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Program Coordinator - Peer Groups for Vietnamese Young People with Autism

Extended Families Australia

Extended Families Australia

Community Inclusion staff at Extended Families support people with a disability and their families to build individual capacity through skills development, devise solutions to overcome participation barriers and create connections between people and the communities they live in. For many individuals, achieving genuine community participation can feel daunting and sometimes beyond their reach. Extended Families has an excellent reputation in service innovation, quality practice and provides a highly supportive team environment. Our focus is on helping children and young adults with disability of diverse backgrounds to find and experience genuine inclusion.

This position will implement and manage a new peer group program for Vietnamese youth and young adults with Autism called Vươn lên, which means To Rise in Vietnamese. The program will assist community inclusion of young people and will operate in the western and south eastern metro regions.

Vươn lên (VL) is a sub program of a larger capacity building Project being undertaken in partnership with the Vietnamese Families with Special Needs (VFSN) Inc. across 2020-2022. The Project is funded by the NDIS’ Information, Linkages and Capacity Building program and seeks to strengthen individual capacities of Vietnamese people living with disability.

Based in our Coburg office, the VL Program Coordinator will work directly with families and individuals. The role is ideally suited to someone with experience in the disability services sector and in program management and staff supervision. It will involve some travel to community venues and visiting participants in their own homes.


The VL Program Coordinator will have:

  • A strong knowledge of the disability and community service sector with insight into the opportunities and connections available (disability specific and mainstream) that support inclusion
  • An understanding of project management and / or service coordination and previous professional experience in disability services
  • The ability to research and write skill development program content.
  • Knowledge and experience in working with people to empower and build their individual capacity
  • An understanding of and a commitment to social justice principles and the human rights of people with a disability
  • Awareness and appreciation of cultural and linguistic diversity
  • A holistic practice orientation with an understanding of the complex interactions between social and economic factors, the environment and personal circumstances that impact on ab individual’s health and well-being
  • Experience in leading teams and supervising staff
  • Excellent communication, organisation, flexibility and empathy and ability to engage with families and co-workers
  • Strong administration and computer skills

We are looking for a person with qualifications in Community Development, Community Service Management, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Psychology or Welfare. This is a part time contract position (26 hours per week) that will run until August 2022.

The successful applicant will have experience in program and content development (note this is NOT a base grade position, qualifications and relevant experience is essential). A current Victoria Driver’s license, access to an adequately insured car and will be able to meet all mandatory screening requirements for workers engaged in NDIS funded services.


The VL Program follows on from and seeks to further build upon the outcomes achieved in the VL pilot that was successfully implemented by Extended Families and the VFSN in 2019 and 2020.

Specifically, VL will assist at least four groups (three in the west and one in the south east) of 8-10 young people and their families who are experiencing difficulties engaging in meaningful community activity and who have not been able to overcome inclusion barriers through existing services.

The program will provide tailored, group based support to help participant’s develop their community interests, strengthen daily living skills, grow in confidence, increase resilience and motivation, experience social connection and access community participation experiences.

The VL Coordinator will:

  • Lead and work alongside the VL Team consisting of Group Facilitators, Peer Leaders and Volunteers in delivering a regular schedule of fortnightly peer groups for participants. Participation in one or two regular groups essential as well as some occasions in all groups.
  • Work with participants and families to assess their inclusion support needs and form individual Participation Plans that will guide the development of group activities
  • Develop a package of interactive learning resources and opportunities for participants in collaboration with the VL Team
  • Assist individuals to implement their Participation Plans, monitor and evaluate their progress in the VL program
  • Support participants to identify, build up and maintain strong community relationships and local interests
  • Build networks and cooperative relationships with others including Extended Families staff, key services and relevant agencies to create strategic relationships, ensure quality service delivery and identify new support options for individuals
  • Assist the Project Manager in program evaluation and reporting processes

Orientation, training and ongoing support will be provided to the VL Coordinator by the Project Manager and the Project Executive Team.


You will be based in the Extended Families office in Coburg and will work home from home (when social distancing rules apply). You will be supporting families across western and south eastern Melbourne. Facilitated peer group meetings will take place in community venues located in Sunshine and Springvale and in other locations when excursions are undertaken.


The role will take place during business hours and after-hours (finishing no later than 9pm) when facilitating fortnightly peer groups.


Email and phone enquiries to Julia Klieber, Project Manager, Julia@extendedfamilies.org.au, using the subject line: Program Coordinator - Peer Groups for Vietnamese Young People with Autism enquiry via EthicalJobs, M 0451 665 057.

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