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Program Director - Justice Advocacy Service - Flexible Location

Intellectual Disability Rights Service

IDRS is looking for an experienced service manager who will bring a passion for justice plus strong leadership and service management skills to the position of Program Director of the Justice Advocacy Service.

  • Opportunity to lead staff and volunteers to deliver and develop an exceptional service for people with cognitive impairment involved in the criminal justice system as victims or defendants.
  • 3 year contract position till June 2025 extension depending on funding.
  • Salary based on SCHADS Level 8 with NFP salary packaging benefits.
  • Please note that this is an advocacy role, not an NDIS funded position

Location: Negotiable – It is anticipated that the Program Director will be located in the Sydney CBD office. However, working from a regional base may be possible for the right applicant. If based in a regional location, the Program Director would be expected to work at least 4 days each month in the Sydney office. Some travel within NSW will also be required.

About IDRS

Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS) is a disability advocacy service and community legal centre working for over 30 years to ‘make rights real’ for people with intellectual and other cognitive impairments in NSW through a range of legal and advocacy services.  We value and demonstrate justice, respect and persistence in all our work. 

About the Justice Advocacy Service 

The Justice Advocacy Service (JAS) is a free statewide service that supports young people and adults with cognitive impairment to exercise their rights when in contact with the NSW criminal justice system. With the generous support of our volunteers, JAS works with people with cognitive disability arising from a range of causes. Justice Advocates are based in Sydney and in rural and regional locations across NSW.  

At present JAS is extending it service to include a new court-based diversion service based in in 6 local courts – Penrith, Blacktown, Parramatta, Downing Centre, Gosford and Lismore to support applications for diversion under section 14 of the Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020.  

JAS is funded by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice until June 2025. Visit our website for information about Justice Advocacy Service. 

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Service delivery
  • Leadership
  • Continuous improvement and service evaluation
  • Stakeholder relations
  • Financial & Asset Management 
  • Work, health & safety
  • Policy & Systemic Advocacy

Essential skills and experience

  • Experience leading services for people with cognitive impairment, or for other disadvantaged groups, including commitment to advancing the rights of people experiencing disadvantage.
  • Proven strategies to lead program design, evaluation and continuous improvement to maximise positive outcomes for service users.
  • Experience in workforce and budget management.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and lead positive service culture across multiple sites, including regional and rural centres. 
  • Understanding of the systemic barriers impacting disadvantaged groups, including people with disability, and commitment to advancing rights of disadvantaged people.
  • Proven high level skills in negotiation and collaboration with internal and external    stakeholders.
  • Tertiary qualifications in human services, management or related area.


  • Sound understanding of the operation of the criminal justice system.

Visit our website www.idrs.org.au for more information about IDRS 

Enquiries: contact Janene Cootes, Executive Officer Intellectual Disability Rights Service 02 9265 6300.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are encouraged to apply for this position 

Only applications addressing the Essential Skills and Experience will be considered. 

A position description is attached.

To submit your application, click Apply Now. 

How to apply

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