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Research and Policy Officer - Aboriginal Justice Caucus Project

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service

Salary Offering: $79,049 – $83,496 (VALS RB 1.1 -RC 1.2 depending on experience, plus 11% Superannuation

Additional Benefits:

  • 17.5% Leave Loading
  • 5 extra days leave on top of 20 days annual leave
  • Only required to work 35 hours per week, any extra hours worked will be calculated as your Time In Lieu (TOIL) – which you may use as additional leave hours
  • Access to company vehicles for any work-related trips
  • Salary packaging is available via Maxxia

Office Locations: Preston Office - 273 High Street, Preston VIC 3072

This role is full-time fixed term until 30 June 2024.

This position will require regional and very occasional interstate travel.


This role supports the Aboriginal Justice Caucus (AJC) to review Victoria’s implementation of recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC). This includes research, engagement with Aboriginal groups and organisations, and supporting AJC engagement with the Yoorrook Justice Commission through preparation of briefings and policy submissions.

This role is part of a small project team within the Policy, Communications and Strategy area of VALS. Working collaboratively across VALS, the Policy, Communications and Strategy Team produces high quality research, co-ordinates research partnerships and projects, develops and implements advocacy strategies, and prepares policy submissions and initiatives.

Duties & responsibilities

Policy, Research and Advocacy:

  • Work closely with AJC and VALS colleagues to collect, analyse and synthesise research, information and other data relevant to RCIADIC recommendations to support AJC assessments of implementation progress.
  • Research, write and prepare briefings, position papers, reports and submissions that contribute to AJC policy and advocacy related to RCIADIC and the Yoorrook Justice Commission
  • Provide support and advice to the AJC Chairs and members to fulfil their role in advocating for systemic change at meetings, conferences and forums.
  • Engage and participate in relevant working groups and fora as required.
  • Provide support to develop and implement research projects

Stakeholder Management:

  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with the AJC Chairpersons and members and other key internal and external stakeholders, including Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committees, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, government, community legal organisations and research institutions.
  • Collaborate with relevant internal stakeholders to deliver policy and advocacy initiatives in partnerships with external organisations and the broader community
  • Participate in relevant coalitions to further AJC’s strategic aims and to develop and present on policy, research & advocacy activities at meetings and conferences as required

Strategy and Planning:

  • Develop policy, research and advocacy agenda in line with the project plan
  • Work with colleagues and stakeholders to achieve AJC’s strategic objectives
  • Identify and respond to emerging opportunities to influence law and policy

Internal Obligations:

  • Commitment to VALS’ strategic plan, AJC’ strategic goals and the aims of Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja (the fourth phase of the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement)
  • Attend and actively contribute at team and AJC working group meetings
  • Mentor and/or support Policy, Communications and Strategy team members
  • Supervise and guide other project staff, contractors and/or volunteers
  • Participate in supervision meetings and performance reviews with the Senior Policy, Research & Advocacy Officer (AJC Project) and the Head of Policy, Communications and Strategy
  • Undertake other duties and responsibilities within the scope of the role as directed



  1. Experience in research, policy analysis or advocacy and/or relevant tertiary qualification/s (e.g. public policy, law, criminology, politics, journalism or related fields)
  2. Understanding of justice issues faced by Aboriginal communities in Victoria
  3. Ability to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from diverse backgrounds
  4. Demonstrated relationship-building and stakeholder engagement skills including in effectively engaging communities in policy or advocacy development.
  5. Well-developed policy, research and analytical skills and capacity to understand and apply research evidence to policy issues and/or legislation
  6. High-level written and verbal communication skills relevant to the role such as experience of writing policy documents, briefings, government submissions or media communications
  7. Ability to work autonomously and to collaborate in a small team environment
  8. High level organisational and administrative skills including the ability to prioritise workload, work under pressure and meet deadlines
  9. Demonstrated computer literacy skills and proficiency using Microsoft Office and other relevant software


  1. Lived-experience of the criminal legal system
  2. Understanding of the role of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations
  3. Knowledge of Victoria’s criminal legal system or other policy areas relevant to the RCIADIC (health, education, housing, employment, economic development etc)
  4. Experience working in the non-profit sector

How to apply

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