Are you interested in volunteering with VALS?

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

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

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

The Data Analysis Support Volunteer will primarily support the Client Notification Service (CNS) team as well as working alongside the CNS Data Analyst and Team Leader to complete the CNS Manual and other admin duties.

CNS is a major aspect of VALS Community Justice Program. The Custody Notification Officers (CNOs) are key to the operation of the State’s CNO system. The Custody Notification System runs on a 24/7 basis with the CNO’s being the first contact point between a community member in custody at local police station, the police officers investigating the matter, and a VALS Criminal Lawyer.

They check on the health and wellbeing of people in custody, liaise with police and contact out of hours legal advice from our lawyers when they need to. CNO’s manage relationships with 332 police stations across the State.

In a Nutshell:

  • Research for the referral / resource manual
  • Construction of the CNS Manual
  • Assisting in scheduling meetings and/or appointments with outside stakeholders.
  • Assist in keeping up to date resources

Skills, qualifications, or experience required (or desirable) for role:

  • Microsoft word, Excel, and Power Point knowledge
  • Outlook Office Knowledge
  • Research knowledge
  • Phone etiquette
  • Team player

To apply for this role please send your cover letter and resume to our Volunteer Coordinator, Dayle Jones at 

VALS CNS Data Analysis Support Role Description 2022

To determine eligibility VALS will:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Means Test will be administered in two parts:

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

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

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