82,846.00 (VALS E 1.1) plus 10.5% Superannuation

ABOUT THE ROLE

As Senior Communications and Media Officer, you will be responsible for implementing communications strategies and plans to support an Aboriginal Justice Caucus project.

The project aims to review Victoria’s implementation of recommendations from Aboriginal deaths in custody and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. 

You will be guided by VALS Senior Communications and Media Officer. 

This role is full-time fixed term until June 2024, with potential to extend dependent on available funding and performance.

In this role the key performance indicators, duties & responsibilities are:

  • Overseeing the establishment of a project website and information repository 
  • Preparing graphics and other design work to support the Aboriginal Justice Caucus project including brand and key messages for a range of print and digital communications e.g., website, social media, publications, promotional activities.  
  • Managing project-based and any associated Aboriginal Justice Caucus social media accounts, including designing and scheduling posts 
  • Coordinating the preparation and distribution of community updates 
  • Preparing compelling copy for a range of print and digital communications platforms to promote the project and policy priorities and positions, activities and stories that positively represent Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.  
  • Liaising with photographers and videographers  
  • Monitoring, evaluating and strengthening effectiveness of digital communications activities, providing reports and analytical commentary on the website and social media 
  • Working closely with the project team and Aboriginal Justice Caucus to identify key priority areas and formulate key messages 
  • Develop and support a project-based media strategy, including media monitoring, preparing media releases, and preparing briefings for media appearances 
  • Ensuring that spokespeople have high quality, succinct briefings for presentations  

 

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA

  • Excellent graphic design, layout and publishing skills, including digital graphics production 
  • Excellent writing skills that are tailored to the requirements of different audiences and different communications tools, with strong attention to detail 
  • Familiarity with social media platforms, social media marketing and digital analytics 
  • Ability to effectively work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and a demonstrated commitment to supporting Aboriginal self-determination. This must include good understanding and sensitivity to the diverse cultures and lived experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. 
  • Excellent organisational, time management and planning skills, including an ability to work autonomously and within a team 
  • Demonstrated computer literacy, with proficiency using Microsoft Office, MailChimp, WordPress, Zoom and other relevant software 

 

Please find information on how to apply below.

Salary Offering: $97,080.00 – $100,945.55 depending on experience plus 10.5% Superannuation and 17.5% leave loading

 

OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE:

As Regional Practice Lead, you will have 4+ years of practical experience in family law and act as a lead advocate for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people interacting with the family law and child protection system across each region that you will be assign to.  This role is full-time fixed until 31 December 2024. This position will:

  • Provide high quality legal services in the family law, child protection and family violence jurisdictions; and appear in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria and the Federal Circuit and Family Courts on behalf of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Engage with Aboriginal community stakeholders to identify, develop and deliver community legal education (CLE) and other types of Family Law assistance relevant to the regional and local context. This includes Family Law clinics for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people at the Hub office and other locations within the region you’re assigned in.
  • Link with, and oversee the development of, partnerships and referral and support pathways within the region you’re assigned in, to assist VALS clients with access to other legal assistance and services relevant to them. This includes oversight of Aboriginal client service officers (CSOs) and administrative support based at each VALS regional hub.

The role holder will have the endorsement or is eligible to become a Panel Certifier on Victorian Legal Aid (VLA) Family Law Panel, albeit grants of aid will be approved through VALS headquarters.

Office Locations Available:

Bendigo – Hargreaves Street, Bendigo

 

The key responsibilities of Regional Practice Leads are:

  • Appear as an advocate on behalf of VALS clients in Family Law proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria and the Federal Circuit and Family Courts of Australia, and at other state-wide locations as required.
  • Deliver high quality legal services, including information, advice and casework on behalf of VALS clients in Family Law matters and other related matters as required.
  • Maintain a substantial caseload in Family Law matters.
  • Prepare and comply with applications for grants of legal assistance and reporting requirements for matters eligible for VLA funding.’
  • Attend, participate and contribute to the planning, service delivery and continuous improvement of the Family Law Practice and VALS.
  • Contribute to VALS projects, policy and law reform initiatives, and community and professional legal education programs as required.
  • Contribute to the collaborative relationship with VLA and other community organisations with which VALS interacts.
  • Keep up to date with relevant legal developments and procedures by attending professional legal education programs and maintain an understanding of issues, risks and trends impacting upon the provision of relevant legal services and members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Victoria.

 

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA:

  • Admitted or eligible for admission as a legal practitioner in Victoria and in the High Court of Australia (with an unrestricted practicing certificate)
  • Demonstrated ability to act as an advocate, deliver information, advice, casework and outreach services, and undertake negotiation and dispute resolution on behalf of VALS clients in Family Violence, Intervention Orders and, to a lesser extent, Family Law and Child Protection matters.
  • Knowledge of, and 4+ years of practical experience in relevant Family Violence, Intervention Orders, Family Law and Child Protection law and procedure.
  • Ability to supervise, mentor and train staff and volunteers and contribute to the development of individuals and their knowledge and skills in Family Law;
  • Sound interpersonal skills and the capacity to communicate effectively with members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and more broadly with multidisciplinary colleagues and VALS partners
  • A commitment to and understanding of VALS and the legal issues faced by members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Victoria;
  • Competency in the use of MS Office Software (particularly MS Word, Excel, E-mail) and the capacity to quickly acquire competency in the use of VALS’ client management system.

Please see information on how to apply below.

Salary Offering: $78,112.00 (VALS RB 1.1) plus 10.5% Superannuation

 

OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE:

Working collaboratively across VALS, the Policy, Communications and Strategy Team is responsible for high quality research, co-ordination of key research partnerships and projects, developing and implementing advocacy strategies, and preparing policy submissions and initiatives. This is done in the context of developing and promoting VALS as a strong voice for the Aboriginal communities we serve.

The focus of the role is supporting the Aboriginal Justice Caucus (AJC), Aboriginal Justice Agreement, to conduct a review into Victoria’s implementation of the recommendations arising for the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths In Custody (RCIADIC). This includes assessing related reviews and supporting AJC engagement with the Yoorrook Commission by way of submissions, initiatives, meetings and advocacy strategies. 

This role is full-time fixed term until 30 June 2024.

The key performance indicators, duties & responsibilities of the Research and Advocacy Officer are:

Strategy and Planning:

  • Support the Senior Aboriginal Justice Policy, Research & Advocacy Officer to: 
    • Develop policy and research about RCIADIC and Yoorrook (in line with their stated aims under Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja) and the expectations of their members and Aboriginal communities. 
    • Contribute to, and measure impact and review progress on advocacy
    • Identify and respond to emerging opportunities to influence law and policy.
  • Other duties as required

Policy, research and advocacy:

  • Working closely with AJC and VALS colleagues, develop and implement research projects. This includes preparation of position papers, reports and submissions that contribute to implementation of VALS policy, research and advocacy related to RCIADIC and the Yoorrook Commission 
  • Provide support and advice to the AJC Chairs and VALS CEO to fulfil their role in advocating for systemic change at diverse fora.
  • Engage and participate in relevant working groups and fora as required.
  • Provide support to develop and implement research projects being undertaken.

Stakeholder management

  • Support the Senior Aboriginal Justice Policy, Research & Advocacy Officer to:
    • maintain strong working relationships with the AJC Chairs and other key internal and external stakeholders, including RAJAC’s, ACCO members of the AJC, research institutions, government and community legal organisations
    • participate in relevant coalitions to further VALS strategic aims and to develop and present on policy, research & advocacy activities at meetings and conferences as required

Internal Obligations

  • Commitment to Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja and VALS’ strategic plan
  • Attend and actively contribute at team and working group meetings
  • Provide supervision, mentoring and guidance to other policy staff and contractors, including volunteers
  • Undertakezother duties and responsibilities within the scope of the role as directed
  • Participate in regular supervision meetings and performance reviews with the Senior Aboriginal Justice Policy, Research & Advocacy Officer and the Head of Policy, Communications and Strategy
  • Participate in regular stakeholder meetings with the AJC 

 

KEY SELECTION  CRITERIA

Essential:

  • Knowledge and experience of political processes and Government policy making in a campaigning or lobbying role
  • A commitment to and understanding of the legal issues faced by members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Victoria.
  • Experience campaigning via social media platforms
  • High-level written and verbal communication skills relevant to the role such as experience of writing policy documents, government submissions and media communications
  • Demonstrated advocacy, relationship-building, and stakeholder engagement skills
  • Well-developed analytical skills and capacity to understand and apply research evidence and legislation
  • Ability to work autonomously and to collaborate in a small team environment
  • High level organisational and administrative skills and ability to prioritise workload, to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Computer literacy skills including proficiency using the Microsoft Office 

Desirable

  • Relevant tertiary qualifications (e.g., politics, law, public policy)
  • Training or experience in the legal sector, particularly in areas of social justice and human rights
  • Understanding of the role of Aboriginal legal services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations
  • Experience working in the non-profit sector
 
Please see information on how to apply below.

Salary Offering: $65,338.00 (D 1.3) plus Superannuation and 17.5% leave loading. Salary Packaging Available.

We are currently seeking a Legal Secretary for our Balit Ngulu Program

Head Office – 273 High Street, Preston, Victoria OR 

Shepparton Office- Unit 3, 262 Maude Street, Shepparton, Victoria

This position may require regional travel

Full-time Fixed term until JUNE 2024

OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE:

To provide high quality secretarial and support services to the legal and youth support staff in the provision of legal and related assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in Victoria.  

What A Day as A Legal Secretary Looks Like:

As Legal Secretary you will:

  1. Undertake all secretarial tasks and associated file management tasks as provided by solicitors about the ongoing file management for clients of the Balit Ngulu practice.
  2. Prepare documentation for briefing Counsel or other professionals as directed, including photocopying, collating and arranging delivery.
  3. Receive phone calls on behalf of individual solicitors and follow up enquiries or record messages for action by solicitor.
  4. Assist in arranging appointments for clients or making contact with clients directly.
  5. Undertake filing of reports and other documentation on behalf of clients.
  6. Lodge and maintain Victoria Legal Aid grant applications within the ATLAS system as
    required.
  7. Undertake filing of reports and other documentation on behalf of clients.
  8. Keep up to date with relevant procedures by attending professional education programs and maintain an understanding of issues impacting the justice system and members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities of Victoria. 
  9. Assisting our VALS reception area to cover breaks of the receptionist.

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA

  1. Highly developed organisational and administrative skills with demonstrated capacities to research and prepare diverse forms of documentation with a high attention to detail and consistent with VALS client and file management processes. 
  2. Advanced skills in the use of MS Office Software (particularly MS Word, Excel, E-mail) and the capacity to quickly acquire competency in the use of VALS’ client data base.
  3. Professional and courteous phone manner and interpersonal skills and the capacity to communicate effectively with members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, particularly Aboriginal young people and families. 
  4. Works collaboratively with others and fosters a co-operative/supportive team environment.
  5. An understanding of the legal issues faced by members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Victoria including an ability to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and acknowledge their diverse backgrounds, personalities and varying needs and the unique cultural ways in which they may be expressed.

Please find information on how to apply below.

Established in 1973, VALS is Victoria’s only specialist and dedicated legal and support service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Over time, VALS has expanded its services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait people. In 2022, our practice areas include criminal law, family law, civil and human rights law, a dedicated youth justice service and a specialist litigation unit, unique amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services nationally. 

VALS also provides other key supports for Victoria’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This includes a 24/7 Custody Notification Service, transitional housing support program for women with complex needs leaving custody, 1:1 client support officers and community legal education to equip Aboriginal people with the knowledge and skills to confidently self-advocate for their rights. And we keep developing with plans to do more. 

VALS is dedicated to providing a flexible and positive work environment for all of our employees that includes access to on-site training and wellbeing initiatives, counselling, flexible and remote working options, paid parental, ceremonial and cultural leave and other generous terms and conditions.

About the position

The Baggarrook Woman’s Transitional Housing Program “Program” has been established to assist eligible Aboriginal woman who have been released from prison to make a successful reintegration into the community after their release.

The Program incorporates six transitional houses and post release support to Aboriginal woman exiting prison, with VALS and Aboriginal Housing Victoria (AHV) working together to deliver the program. 

VALS Baggarrook Program Officers work 1:1 with women participants to support their goals and pursuit of suitable long-term housing and independence. This includes working in partnership with other agencies, including culturally safe health providers, housing services, family violence programs, drug and alcohol services and community groups. 

What A Day as A Baggarrook Program Officer Looks Like:

  • Building good working relationships with women participants and key services
  • Providing 1:1 support to clients existing prison for 6 months, with the potential of this taking place over 12 months.  This can include transporting women to and from appointments and attending appointments with them to support their confidence building and independent living skills. 
  • Undertaking and monitoring of risk assessments for the program and for individual clients.
  • Conducting referrals and linking in with organisations to ensure that women’s needs are met, including ensuring that these are culturally safe and appropriate. 
  • Liaising with prison staff that are undertaking assessments and referrals into the program. 
  • Recording interactions with women participants consistent with VALS client management policies and procedures. 
  • Contributing to the development of positive relationships between the local Koori community and community services, 
  • Attending and participating in staff, partner organisation and community meetings. 
  • Liaising and networking with other Aboriginal organisations and mainstream agencies to promote the program. 
  • Complete quarterly reporting requirements as required by the Department of Justice and Community Safety.
  • As directed, undertake other duties which are incidental and peripheral to the main tasks, provided that such duties are reasonably within the employee’s skills, competence and training.

Key Selection Criteria

  1. Excellent relationship building skills with people with complex needs and behaviours such as trauma, alcohol, drugs and disabilities. 
  2. Experience of working 1:1 with service users, ideally service users with complex needs. 
  3. A demonstrated knowledge of the Victorian legal system and an understanding of the legal issues faced by Victorian Aboriginal communities.
  4. Excellent written, verbal communication and interpersonal skills. 
  5. The ability to work in a multi-skilled environment.
  6. Good computing skills.  

 Desirable

  1. Demonstrated experience and/or qualifications in case management.
  2. Experience working in the not-for-profit sector, ideally with an Aboriginal community controlled organisation.  

Please find information on how to apply below.

Salary Offering: VALS LB 1.1 – VALS LC 1.3 ($77,425.00 – $93,945.44) plus 10.5% Superannuation and 17.5% Leave Loading

Additional Benefits:

  • 17.5% Leave Loading
  • 5 extra days leave on top of 20 days annual leave 
  • Only required to work 35 hours per week, any extra hours worked will be calculated as your Time In Lieu (TOIL) – which you may use as additional leave hours
  • Access to company vehicles for any work-related trips
  • Salary packaging is available via Maxxia

Office Locations: Preston

This role is full-time fixed term until June 2024

You will be required to travel across Victoria to deliver services to the Victorian Aboriginal youth communities (sometimes this travel will occur outside of usual business hours).

OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE:

As Lawyer or Senior Lawyer for the Balit Ngulu team, you will provide high quality legal services, including duty lawyer services, representation, advice, and information in criminal law matters to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in Victoria.   

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Under the supervision of the Practice Managing Lawyer, plan and deliver a quality legal service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in Shepparton and its neighbouring areas at various courts including the Children’s Court Criminal Division and Children’s Koori Courts in order to represent clients of Balit Ngulu Legal Service. 
  • Participate in community legal education projects, law reform and other Balit Ngulu projects as required. 
  • Maintain positive and collaborative relationships with key stakeholders, including Victoria Legal Aid, pro bono law firms, the Victorian Bar and other community organisations from both the legal and non-legal sectors. 
  • Keep up to date with relevant legal developments and procedures by attending professional legal education programs and maintain an understanding of broader issues impacting the youth justice system and members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth Communities. 
  • As directed, undertake other duties which are incidental and peripheral to the main tasks, provided that such duties are reasonably within the employee’s skills, competence and training. 

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA:

  • Admitted to practice as a legal practitioner in Victoria, with at least 18 months post- admission experience. 
  • Knowledge of and practical experience in the law and court procedures with a focus on the Youth Justice System.   
  • A commitment to and understanding of the youth legal issues faced by members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Communities in Victoria. 
  • Capacity to work as an advocate and caseworker in complex matters. 
  • The ability to work collaboratively with others and to foster a co-operative and supportive team environment.
  • Sound interpersonal skills and the capacity to communicate effectively with members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth community.
  • A knowledge of the principles and values of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Services 
  • Ability to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and acknowledge their diverse backgrounds, personalities and varying needs and the unique cultural ways in which they may be expressed.
  • Demonstrated computer literacy skills and proficiency using the Microsoft Office and other relevant software. The capacity to quickly acquire competency in the of VALS’s client data base (ActionStep). 

Essential

  • Admitted, or eligible for admission, as a legal practitioner in Victoria 

Desirable

  • A member, or eligible to be a member, of Victoria Legal Aid’s Youth Crime practitioner panel. 
  • Experience working in the non-profit sector. 

Please find information on how to apply below.

The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service frequently offers a number of employment opportunities within our Legal, Community Justice and Executive and Corporate Services.

If you are an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person who is seeking to work with our organisation please send your current resume along with your preferred area/role and region (metro, Loddon, Barwon etc.) 

To join our talent pool, please email jobs@vals.org.auWe will contact you as new opportunities arise.

How to apply

To apply for one of the above opportunities please provide:

  • covering letter outlining who you are and why you are suited to this position.
  • statement addressing each of the key selection criteria – applications submitted without a statement addressing the key selection criteria will not be accepted. Please note the key selection criteria is found within the position description.
  • Your resume detailing your education and professional experience and two referees.

Please submit your application to jobs@vals.org.au using the subject line: POSITION TITLE

*Only successful applications will be contacted*

We do not accept unsolicited resumes from employment agencies. No (search) fee will be paid in the event we hire a candidate whose resume is submitted by an employment agency to any of our employees without a valid written recruitment agreement. Such resumes shall be deemed the sole property of VALS.

When offered a role at VALS

On offer of a position, it is mandatory for you to provide:

  • Copy of your current Employee Working with Children Card.
  • You will be required to complete a current Criminal History Police Check.
  • Up to date vaccination certificate or valid medical exemption
  • Proof of rights to work in Australia, i.e., a copy of an Australian Passport, Birth Certificate, or Immigration VISA documentation
  • Current valid Victorian Driver’s Licence
  • Copies of any certificates or degrees relevant to this role

WE ACKNOWLEDGE AND PAY OUR RESPECTS TO THE CUSTODIANS OF THE LANDS ON WHICH WE WORK, COLLECTIVELY THE ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES OF SOUTH-EAST AUSTRALIA.

273 High St, Preston VIC 3072

vals@vals.org.au

1800 064 865

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