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: $78,500.00 (VALS CPC 1.3) depending on experience plus 10.5% Superannuation

 

OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE:

As Senior Baggarrook Program Officer, you will be responsible for the day-to-day operational of the program. This includes the supervision, mentoring and development of other Baggarrook program staff, volunteers and contractors. 

You will also be involve in planning and liaising with contractors and other service providers to ensure that the Baggarrook program is delivered consistent with requirements. 

Office Locations: Preston & Braybrook

This role is full-time fixed term for 12 months.

This position may require regional travel.


 

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Acting as a focal point for any enquiries related to day-to-day Baggarrook program delivery from clients, prison and AHV staff and wider stakeholders. This includes acting as a focal point for all on-site occupational health and safety and emergency planning. 
  • Support to clients exiting prison for a period of generally no more than 6-12 months. This includes delivery of culturally safe support to clients including relationship building, referrals, linking in with organisations and establishing of necessary community supports as part of building skills for independent living.
  • Conduct and implement ongoing risk assessments of the program and for individual clients. This includes close work with prison staff and other service providers. 
  • Build relationships with relevant partner organisations to support rapid access to support for program participants. For instance, Post Release Reintegration Programs and service providers working with Aboriginal women and children affected by family and domestic violence, trauma, substance and/or alcohol misuse, mental ill health and homelessness. 
  • Recording client interactions, progress and outcomes consistent with requirements. 
  • Contribute to the development of positive relationships between the local Koori community and community services, 
  • Attend and participate in staff, partner organisation and community meetings. 
  • Provide reports to the Deputy CJP State-wide Leader, as required.

 

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA:

  • Demonstrated managerial skills and/or qualifications, including the demonstrated ability to deliver justice service programs and supervise and develop less experienced staff. 
  • Demonstrated experience in effective case management practice and moving clients forward, including working alongside vulnerable clients to develop and implement individualised support plans.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and abilities to work with clients with complex needs such as related to mental ill health, disability, alcohol and other drugs and trauma.
  • A demonstrated knowledge of the Victorian legal system and of the legal issues faced by Victorian Aboriginal communities.
  • Excellent written, verbal communication and interpersonal skills.
  • A commitment to, and understanding of, Victorian Aboriginal culture and communities, including the ability to build productive relationships with Aboriginal community members.
  • The ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment.

 

 

MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS:

On offer of this position, you must provide: 

  • A copy of your current Employee Working with Children Check card 
  • A copy of your current Victorian Driver’s License 
  • You will be required to complete a current Criminal History Police Check
  • Proof of rights to work in Australia, i.e. a copy of an Australian Passport, Birth Certificate or Immigration VISA documentation
  • COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination Certificate or current and valid medical exemption certificate
  • Copies of any certificates or degrees relevant to this role 

Salary Offering: $95,186 plus 10.5% Superannuation and 17.5% leave loading

This position will require regional travel and occasional interstate level. 

ABOUT THE ROLE

The Deputy State-wide Community Justice Leader oversees and manages the day-to-day delivery of quality community services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and community members in Victoria. VALS Community Justice Program (CJP) is core to the delivery of a culturally safe legal assistance service, with community staff helping our clients more confidently engage with VALS legal assistance and other forms of support relevant to their needs. This is a diverse and evolving portfolio that includes: 

  • 1:1 client and family support services across Victoria. This includes specialist assistance relevant to clients affected family and domestic violence. 
  • 1:1 assistance for Aboriginal victims of crime referred by Victoria Police (VicPol)
  •  Specialised support to build independent living skills for women in a residential setting that would otherwise be homeless when exiting custody (Baggarrook)
  • The 24/7 Custody Notification Service (CNS) where Aboriginal community staff contact all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people entering police custody in Victoria to identify and connect them to any immediate legal assistance and to check in on their welfare, and liaise with VicPol and other services, around their medical and other welfare needs 
  • The design and delivery of community legal education (CLE) to equip community members across Victoria with know-how on key legal needs
  • Aboriginal Community Justice Reports– a pilot project that involves the development of pre-sentence reports about the underlying drivers of individual offending, particularly the impacts of colonisation and systemic racism, to assist courts with sentencing decisions. 

This role is full-time (fixed term until June 2025)

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Day-to-day management of CJP to ensure that quality services are consistently delivered across the CJP in line with funder, organisational and client requirements. This includes ensuring:
    1. Effective planning and co-ordination of all CJP work, directly and/or indirectly through appropriate delegation and supervision, consistent with budget and other resource requirements. 
    2. All CJP staff have a minimum of fortnightly 1:1 supervision and team meetings to support practice alignment and team and individual skills development.
    3. All staff performance and resources are effectively managed. 
    4. All staff are developing professionally consistent with VALS systems and policies and procedures.
    5. All staff discharge their roles and responsibilities consistent with VALS policies, procedures and codes of conduct. This includes in management of their work day, leave, workplace health and safety and expenses. 
  • Empathic ambassador for the organisation representing VALS in wide-ranging fora with diverse external stakeholders including with leaders of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs), Aboriginal justice caucuses and planning bodies (e.g., RAJACs, Baggarook operational group) and the public and community sectors. 
  • In collaboration with the State-wide CJ Leader and other colleagues, plan and implement strategic and operational projects which support and align to the CJP and VALS strategic objectives. 
  • Contribute to CJP budget development and monitor CJP expenditure management
  • Oversee monitoring and evaluation processes relevant to CJP, including having responsibility for the preparation of outcomes and performance reports consistent with funding and other compliance requirements
  • Take an active, corporate and constructive role as a member of the Executive Management Team.
  • Prepare papers, submissions and policy statements, high level briefings, reports and presentations for the Board, CEO and relevant stakeholders as required.
  • Participates in ongoing training and staff development and acts and remains professional at all times, upholding VALS values;
  • As directed, undertake other duties as directed 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:

  • Comprehensive understanding of the issues confronting Aboriginal people and communities in Victoria, with demonstrated cultural sensitivity and commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, access to justice principles and human rights standards.
  • Demonstrated managerial skills and/or qualifications, including in overseeing multi-faceted programs, budgets and program compliance in in complex service delivery environments. Ideally, this includes within the justice sector. 
  • High level staff management and development skills, including in supervision, coaching and mentoring. 
  • Excellent presentation, negotiation and influencing skills, including the capacity to represent VALS at diverse forums relevant to the organisation.
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide leadership within, and work as part of a team, in a fast-paced multi-disciplinary environment.
  • Computer and word-processing proficiency. 

Please see instructions 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 and 17.5% leave loading

VALS is very excited to employ one Client Support Officer to join our team in each region. If this is you, please read through the role requirements below.

Office Locations: 

  • Bendigo Office: 279 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo VIC 3550
  • Shepparton Office: Unit 3 / 262 Maude Street, Shepparton, VIC 3630
  • Warrnambool Office: 173 Lava Street, Warrnambool, VIC 3280
  • Mildura Office: 81 Pine Avenue, Mildura, VIC 3500
  • Gippsland Office: TBC

 

ABOUT 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.

This role is full-time fixed term until 30 June 2024, and will require regional and very occasional interstate travel.

 
 

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 and verbal communication, and interpersonal skills;
  • The ability to work in a multi-skilled environment;
  • Excellent computer skills, including experience with working with data bases

 

MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS:

 On offer of this position, you must 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

Salary Offering: $75,202.40 (VALS CPB 1.3) plus 10.5% Superannuation and 17.5% leave loading

We are currently recruiting for 2 positions:

    • 1 x Full-time Fixed term until January 2023 (Maternity Leave)
    • 1 x Full-time Fixed term for 12 months

ABOUT THE ROLE:

As Community Engagement Officer, you will be assisting vulnerable Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community members to better navigate the legal system and address barriers to compliance with law and justice processes. 

The role holder will proactively and persistently make contact with Aboriginal persons in police custody and those at greater risk of re-entering custody with the twin aims of: 

  1. supporting compliance with law and justice processes and
  2. helping them overcome challenges to engagement, i.e. – assisting clients with access to key support services: housing, mental health services and financial assistance.

You will also assist  the Custody Notification team as required, to make contact with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons in custody to conduct a welfare check and co-ordinate for legal advice from the VALS on-call solicitor. 

This position may require regional and very occasional interstate travel.

What a day as a Community Outreach Officer looks like:

  • Working alongside CNS clients of VALS, who require additional support and assisting them with positivity, empathy and a focus on better client outcomes.
  • Respond to e-justice notifications, the on-call Client Support Officer (CSO), the Aboriginal Community Justice Panel (ACJP) or Victoria Police when advised that an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person is being held in custody. This includes contacting the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person in custody to provide basic information, conduct a welfare check and co-ordinate for legal advice from the VALS on-call solicitor, where relevant. 
  • Proactive and ongoing contact to ensure clients attend court dates and meet requirements of community corrections orders and bail conditions. 
  • Ensuring that clients and their support needs are followed up in a timely and sensitive manner. This includes providing warm referrals to relevant support services. 
  • Assisting clients with access to material assistance and support where possible. 
  • Liaising and networking with key support services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria. 
  • Engagement of priority cohorts including young people, clients affected by family violence and LGBTIQ+ work;
  • Assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to increase understanding of the law and their legal rights, including to build their capacity to engage with the legal system and take up relevant legal assistance, such as VALS free legal assistance. 

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA (ESSENTIAL)

  • Hold a certificate or degree in community services, social work or another relevant field. If the candidate does not hold a relevant certificate or degree, they must have 3+ years of experience of supporting vulnerable clients 
  • High levels of emotional intelligence, empathy and skills in assisting especially vulnerable Aboriginal people address key support needs
  • A demonstrated knowledge of the Victorian legal system, including an understanding of the legal issues and challenges faced by Aboriginal communities in Victoria
  • Demonstrated computer literacy skills and proficiency using Microsoft Office and other relevant software
  • Strong interpersonal, representational and communication skills, including the ability to influence and negotiate effectively and a proven capacity to develop effective relationships with a range of stakeholders

It is desirable that you also have experience working in the non-profit sector.

Please see instructions on how to apply below.

Salary Offering: $62,666.80 (VALS CPA 1.2) plus 10.5% Superannuation and 17.5% leave loading

 

ABOUT THE ROLE

As Senior Custody Notification Officer (CNO), you will report and assist the Custody Notification Team Leader in ensuring the delivery of smooth operation of the Custody Notification Services.

The Senior CNO will work alongside casual and on-going CNO staff, offering support in performing their role as a liaison between the VALS and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons taken into custody by VicPol.

Office Locations: High Street, Preston

This role is full-time fixed term for 12 months.

 

 

In this role your key responsibilities are:

  • Assist the CNS Team Leader with supporting and developing CNS staff and VALS custody notification programs and services. This includes community engagement workers who focus on supporting highly vulnerable Aboriginal persons at high risk of re-entering custody.
  • Assist in coordinating the work of all CNOs and other CNS staff such as community engagement workers, directly and/or indirectly, through appropriate delegation.
  • Undertake induction and training of new staff in all CNS processes and procedures to equip casual and ongoing staff with the right knowledge and skills.
  • Assist in overseeing VALS processes regarding e-justice notifications. This includes follow up and monitoring of late notifications and those identified as high risk or highly complex and so require managerial oversight or interception.
  • Respond to e-justice notifications, the on-call Client Support Officer (CSO), the Aboriginal Community Justice Panel (ACJP) or Victoria Police when advised that an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person is being held in custody.
  • Contact the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person in custody, provide basic information, conduct a welfare check and coordinate for legal advice from the VALS on-call solicitor. 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.
  • Liaise and network with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and agencies to promote VALS and be aware of programs that will assist in the prevention or reduction of crime within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
  • Liaise with VicPol and other persons within the justice system to ensure delivery of a culturally relevant service.
  • Perform administrative tasks to ensure effective service delivery to VALS clients, including updating records, providing activity reports, and attending staff meetings.

 

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA (ESSENTIAL)

  • Demonstrated experience is the effective management and development of staff
  • A demonstrated knowledge of the Victorian legal system, including an understanding of the legal issues faced by Victorian Aboriginal communities
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work in a multi-skilled environment
  • Excellent computer skills
  • A commitment to and understanding of diverse Victorian Aboriginal communities, and the ability to communicate effectively with members of those communities.

It is desirable that you also have experience working in the non-profit sector.

Please see instructions on how to apply below.

Salary Offering: $69,032.50 – $73, 255 plus 10.5% Superannuation and 17.5% leave loading

Locations

  • Head Office – Preston VIC 3072; and Baggarrook Office – Braybrook VIC 3019

ABOUT THE ROLE:

This role is full-time 12 month fixed term, with potential to extend depending on funding, and may require occasional regional travel.

In this role your key responsibilities will be:

  • Act as a source of information, advice and guidance for Aboriginal clients affected by family violence. This includes assisting clients to engage with family law and child protection processes and to take up support services relevant to their needs.  
  • Court support, transport assistance, referrals and advocacy on the client’s behalf
  • Reassure the client and explain legal terminology and processes used by the courts 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.
  • Develop good understanding of, and relationships with, Aboriginal and other support organisations that have specialism in the area of family violence. 
  • Liaison with law and justice services, including the courts, Victoria Police and other legal assistance providers to assist with the provision of a culturally safe service for our clients. 
  • Perform administrative tasks to aid reporting, information sharing and quality services for VALS clients. This includes maintaining client contact records on client management systems, preparing activity reports and participating in team and workforce development initiatives consistent with VALS policies and procedures. 

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA (ESSENTIAL):

  • Hold a certificate or degree in community services, social work or another relevant field. If the candidate does not hold a relevant certificate or degree, they must have 3+ years of experience within the field of family violence. 
  • High levels of emotional intelligence, empathy and skills in assisting especially vulnerable Aboriginal women address key support needs. 
  • Ability to work alone and be accountable for movements and work performance 
  • A demonstrated knowledge of the Victorian legal system, including an understanding of the legal issues and challenges faced by Aboriginal communities in Victoria
  • An understanding of family violence and the impacts on Aboriginal communities
  • Demonstrated computer literacy skills and proficiency using Microsoft Office and other relevant software.
  • Experience working in the non-profit sector.

Please see instructions on how to apply below.

Salary Offering: $70,943.60- $75,584.60 (VALS CPB1.2 – 1.4) depending on experience plus 10.5% Superannuation and 17.5% leave loading

ABOUT THE ROLE:

This is full-time fixed term for 12 months, which may require regional and very occasional interstate travel.

The Youth Support Officer is a liaison between Balit Ngulu and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander young people taken into custody by the police and/or engaged with related youth justice processes, such as court. 

As Youth Support Officer you will have an educational role in crime prevention and reduction, and in conjunction with other facilities, to provide for alternative programs to Aboriginal young people and communities. You will work closely with young people, their families and key service providers to support effective and sustained engagement with Balit Ngulu Legal Services. 

In this role your key performance indicators, duties and responsibilities are to:

  • Make contact with the Aboriginal youth affected, accurately identify the issue to be resolved, work with the client on identifying appropriate solutions that will work for them, and establish warm links or referrals to existing programs and services to resolve the issue
  • In partnership with service providers, provide information to young people, their families and carers on procedures, practices, guidelines, legislation and furthermore provide advice of the role the Balit Ngulu Legal Services. 
  • Attend court to support the client and the solicitor;
  • As directed, lodge all necessary court documents;
  • Support clients by providing holistic support to increase young people’s opportunities of enhanced quality of life and community inclusion. This includes working closely with the young person, their family and other key service providers to develop bespoke support plans that are tailored to the individual and focus on keeping the young person safe and to effectively engage in support that develops insight and know-how-for reducing at risk behaviour and offending. This includes goal setting, monitoring progress, advocacy and referrals. 
  • Advocate within the broader community on behalf of clients and their families to support inclusion, participation and respect for rights. 
  • Liaise and network with other Aboriginal organisations and agencies to promote Balit Ngulu and be aware of programs that will assist in the prevention or reduction of crime by Aboriginal young people supported in relevant service areas of the program;
  • Liaise with police and other persons within the justice system to ensure delivery of a culturally relevant service;
  • Perform a range of administrative tasks to ensure the effective delivery of services to Balit Ngulu Legal Service;
  • Represent Balit Ngulu Legal Services at various meetings and report back on those meetings to Balit Ngulu Legal Services management;

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA

  • A demonstrated understanding of the youth justice system, particularly the principles and philosophy underpinning relevant legislation and the legal issues faced by Victorian Aboriginal communities. 
  • A demonstrated knowledge of the Victorian legal system, including an understanding of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 and key amendments and associated policies and guidelines that youth justice workers use. This includes understanding of Children’s Court practices and procedures or ability to obtain such knowledge. 
  • An excellent understanding of Victorian Aboriginal communities and the issues important to  these communities, particularly as these relate to young people.
  • Demonstrated experience working with the Aboriginal community and with young people; and in working to support effectively coordinated support for young people as part of a whole-family and whole-community approach.
  • Excellent written, verbal communication and interpersonal skills;
  • A commitment to and understanding of Victorian Aboriginal culture and communities, and the ability to communicate effectively with members of those communities;
  • The ability to work in a multi-skilled environment;
  • Excellent computer skills.

ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS

  • Minimum of 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).

Please see instructions 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.) 

Join our Talent Pool by clicking the button below.

We will contact you as new opportunities arise.

Positions open to all applicants

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

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:

    • Warrnambool – Lava Street, Warrnambool, VIC 3280
    • Mildura – Pine Avenue, Mildura, VIC 3500
    • Bendigo – Hargreaves Street, Bendigo
    • Ballarat – Doveton St North, Ballarat
    • West Melbourne – WFH/Preston office, while a new office is being established

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: $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 criminal law and act as a lead advocate for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people interacting with the criminal justice system. This role is full-time fixed until 31 December 2024.

This position will:

  • Provide high quality legal services in Criminal Law matters, including duty lawyer services, representation, advice and information to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.
  • Engage with Aboriginal community stakeholders to identify key community legal education (CLE) needs relevant to the regional and local context.
  • 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 the each VALS regional hub.

The role holder will have the endorsement or is eligible to become a Panel Certifier on Victorian Legal Aid (VLA) Criminal Law Panel.

Office Locations:

    • Warrnambool – Lava Street, Warrnambool, VIC 3280
    • Mildura – Pine Avenue, Mildura, VIC 3500
    • Bendigo – Hargreaves Street, Bendigo
    • Ballarat – Doveton St North, Ballarat
    • West Melbourne – WFH/Preston office, while a new office is being established

The key responsibilities of a Regional Practice Lead are:

  • Appear as a senior advocate in various courts including the Children’s Court Criminal Division, Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Koori Courts in order to represent clients of VALS
  • Deliver a quality legal service by conducting casework in criminal law matters, including serious indictable matters, for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients in the Barwon South West region.
  • As a back-up, participate in the on call after hours roster to provide emergency advice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria. As a priority, providing legal assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in police custody
  • Prepare and comply with applications for grants of legal assistance and reporting requirements for matters eligible for VLA funding.
  • Participate in case-planning meetings with the criminal law section weekly
  • Partner with service providers and Aboriginal community stakeholders in the region to plan and deliver CLE and professional legal education.
  • Oversee the work of CSOs within the team including in 1:1 assistance to clients and in developing referral pathways and partnerships relevant to VALS clients.
  • Develop collaborative relationships with VLA and other community legal centres and service providers with which VALS interacts.
  • Keep up to date with relevant legal developments and procedures and maintain an understanding of issues, risks and trends impacting upon the provision of legal services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.
  • Participate in ongoing training and staff development and act and remain professional at all times, upholding VALS values.
  • As directed, undertake other duties as directed 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 or eligible for admission as a legal practitioner in Victoria and in the High Court of Australia (with an unrestricted practicing certificate)
  • Capability to work as an advocate and caseworker in complex criminal law matters, with knowledge of, and practical experience in the law and court procedures within the criminal law jurisdiction
  • Ability to supervise, mentor and train staff and volunteers and contribute to the development of individuals and their knowledge and skills in criminal 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
  • Basic 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.

Desirable:

  • Member or eligible to be a Victoria Legal Aid Panel member for summary, indictable and youth matters
  • Accredited Criminal Law Specialist
  • Experience working in the non-profit sector.

 

Please see information on how to apply below.

Salary Offering: $65,338.00 (VALS D 1.3) plus 10.5% Superannuation

 

This role is full-time fixed term for 12 months

 

OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE

As legal secretary for VALS regional hub, you will be responsible in providing high quality secretarial / administrative support services to the Criminal and Aboriginal Families Practice Leads.

You will undertake reception function and act as a liaison and coordination point for office management. This includes in arranging stationery and supplies, liaison with local tradespeople and the VALS office manager and ensuring the adequacy of VALS approaches to good workplace health and safety.

This position may require regional and very occasional interstate travel.

In this role the key responsibilities are:

  • Provide a reception function within the VALS Bendigo office
  • Undertake all secretarial tasks and associated file management tasks as provided by solicitors to support ongoing file management of clients in Criminal and Aboriginal Families Law Practice.
  • Prepare documentation for briefing Counsel or other professionals as directed, including photocopying, collating and arranging delivery.
  • Receive phone calls on behalf of individual solicitors and follow up enquiries or record messages for action by solicitor.
  • Assist in arranging appointments for clients or making contact with clients directly.
  • Undertake filing of reports and other documentation on behalf of clients.
  • Update data base and electronic files as required.
  • Lodge and maintain Victoria Legal Aid grant applications within the ATLAS system as required.
  • Participate in the processing of incoming and outgoing mail for the organisation.
  • 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 Community.
  • Arranging stationary orders and office equipment when necessary.
  • Liaison with local tradespeople and the Office Manager, as required, to ensure a good working environment e.g., calling out and supervising any emergency repair work, ensuring the effectiveness of the digital technology environment, conducting any emergency evacuation drills.
  • 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

  • Secretarial or similar experience preferred but not essential.
  • Advanced skills in the use of MS Office Software (particularly MS Word, Excel, E-mail – word proficient to 80 words per minute) for a legal practice, or similar, and the capacity to quickly acquire competency in the use of VALS’ client data base.
  • Professional and courteous phone manner and interpersonal skills and the capacity to communicate effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members, who may be experiencing stress and anxiety due to their legal needs, and other team members and partners
  • Knowledge or a willingness to learn about the legal issues faced by members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Victoria, with a commitment to the principles and values of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service

 

Please see information on how to apply below.

Salary Offering: $90,080.00 – $93,945.44 (VALS LC 1.1 – 1.3) depending on experience plus 10.5% Superannuation

 

OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE:

The Senior Lawyer/Advocate will engage in high-level legal advice, representation and advocacy on complex matters within the Wirraway Practice. The role will provide guidance and supervision to other staff members within the VALS Legal Practice and the Wirraway Practice. The Senior Lawyer / Advocate will appear as Counsel in coronial inquest matters and legal matters which require a high level of skill and expertise.

This role will also work closely with the policy and communications team to build awareness, create submissions and proposals and will assist in seeking future funding for the continued conduct of the work.

This role is full-time fixed term for 12 months. This position may require regional and very occasional interstate travel.

The key responsibilities of a Senior lawyer/Advocate in Wirraway are to:

  • Provide high quality, culturally safe and trauma informed legal advice and representation to clients in police complaints, police torts litigation, prison complaints, strategic litigation, coronial inquests and criminal matters defended on the grounds of police misconduct.
  • Raise awareness of the issues relating to deaths in custody, misconduct of police, correctional staff and other government agencies to drive and influence change.
  • Appearing in legal matters as Counsel.
  • Liaison and high-level negotiation with the Coroner’s Court, Victoria Police, Corrections Victoria, legal assistance providers and wide-ranging services, including related to corrections and community health, child protection, drug and alcohol and family violence.
  • Provide guidance and advice in both written and oral form to the other practice areas within VALS Legal Services.
  • Increase professional development outcomes through internal training and development opportunities, working with relevant legal teams and stakeholders.
  • Establish effective and productive partnerships with Aboriginal and mainstream services and other support organisations.
  • Provide mentoring, guidance and supervision and direct oversight of lawyers and administrative staff including the work undertaken in the practice as required.

 

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA

Essential:

    • Knowledge and understanding of the social, legal and justice issues including abuse and systemic racism faced by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.
    • Experience working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, including the ability to communicate effectively with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people experiencing significant stress.
    • In depth knowledge of legislation pertaining to coronial inquests, civil litigation with a focus on police torts and criminal law.
    • High level advocacy and legal skills with demonstrated experience representing and appearing on behalf of relevant parties in Victorian courts and tribunals.
    • Highly developed interpersonal skills with an ability to develop positive relationships with both internal and external stakeholders including members of the Aboriginal Community, Courts, Judiciary, support services and Government Departments.
    • Demonstrated experience in managing, mentoring and training staff and contribute to the development of individuals and their knowledge and skills.
    • Ability and willingness to undertake travel in Victoria.
    • At least 3 years post-qualification experience as a lawyer with an unsupervised practicing certificate.

Desirable:

  • Experience representing clients in coronial inquests, police complaints, civil litigation involving Victoria Police and Corrections Victoria, and criminal law matters.
  • Experience of work within Aboriginal legal services, Victorian Legal Aid and/or community legal centres.
  • Experience in legal policy and commitment to driving and influencing change on relevant policy priorities and emerging issues.

 

Please see information on how to apply below.

Salary Offering: $77,425.00 to $93,945.00 (VALS LB 1.1 to VALS LC 1.3) depending on experience plus 10.5% Superannuation

 

OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE:

As Lawyer or Senior Lawyer, you will provide legal advice and representation to Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander people in police and prison accountability matters.

This includes representing people who have been abused and/or mistreated by members of Victoria Police, Corrections Victoria or other government agencies. This also includes representing families in coronial inquests into Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody and police contact deaths.

 

Key duties and responsibilities

 

  • Providing high quality, culturally safe and trauma informed legal information, advice, assistance and representation to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in police and prison accountability matters, including:
    • Coronial investigations and inquests into deaths in police or prison custody;
    • Civil litigation involving Victoria Police, Corrections Victoria or other government agencies
    • Criminal matters defended on the basis of police illegality or impropriety;
    • Police and prison complaints;
    • Strategic litigation.
  • Liaison and high-level negotiation with the Coroner’s Court, Victoria Police, Corrections Victoria, legal assistance providers and wide-ranging services, including related to corrections and community health, child protection, drug and alcohol and family violence.
  • Work closely with the Policy, Communications and Strategy team to prepare advice and support policy and law reform work in areas relating to police and prison accountability.
  • Work closely with the Community Justice Program team to develop and deliver community legal education across Victoria.
  • Provide guidance and advice in both written and oral form to the other practice areas within VALS Legal Services.
  • Increase professional development outcomes through internal training and development opportunities, working with relevant legal teams and stakeholders.
  • Establish effective and productive partnerships with Aboriginal and mainstream services and other support organisations.

 

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA

Essential:

  • A relevant qualification in Law and be eligible to practice law in Victoria. To be eligible for the role of Senior Lawyer, the candidate must have at least 3 years post qualification experience as a lawyer with an unsupervised practising certificate.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the social, legal and justice issues including abuse and systemic racism faced by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.
  • Experience working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, including the ability to communicate effectively with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people experiencing significant stress.
  • High level advocacy and legal skills with experience representing and/or appearing on behalf of relevant parties in Victorian courts and tribunals.
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills with an ability to develop productive relationships with internal and external stakeholders including members of Aboriginal communities, Courts, Judiciary, support services and Government Departments.
  • Ability and willingness to undertake travel in Victoria.

Desirable:

  • Experience representing clients in coronial inquests, police complaints, civil litigation involving Victoria Police and Corrections Victoria, and/or criminal law matters.
  • Experience of work within Aboriginal legal services, Victorian Legal Aid and/or community legal centres.
  • Experience in legal policy development and commitment to driving and influencing change on relevant policy priorities and emerging issues.
  • Experience in courtroom advocacy

Please see 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: $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.

How to apply

To apply for one of the above opportunityies 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