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Out and About Support Officer

Switchboard Victoria

Out and About Support Officer

Switchboard Victoria is based on the lands of the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung peoples.

We acknowledge that our work takes place on lands that are under colonial occupation and that sovereignty has never been ceded. We hope to pay our deepest respects to Boon Wurrung elders, past and present, and wish to extend this respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People across this Country we know as Australia.

About Switchboard Victoria (Inc.)

Switchboard Victoria is a community-based, not for profit organisation that provides peer-based, volunteer driven support services for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and gender diverse, Intersex, Queer, Asexual and more (LGBTIQA+) people and their friends, families and allies.

Our current activities include:

  • Phone and web counselling and referral – Switchboard is the Victorian partner in the national Qlife service. QLife provides anonymous and free LGBTIQA+ peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings, or relationships.
  • Community connections for older LGBTI people – Switchboard’s Out & About program aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness through creating friendship and connection between LGBTI seniors living anywhere in Victoria and peer volunteer visitors.
  • Rainbow Door - is a free specialist LGBTIQA+ helpline providing information, support, and referral to all LGBTIQA+ Victorians, their friends and family. Rainbow Door supports people of all ages and identities with issues that may include suicidal thoughts, family, and intimate partner violence (including elder abuse), alcohol and other drugs, relationship issues, sexual assault, social isolation, mental health and wellbeing.
  • Suicide prevention - research and development of suicide prevention resources and programs for LGBTIQA+ communities.
  • QTIBPoC Programs - The QTIBPoC programs aim to build greater equity for Queer, Trans, Intersex and Bla(c)k, Indigenous and/or People of Colour and People of Faith. In consultation with key stakeholders, Switchboard’s QTIBPoC Programs will build internal capacity to meet QTIBPoC community needs and extend into targeted services.
  • Training Program – Switchboard delivers a range of training to the community and service sector organisations. Trainings offerings include LGBTIQA+ Inclusive Practice, How to Recognise and Respond to F/IPV, How To Talk About Suicide Safely, Everyday Racism In The Workplace and Peer Support Training. Staff are accredited to deliver LivingWorks programs ASIST and safeTALK.
  • Rainbow Families - Connecting and supporting LGBTIQA+ parents, carers, and their families. Supporting services to develop and deliver rainbow family-inclusive better practice across Victoria​.

Position Details

  • Title: Out and About Program Officer
  • Organisation: Switchboard Victoria (Inc)
  • Employment Type: 0.6 FTE (22.5 hours per week)
  • Classification / Remuneration: Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry (SCHADS) Award 2010 Community Services Employee Level 4.1. Plus, Superannuation 11%. Plus, tax benefit from salary sacrifice package of up to $15,899
  • Location: St Kilda
  • Reports to: Out and About Program Manager
  • Direct reports: None

About Out and About

Switchboard’s Out and About program is a free service connecting older LGBTI+ Victorians with community. Out and About aims to alleviate social isolation and loneliness experienced by LGBTI+ older people accessing aged care services and supports. Out and About is Victoria’s only statewide LGBTI+ specific service funded by the national Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS). Out and About matches friendly LGBTI+ visitors with older people living at home or in residential aged care for regular one-on-one visits. Visits involve social activities such as talking, going for a walk, sharing life stories, watching TV, or attending events.

LGBTI+ older people experience unique hurdles within the aged care system. This includes experiences of discrimination, limited recognition of their needs by service providers, invisibility in policy frameworks and a higher risk of social isolation when compared to the general population. Friendship and connection with a peer Out and About visitor can be of benefit to individuals in these circumstances. Out and About staff also work with and advocate to aged care and health services to support their efforts in LGBTI+ inclusion. Read more on Switchboard’s website or Facebook page.

Position Overview

The aim of this role is to provide support to Switchboard Victoria’s Out and About staff, volunteers, and service users. The position involves working with new and existing program participants (socially isolated LGBTI+ seniors) to undertake service intake, quality assurance tasks and provide communication with participants and volunteers. The incumbent will also support Out and About staff with volunteer recruitment, orientation and induction, community building, communication, and some administration. There will be occasional work outside of regular office hours and travel across Victoria to meet with service users and volunteers and attend events.

Responsibilities and Duties

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Service intake – this role will support the team to receive referrals and conduct intake of service participants (clients). Tasks include support to intake new participants and undertake regular check-ins with existing participants, arrange matching and home risk assessment visits, record client interactions in line with privacy and confidentiality processes, and update participant information in the client management system as required.
  • Quality assurance – this role will support the team to ensure the program operates in accordance with current legislation, guidelines, and organisational policies. Tasks include identifying risk and resolving/escalating issues as they arise, complying with Switchboard policies and procedures, practice manuals, service agreements and other relevant agency or legislative obligations, and contributing to a positive organisational culture and positively promote the organisation. Work with other Switchboard colleagues to ensure services are culturally safe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service users and that practice is delivered through an anti-racist lens. Participate in continuous quality improvement activities, and the development and review of program and organisational policies, procedures, and systems.
  • Communication – this role will support the team to communicate with stakeholders, Switchboard staff and volunteers and clients. Tasks include attendance at community and aged care sector events, development and distribution of promotional information and newsletters, OHS/COVID updates and other correspondence as needed.
  • Volunteer recruitment, orientation, and induction – this role will support the Out and About Service Coordinator to recruit, orient and induct volunteers. Tasks include attendance at community events, development and distribution of promotional information, support to maintain volunteer waiting list, assist with induction and screening checks, assist with recording and maintenance of volunteer information using the Better Impact volunteer management system. Organise all practical aspects of volunteer induction and training sessions such as room booking, communication with participants, coordinating speakers, catering and other tasks.
  • Administration – this role will support the team to complete program administration. Tasks include filing and related administration for the team, update client/volunteer information in the Better Impact information management system, any other program administrative support as required.

Key Selection Criteria


  • Applicant must identify as part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender diverse, Intersex, asexual (LGBTIQA+) [Switchboard Victoria has an exemption under the Equal Employment].
  • An understanding of the complex issues faced by socially isolated older members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender diverse, Intersex, asexual, (LGBTIQA+) communities.
  • An understanding of what it means to take an antiracist and intersectional approach to every aspect of your work.
  • Demonstrated experience working in information and/or client data management systems, including compliance with privacy legislation, confidentiality requirements and commitment to discretion in working with client and volunteer personal information.
  • Demonstrated strong organisational skills, ability to prioritise tasks and meet deadlines, and to work independently and as part of a team, problem solve and achieve program objectives with limited supervision.
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills and exceptional verbal and written communication skills with demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with people from a wide range of ages, professional and cultural backgrounds.
  • A current Australian drivers’ license (or equivalent).
  • Current Victoria Police Check (or willingness to undergo this prior to commencement).
  • Access to a car that you are willing to use for local and regional travel, with third party insurance and roadside assist.

Highly Desirable:

  • Previous experience working with LGBTIQA+ people who identify as queer, trans, intersex and bla(c)k and/or people of colour.
  • Demonstrated experience volunteering or working to support older people with disability and/or care needs.
  • Speak a first language other than English.

To ensure you are familiar with Switchboard’s purpose, programs, and ways of working, please visit our website at www.switchboard.org.au. For information, please contact Flick Scarce, Acting Out and About Program Manager at [email protected] using the subject line: Out and About Support Officer enquiry via EthicalJobs.

How to apply

Carefully review the key selection criteria and address these in your application. In addition, include your resume listing all relevant employment and volunteer experience and qualifications.

Please submit your application through the form by clicking "Apply Now".

Please note that applications that do not address the key selection criteria will not be considered.

Switchboard Victoria is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion in our workforce and will consider all qualified applicants, regardless of sex, gender, gender identity or expression, age, disability or national origin. Switchboard especially welcomes and encourages applications from people who are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander; trans, gender diverse or intersex; disabled; carers; live with HIV, are culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD), People of Colour and/or People of Faith; identify with having lived experiences of suicide and mental ill-health.

Find out more about working at Switchboard at http://www.switchboard.org.au/

Apply now

Applications for this role will take you to the employer’s site.

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Apply now

Applications for this role will take you to the employer's site.

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