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Junior Inhouse Counsel - Port Hedland

Kariyarra Aboriginal Corporation
  • Port Hedland based.
  • District allowance, rent & utilities subsidies, salary sacrifice and much more.
  • 8 weeks annual leave
  • New Opportunity!

The Kariyarra Aboriginal Corporation (KAC) is a relatively new Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC), which is currently expanding its workforce to accommodate new and exciting roles to support the Kariyarra People in managing their native title rights and interests. These roles will give great opportunities to those who wish to embrace regional opportunities and help make a difference to the lives of the Kariyarra People.

Living and working in the Hedland area will allow you to engage with the Kariyarra Traditional Owners and to be part of a rich cultural life. Local beaches and recreational activities create a unique lifestyle and family life that one can not find in a city environment.

About the Kariyarra People

The Kariyarra People mainly live in the towns of Port and South Hedland, as well as neighbouring towns and communities in the Pilbara and Kimberley region including Roebourne, Karratha and Broome in the north-west of Western Australia. Kariyarra country is bound by Ngarla country to the northeast, Nyamal to the east, Palyku to the southeast, Panyjima to the south and Ngarluma to the west.

The KAC is the PBC which holds native title in trust for the Kariyarra People, who are the native title holders of the land and waters covering approximately 17,354 sq km of Australia.

The Kariyarra Determination Area is home to places of special significance to the Kariyarra People, including ceremonial and mythological sites, petroglyphs, archaeological and historic sites of significance as well as other topographic features including permanent pools, major river and estuarine systems such as the Yule and Turner Rivers and natural resources. 

The Role

The primary objective of this position is to assist the external Lawyer of Kariyarra Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (KAC), the native title prescribed body corporate for the Kariyarra native title holders, to  manage the legal and compliance obligations for ongoing protection of KAC’s native title rights and interests under the Native Title Act 1993, State and Federal Aboriginal heritage and environmental legislation; and Legal compliance of all Land Access and Future Acts Matters as well as other key KAC Agreements, contracts, programs and projects. Reporting to the KAC’s Executive Management Team and the external Lawyer, this position contributes to the strategic development, planning and management of the objects, vision and direction of KAC and, in consultation with the external Lawyer, provides advice to the CEO and Board within its areas of accountability. 


Duties include, but are not limited to: 

Management Team and Organisational Governance:

  • Contributes to the strategic development and management of the objects,    vision and direction of KAC. 
  • Legal advice and compliance with the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), State and Federal  Aboriginal and environmental laws, Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act), Australian Charities and Not-for- profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth), Native Title (Prescribed Bodies Corporate) Regulations 1999 (Cth), regulators generally and KAC’s Constitution.
  • Legal advice on native title and related facets of the corporation’s business as directed by the CEO and in consultation with the external Lawyer.

In House Counsel:

  • Provide professional legal advice to the CEO, Board and stakeholders of KAC 
  • Drafting, review and approval of contracts and associated agreements.
  • Supporting negotiation with stakeholders including the Government, exploration and mining proponents and others as required
  • Developing, negotiating, implementing and monitoring and managing Native Title Agreements, contracts and sub-contracts including any amendments, annual escalation requirements and reporting.
  • Provide native title and related legal advice to CEO and Board 
  • Perform with external Lawyer to present legal advice 
  • Collaborate with Operations, Finance, Heritage departments and Professional Development to assure legal adherence for special projects.
  • Collaborate with external Lawyer to defend organisation’s rights in contract settlements, negotiations and litigation.
  • In collaboration with external Lawyer, help to conduct in-house education for KAC team members on relevant matters relating to native title and related matters (including legal risk management);

Implementation and Compliance:

  • Ensure legal compliance with Comprehensive Agreements, Trust Deed and KAC Rule Book 
  • Ensure KAC is complying legally with all its Land Access and Future Acts obligations under the Native Title Act and Service agreements. 
  • Maintain positive working relationships with key stakeholders and agreement partners. 
  • Act on actions from key meetings (e.g., AGM, Board); Report regularly to the CEO on legal compliance corporate governance, risk and relationships. 

Administrative and Meeting Tasks:

  • Attend key meetings with agreement partners, service providers and other significant stakeholders; 
  • Attend meetings to represent the CEO when required; 
  • Maintain electronic and manual files and keeping records up to date, secure and accessible, as appropriate; 
  • Adhere to compliance procedures; 
  • Periodic travel to attend meetings as required. 

Internal & External Communications:

  • Manage all incoming and outgoing communications (e.g. telephone, electronic, hard copy and in person) from/to agreement partners, relevant service providers and other significant stakeholders, ensuring it is responsive, effective and approved by the CEO;
  • Other duties as required by the CEO.

Selection Criteria

  • Experience in Native Title law, particularly experience with drafting agreements & contracts;
  • Knowledge of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), State and Federal Aboriginal heritage and environmental laws, Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act), Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth), Native Title (Prescribed Bodies Corporate) Regulations 1999 (Cth), the Mining Act 1978 (WA), the Future Acts regime, Native Title Agreements and other relevant legislation.
  • High level corporate governance experience
  • High degree of commercial acumen
  • Experience working in the Native Title Sector, such as a RNTBC or Representative Body, or in a related role within a mining company, government sector, inhouse counsel or legal practice
  • High level strategic thinking; 
  • Proven ability to formulate legal solutions and to minimise and avoid exposure; 
  • Effective negotiator;
  • Excellent stakeholder management, analytical and negotiation skills, with the ability to work with non-lawyers to achieve outcomes;
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise high level judgement and discretion, and to manage corporate compliance, contractual and legal issues in a not for profit / for purpose environment;
  • Exceptional organisational skills and focus, including a capacity to prioritise tasks effectively and efficiently and manage time in accordance with strict deadlines, with meticulous attention to detail.


  • Cultural competence, particularly with Aboriginal people; 
  • Demonstrated ability to present concise legal advice to Board and CEO


  • Tertiary legal qualification and holding a current practising certificate as an Australian lawyer. 
  • 3+ years PAE

Behavioural Competencies

  • Demonstrated adherence to a high standard of professional principles to ensure honesty, integrity and ethical decision-making in all situations; 
  • A high level of confidentiality, discretion and judgment 
  • Professional conduct and demeanour 
  • Highly effective communication skills 
  • Cross cultural competency
  • Ability to manage high workloads.


  • Experience working with Aboriginal people or in a cross-cultural environment.

Qualifications and experience required/to be maintained:

  • A current WA C Class Driver’s Licence; and
  • Provide a National Police Check; and

Location and conditions

Port Hedland based role offering a generous salary package including district allowance, rent & utilities subsidies, salary sacrifice, and 8 weeks annual leave will be negotiated for the right person.

To Apply

For further information and to obtain a full job description please email Jodie Rowell at [email protected] using the subject line: Junior Inhouse Counsel - Port Hedland enquiry via EthicalJobs.

Send your cover letter addressing the selection criteria and CV, addressed to Jodie Rowell, via the "Apply Now" button.

Applications will be assessed as received and candidates interviewed accordingly before the closing date.

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