The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) was established as a community-controlled organisation in 1973 to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the criminal justice system. The organisation has a long and proud history of providing legal and service support for Aboriginal Victorians who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing negative contact with the justice system and advocating locally, nationally and internationally for the rights of Aboriginal people.
We strive to:
- Promote social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- Promote the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to empowerment, identity and culture
- Ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enjoy their rights, are aware of their responsibilities under the law and have access to appropriate advice, assistance and representation
- Reduce the disproportionate involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the criminal justice system
- Promote the review of legislation and other practices which discriminate against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
The organisation has grown over the years (with further expansion options being pursued) and now offers criminal, family and civil law services, client services support, community legal education and a range of community justice support programs in both Victoria and Tasmania.
The Tasmanian operation was established in 2015, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community Legal Service (TACLS), a semi-autonomous operation for Tasmania.
About the team:
This section is responsible for delivering client focused quality services for Aboriginal Victorians in contact with the justice system.
Legal and Client Services are co-located in this unit to drive an integrated, flexible and innovative approach to meeting client needs.
The section liaises and networks with other Aboriginal organisations and works with stakeholders to reduce negative contact Aboriginal people have with the justice system.
In conjunction with Executive and Corporate Services, this section also advocates for improved justice outcomes and prepares specialist advice on legislation change.
The Director, with the Principal Legal Officers ensures all legal standards and Community Legal Centre' Risk Management guidelines are met.
About the Position:
The Statewide Community Justice Leader manages the delivery of quality community services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community and stakeholders. This position oversees the provision of client services, incorporates case management and planning with program leads and is expected to ensure that community standards are met, including pro-actively reviewing and tailoring services to fit with community needs.
Key Performance Indicators, Duties & Responsibility:
- Directly and through appropriate delegation: a)Supervise and manage VALS community justice programs and b)Co-ordinate the work of all subordinate staff directly and/or indirectly through appropriate delegation and supervision, including casework of the family violence program, women’s transitional program and the custody notification service.
- Take an active, corporate and constructive role as a member of the Executive Management Team.
- Manage effectively, including provision of appropriate professional development plans and performance management assessments for VALS community justice staff;
- Produce all other reports required under various funding agreements to meet accountability requirements;
- Directly and through delegation oversee and develop innovative community justice programs to achieve integrated and relevant client support.
- Ensure adherence to all relevant organisational policies with a particular focus on service delivery and stakeholder engagement.
- Ensure that community justice staff meet their professional and ethical obligations, adhering to all legislative and contract requirements and maintain the highest ethical standards.
- Provide input on the development of the community justice budget and work with program leads to implement and monitor the yearly budget.
- Prepare papers, submissions and policy statements high level briefings, reports and presentations for the Board, Chief Executive Officer and relevant stakeholders as required.
- Develop and maintain effective working relationships with key interest groups, major stakeholders and partners of the organisation to advance our work and strategic directions.
- Provide timely and accurate operational reporting on the function of community justice programs to the Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors.
- Ensure effective communication and collaboration between program areas.
- 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
- Comprehensive understanding of the issues confronting Aboriginal people and their communities.
- Demonstrated cultural sensitivity and a commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, access to justice principles and human rights standards.
- Demonstrated managerial skills and/or qualifications, including the demonstrated ability to deliver State-wide services and manage teams spread across a wide geographical area.
- Demonstrated experience in the development and delivery of training to community and stakeholders.
- Capacity to represent the organisation at a range of forums relevant to the organisation at local, regional, state, national and international levels.
- Demonstrated achievements in strategic planning and the ability to undertake program management in a service delivery environment, including developing innovative community centered solutions that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as they interact with the justice system.
- Demonstrated capacity to work in an environment of continuous improvement, innovation and change.
- Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills.
- Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team in a multi-skilled and multi-disciplinary working environment.
- Excellent computer and word-processing skills.
- Possess self-awareness – has insight into own leadership style and effect on team performance.
- Nurtures a high-performance team – manages high performance and under performance effectively.
- Anticipates, plans and prioritises work – manages competing demands.
- Is approachable, accessible and responsive.
- Facilitates peer and team discussions to plan work demands.
- Manages conflict, complaints and concerns effectively.
- Undertakes continuous learning and development.
- Adheres to organisations policies and procedures.
To understand the full duties and responsibilities of the position, please read through the detailed position description located below.