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Contract/Temporary
Part Time

Policy Officer – Consumer Action Law Centre

Closing date
25 Oct 2019
Job Location
Melbourne
Job Description

We have an opportunity for a Policy Officer (Indigenous Identified) to join an exciting integrated practice project between Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) and the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS). Join this ground-breaking Integrated Practice project which has already had a measurable, positive impact for Victorian Aboriginal communities. 

This ground-breaking successful project has already had a measurable, positive impact for Victorian Aboriginal communities. The team has conducted over 12 community engagement sessions across Victoria which has resulted in a 25% increase to the number of Aboriginal people receiving consumer, credit and debt assistance through Consumer Action and a 75% increase for VALS compared to the same period in 2018.

The Victorian Aboriginal community are learning about their legal rights and have improved access to legal support on issues such as:

  • unsuitable funeral products including funeral expenses insurance
  • Credit and debt issues
  • add on insurance
  • essential services debt and disconnection
  • rent for keeps (consumer lease)
  • payday loans (short term loans)
  • problem cars and car loans
  • debt collectors
  • credit report and bankruptcy
  • unsolicited and high-pressure selling activity such as door knocking.

We have an exciting opportunity for a Policy Officer to join the project, who will be working collaboratively with VALS and providing support to CALC’s Koori Engagement Manager, CALC legal practice and VALS consumer credit and debt lawyer. The Policy Officer will be a part of a close-knit team, travelling out to Victorian Aboriginal communities to hear first-hand about the impacts of consumer, credit and debt issues.

Consumer Action’s Policy and Campaigns team uses the experiences of our clients as evidence to show the need for systemic change, and engages with government, regulators, media, industry and community to advocate for enforcement action, law reform and sound policy for low income and vulnerable consumers.

The employment of a dedicated Consumer Action Policy Officer through the IP project has led to greater attention being given to issues facing Victorian Aboriginal communities.

About this role

  • Classification/s: Advocacy & Campaigns, Indigenous, Legal & Human Rights, Policy & Research
  • Sector/s: Not For Profit (NFP)

Based on the recognised success of this project during 2019, we are excited to now have funding to continue our work for a further 12 months. We have a one year fixed term vacancy for an experienced policy and community engagement specialist to join Consumer Action Law Centre in this identified position of Policy Officer. This is a 0.8 FTE part-time role (0.7 or 0.6 may be negotiable).

This position is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people only (mandatory requirement). [1]

The Policy Officer, together with other project team members, attends community engagement sessions to:

  • provide information to communities across a range of issues;
  • identify the breadth and depth of consumer credit and debt issues in community and feed this back to the organisation and to decision makers; and
  • identify case studies that can be utilised for policy work.

About Consumer Action

Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) is an independent, not-for-profit consumer, credit and debt advocacy organisation located in Melbourne, Australia. Our purpose is to make life easier for people experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage in Australia. We do this through:

  • financial counselling services;
  • the provision of legal advice and legal representation to Victorians; and
  • through training of, and engagement with, other services and with community groups.

Our front-line service delivery work is integrated with our research, campaigning and policy work. Through this work, we identify and seek to address systemic issues to make the system fairer for all Victorians.

About you

  • This position requires a person who can demonstrate a commitment to building and maintaining strong relationships with Victorian Aboriginal Communities (including the organisations that support those communities) across the state.
  • You have demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the Victorian Aboriginal communities, both social and cultural and an understanding of the barriers to accessing justice and appropriate services;
  • You have experience working with communities in a justice or community service related area (such as mental health, community services, housing and homeless services, drug and alcohol services or youth services);
  • Your strong writing and research skills will allow you to contribute to and undertake policy research and prepare briefs, submissions, reports, articles, fact sheets and other materials;
  • You have familiarity with the theory and practice of policy making and research, and experience linking your work to policy outcomes and campaigning. Some knowledge of consumer and credit issues would be an advantage but is not essential: a legal background is not necessary.

Consumer Action Law Centre is committed to offering a culturally safe, flexible and supportive working environment. This role is based at our offices in Melbourne CBD, although some remote working may be possible. Due to the nature of the position, travel to outreach services will sometimes be necessary, so a full driver’s licence is required.

The salary offered will be between $83,000 - $87,000 depending upon experience, plus superannuation. Consumer Action Law Centre offers salary packaging therefore depending upon personal financial circumstances the value of the salary may be equivalent to up to approximately $7,000 higher.

[1] Consumer Action Law Centre considers that being Aboriginal and/or a Torres Strait Islander person is a genuine occupational requirement for this position under subsection 26(3) or section 28 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic).

For a confidential discussion about this position contact the Human Resources Manager, Denise Lawry on (03) 9670 5088.

How to apply for this job

Please submit your application by Friday 25th October 2019 to:

Human Resources Manager

recruitment@consumeraction.org.au, using the subject line: Policy Officer application via APO / Ethical Jobs.

Your application must include:

  • A Cover Letter
  • Your CV
  • Responses to the following Key Selection Criteria questions:
  1. Describe your experience in community engagement work with Victorian Aboriginal Communities. In your opinion, what are the most important skills, attributes and factors for positive, meaningful community engagement?
  2. How have you demonstrated a commitment to social justice and advancing the public interest, either in your career to date or activities outside work?
  3. Describe a project you have worked on as part of a collaborative team. What was your role in the team, what was the project aim and the outcome?
  4. What is the most significant policy submission or campaign you have worked on? Why does it stand out?
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