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In-house Lawyer

Tjiwarl Aboriginal Corporation

About Us

The Tjiwarl Claimants are the native title holders (determined in May 2017) over approximately 13,800 square kilometres of land in the Northern Goldfields region of WA.

Tjiwarl (Aboriginal Corporation) was established to hold on trust the native title rights and interests of the Tjiwarl native title holders. The corporation is responsible for delivering core governance and operational activities, fulfils obligations under land use agreements, implements programs for the betterment of Tjiwarl Native Title Holders, protects and preserves land and heritage for the Tjiwarl community.

Tjiwarl AC prides itself on being a “Gold Standard” organisation with connection to a rich and vibrant part of the Goldfields. We are undergoing an extremely exciting, engaging, and unprecedented period of development. Since determination of native title in 2017, Tjiwarl AC has gone from strength to strength, built on the foundations of a highly engaged membership and passionate Board in an environment of strong governance.

Tjiwarl AC is party to 3 major mining agreements and a unique comprehensive ILUA with the State of WA. Further major mining agreements are in negotiation. These more contemporary and innovative agreements provide exciting opportunities for Tjiwarl AC to preserve and protect heritage to the highest standard, pursue economic and social development opportunities for members and develop member programs aimed at addressing their short- and long-term needs. All of this aligns to a sustainability framework and strategic plan developed by the Tjiwarl Board and feedback directly from members. The on-going innovation and forward-thinking strategies of the Board and members make Tjiwarl AC a gold standard for PBC’s across the country.

The Role

The primary objective of this position is to:

  • Ensure legal and compliance obligations are met and for ongoing protection of Tjiwarl’s interests;
  • Provide legal advice with respect to commercial opportunities and contracts; and
  • Ensure legal compliance of all Land Access and Future Acts Matters as well as other key Tjiwarl Agreements, contracts, programs and projects 

As a member of the Executive Management Team, this position contributes to the strategic development, planning and management of the objects, vision and direction of Tjiwarl and provides advice to the CEO, Board and Elders Council within its areas of accountability. 

The Duties:

Duties and responsibilities 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 Tjiwarl. 
  • Legal advice and compliance with the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), 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 Tjiwarl’s Constitution. 
  • Legal and commercial advice on all facets of the corporation’s business as directed by the CEO.
  • Lead Compliance team

In House Counsel

  • Provide professional legal advice to the CEO, Board and stakeholders of Tjiwarl 
  • Drafting, review and approval of contracts and associated agreements.
  • Supporting negotiation with stakeholders including the Government, mining, partners and Tjiwarl members.
  • Developing, negotiating, implementing and monitoring and managing Native Title Agreements, contracts and sub-contracts including any amendments, annual escalation requirements and reporting.
  • Provide Commercial legal advice to CEO and Board 
  • Provide Compliance and risk management advice to CEO and Board
  • Develop compliance and internal management policies and procedures
  • Supporting development of general legal policies, contracting frameworks, policies, procedures, risk assessments, and monitoring industry and regulatory updates.
  • Professional representation of Tjiwarl to stakeholders, suppliers and industry.
  • Assisting with tender development for new business opportunities.
  • Supervise entire outside counsel as required.
  • Perform with outside counsel to present legal advice along with services on issues related to obligations, rights, risks and organisation privileges.
  • Collaborate with Operations, Finance, Heritage departments and Professional Development to assure legal adherence for special projects.
  • Collaborate with outside counsel to defend organisation’s rights in contract settlements, negotiations and litigation.
  • Conduct in-house education for Tjiwarl team members on relevant matters relating to risk management (including legal risk management);

Implementation and Compliance 

  • Ensure legal compliance with Comprehensive Agreements, Trust Deed and Tjiwarl Rule Book 
  • Ensure Tjiwarl 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 the Goldfields region 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; 
  • Assist with the development and implementation of Tjiwarl’s communications strategy; 
  • Other duties as required by the CEO.

Selection Criteria


  • Significant experience in commercial and contract law and/or Native Title law, particularly experience with drafting agreements & contracts;
  • Knowledge of commercial and contract law and/or Knowledge of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), 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, in house 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. Desirable: 
  • Cultural competence, particularly with Aboriginal people; 
  • Demonstrated ability to present concise legal advice to Board and CEO


  • Tertiary legal qualification and holding or being eligible to hold a current practising certificate as an Australian lawyer. 
  • 5+ 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 work loads

Licenses & Accreditations 

  • Cleared National Police Check 


  • Experience working with Aboriginal organisations and people. 

Salary & Benefits

  • A 24-month, fixed term, full time contract with possible extension.
  • A competitive salary will be negotiated based on experience.
  • 5 weeks annual leave.
  • The role is based in Perth with travel as required to the Tjiwarl Native Title area.

Please click 'Apply Now' to submit your application.

Please note: Applications for this position will only be accepted from those with Australian residency or a valid work permit. All candidates will be assessed based on their suitability to the criteria. The corporation reserves the right to employ their candidate of choice. There will be no appeal process. 

How to apply

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