Title: Casual Lawyer (CNS)
Company Name: Aboriginal Legal Service of WA Limited
Job Location: Australia, Western Australia, Perth, CBD, Inner & Western Suburbs, Perth
Employment Status: Casual/Vacation
CUSTODY NOTIFICATION SERVICE (CNS)
About the service
Aboriginal Legal Service of WA Limited (ALSWA) provides a 24-hour seven day per week Custody Notification Service (CNS) for all Aboriginal people detained in a police facility in Western Australia.
The CNS provides a culturally competent and thorough welfare service complemented by access to necessary legal advice. Western Australian legislation makes it mandatory for police to contact the ALSWA CNS every time an Aboriginal person is detained in a police facility. The CNS adopts a dual welfare / legal approach.
The CNS is staffed by culturally competent, trauma informed employees: three FTE Aboriginal Support Workers and five FTE lawyers.
CNS staff provide an immediate “R U OK” check to ensure that a person detained is not experiencing any serious health or welfare issues and following this check (which includes notifying the police of any immediate needs), the person detained will have access to legal advice where relevant. The CNS staff also, wherever possible, assist the person detained with referrals to relevant services including health services, mental health services, accommodation and homelessness services, counselling services and support to deal with unpaid fines. Where the person detained has been charged with an offence and wishes ALSWA to represent them, the CNS staff ensure all relevant information about the pending court date is distributed to the relevant ALSWA office/staff member. If the person detained requires legal assistance from non-criminal lawyers, referrals to the ALSWA Family Law Unit or Civil Law and Human Rights Unit (or an external legal provider) are made.
The CNS maximises the ability for the immediate health and welfare needs of Aboriginal people taken into police custody to be identified and addressed and consequently reduce Aboriginal deaths in custody.
About the role
Due to the 24-hour seven-day model, all roles will require flexibility of hours with contact time outside of normal working hours including weekends and public holidays. When outside of standard hours coverage is required, the successful candidate must be able to conduct their duties from their home (or other approved location).
The duties of the lawyer are to:
After the initial welfare inquiry, where relevant and with consent of the detained person, provide appropriate legal advice
The CNS can be busy and stressful. The CNS phone line must be staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week, every day of the year and every phone call being answered immediately.
Under the CNS model there is, as far as practicable, at least one CNS lawyer available at all times and at least one Aboriginal staff member available to speak with persons detained by police. There is additional CNS staff members on the roster for busy periods to ensure that calls are answered promptly and effectively.
This position requires a responsible person who is compassionate and self-motivated with well-developed interpersonal skills and personal integrity.
Knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal culture, society and the issues affecting Aboriginal people is required.
To be considered for a CNS opportunity, you will need to meet the following criteria:
Please note, shift work is an essential requirement of this position.
About our benefits
We have a friendly, caring and diverse work environment. We offer free counselling services to employees and immediate family through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), flexible working arrangements and opportunities for professional development.
In addition, these roles will attract overtime payment for work conducted outside standard hours.
ALSWA is a not for profit independent government funded organisation working to provide high quality representation and assistance to the Aboriginal community in WA.
Our aim is to deliver a quality legal service and education which contributes to participation, empowerment and recognition to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout WA. ALSWA has 11 offices across regional WA and practices in the areas of criminal, civil, human rights and family law, as well as law reform, community legal education, a diversionary program for Aboriginal youth and now, the custody notification service. The service is a ground-breaking program for our organisation.
How to apply
To submit your application, please send it to [email protected] . Your application must include a cover letter outlining what strengths you could bring to the role and your resume. Selection criteria is not required.
If you wish to discuss this opportunity in further detail, please speak with Hayley O’Hara, Managing Lawyer, ALSWA Custody Notification Service or ALSWA Human Resources.
Please note that an up-to-date COVID vaccination is a requirement of this role, and evidence of vaccination status will need to be provided during the recruitment process.
CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: 02 February 2022
For full position details, roles and responsibilities please visit the employment section of www.als.org.au.
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are seeking to increase the diversity of our workforce to better meet the differing needs of our clients and to improve equal opportunity outcomes for our employees. ALSWA strongly encourages applications from Indigenous Australians. We also encourage applications from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and people with a disability. We provide an environment that values diversity and supports all staff to reach their full potential.
Previous applicants are welcome to apply.