Employment Opportunities - Project Coordinator and Access & Inclusion Officer

The Voices for Change is an emerging independent self-advocacy group for people with acquired brain injury who have been incarcerated. The group has recently received an ILC grant from the Commonwealth Department of Social Services for a project that will be auspiced through the Fitzroy Legal Service.   As a result two employment opportunities are now available - Project Coordinator and Access & Inclusion Officer.

ABOUT VOICES FOR CHANGE

The Voices for Change are an emerging Self-Advocacy group for people with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) who have been incarcerated. The group is focused on using their voice to reduce the number of people with ABI getting involved in the criminal justice system; to help people with ABI have the skills and confidence they need to raise their voices and concerns; and to support people with ABI to talk about issues that matter to them to make change.

The group formed in 2019 and works to:

  • Be a voice for people with an ABI who have been incarcerated;
  • Make sure that the needs and rights of people with ABI and other disabilities are known, understood and upheld throughout all parts of the criminal justice system;
  • Build awareness of the needs of people with ABI through health and community organisations;
  • Help people with ABI know their rights, and have the skills and confidence they need to speak up and have their voices heard and respected;
  • Work with the justice system to improve safety and awareness of the needs of people with ABI in the community;
  • Be a safe and non-judgemental place for people with ABI and criminal justice experience.

In 2019, group members completed Voices for Justice training with Victoria’s Self-Advocacy Resource Unit (SARU). This training was developed by SARU with support from the Centre for Innovative Justice at RMIT University (CIJ) to develop skills among people with cognitive disability and lived experience of the criminal justice system to understand their rights and build their confidence to have their voices heard. At the completion of the training, graduates joined together to form Voices for Change.

The group is currently made up of 6 members with diverse experiences and support needs. They share in common ABI and past experiences of the justice system and have all at times had diverse and complex support needs. As an emerging self-advocacy group, Voices for Change is beginning to understand the best way to support members to develop and lead the group.

PROJECT COORDINATOR

A full position description can be downloaded here or read below.

POSITION OUTLINE

Classification and conditions

The terms and conditions of employment are set out in the Community Legal Centres 2006-2009 Multiple Business Agreement (MBA) and Fitzroy Legal Service policies.  This position is classified at Level 6of the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services (SCHCADS) Industry Award

All positions at Fitzroy Legal Service are subject to the continuation of external funding.  The position is offered as a part-time (22.8 hours per week) position.

Duration

Until June 2022

Location

This position can be based at the Reservoir or Fitzroy office and will involve travel to the other office and offsite as required

Responsible to

VfC & Principal Lawyer, Legal Practice

Direct Report/s

VfC Access and Inclusion Officer

How to apply

Candidates are requested to email the following as one PDF document:

· A covering letter, no longer than two pages, and which addresses the key selection criteria; and

· A resume which includes details of education, work and volunteer experience.

Applications should be addressed to Jen Black, Principal Lawyer Legal Practice and emailed as soon as possible but no later than 5pm Friday 15th January 2021  to jblack@fls.org.au.  Enquiries can be made to Jen Black via email jblack@fls.org.au.

POSITION SUMMARY

The Project Coordinator will support Voices for Change to implement an ILC project funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services to build the group’s organisational capacity. This project will allow Voices for Change to develop and strengthen strategies to up-skill the organisation to function more effectively

As Project Coordinator, you will strengthen the capacity of group members to lead the group while providing a strong system of support that allows the group to set its own capacity-building pace. Supporting the group to grow at its own pace is vital to group sustainability as people from this cohort often experience very complex life circumstances and are vulnerable to becoming overwhelmed if insufficient supports are in place. This up-skilling and support will enable the organisation to function effectively and sustainably.

The ILC project will also enable Voices for Change to develop a clear organisational strategy and outlook, underpinned by a needs analysis. The Project Coordinator will support the group to conduct this needs analysis, which will include an assessment of:

  • The barriers to people with ABI and justice system experience joining the group;
  • The needs of people with ABI and justice system experience in a peer group;
  • The best way to support group members to be self-advocates;
  • The best way for the group to use lived experience to create change;
  • The skills needed to improve the way the group works with other organisations;
  • Ways to support new members to the group; and
  • How best to grow Voices for Change.

This assessment will enable the group to better understand the support needs and barriers for people with ABI and justice system involvement to engage in peer support and grow their self-advocacy skills. It will also help the group to identify other activities necessary for it to work towards its mission. As a result of this needs analysis, the group will be able to develop a clear organisational strategy and plan to address these matters. This will help the group to attract and retain new members, mature as an organisation and operate more effectively and sustainably into the future.

KEY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Project Management

The Project Coordinator will be responsible for the day-to-day delivery of the Voices for Change ILC capacity building project. You will be responsible for acquitting the project in line with the group’s wishes, the Auspice Agreement with Fitzroy Legal Service and the grant agreement with the Commonwealth government.

Activities will include supporting the Voices for Change members to acquit key grant requirements including:

  • Project planning;
  • Developing a group needs analysis and strategy;
  • Preparing regular project reports in line with the grant agreement;
  • Managing the project’s funds in partnership with Fitzroy Legal Service;
  • Coordinating events and meetings;
  • Attracting new members including the development and implementation of a new member plan and event; and
  • Building the group’s relationships with other justice system, health and disability service providers.

Coordinate regular group meetings

Voices for Change meet regularly to facilitate discussion and learning between members on their self-advocacy, disability access and community participation experiences. As Project Coordinator, you will be responsible for coordinating regular meetings, taking and distributing minutes and supporting group members to participate in activities. The meetings include skill-building and engagement with community organisations.

Stakeholder Engagement

As an emerging self-advocacy group, Voices for Change are developing relationships with key justice system, health and disability sector organisations. As Project Coordinator, you will be responsible for managing these stakeholder relationships, as well as managing and communicating opportunities to engage in policy and events to the group.

Capacity Building

In supporting the group to acquit the project, you will work with the group to build their skills and manage the group dynamic. This will include working closely with group member’s support workers and other employees of the grant to ensure an accessible, inclusive and safe group environment.

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA

Essential Knowledge and Skills

  • A responsive and open-minded approach to advocacy with an ability to ensure an accessible, inclusive and safe group environment
  • Demonstrated experience:
    • Project management
    • Stakeholder engagement
    • Working with people with cognitive disability
  • An understanding of the overrepresentation and experiences of people with disability who have been incarcerated;
  • A commitment to and understanding of human rights including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability;
  • Knowledge of the disability advocacy or self-advocacy sector, and an ability to apply the principles of community inclusion, empowerment and consumer participation in planning and decision making.
  • Highly developed organisational skills and the ability to work under pressure and manage competing demands;
  • Good self-care and stress management skills;
  • Excellent communication skills including knowledge of accessible communication styles and Plain English;
  • Competent IT skills including proficiency in Microsoft Office and online meeting platforms; and
  • Ability to facilitate conflict resolution and support effective group dynamics.

Qualifications and experience

  • Experience working with people with cognitive disability;
  • Experience working as a project worker, adviser or similar role is desirable;
  • Tertiary qualifications in social work, community development or disability studies or demonstrated equivalent experience and skills; and
  • First Aid certificate is desirable.

Personal Attributes

  • Strong commitment to social justice;
  • Dedicated to achieving excellent outcomes for the Voices for Change group and its members;
  • Ability to contribute to a positive working environment;
  • Team orientation;
  • Discretion and professionalism; and
  • Compassion and understanding

The Fitzroy Legal Service is an inclusive employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability. People with lived experience of disability and/or the criminal justice system are encouraged to apply.

 

ACCESS AND INCLUSION OFFICER

The Access and Inclusion Officer will work with the Project Coordinator to support Voices for Change to implement an ILC project funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services to build the group’s organisational capacity. This project will allow Voices for Change to develop and strengthen strategies to up-skill the organisation to function more effectively.

A full position description can be downloaded here or read below.

POSITION OUTLINE

Classification and conditions

The terms and conditions of employment are set out in the Community Legal Centres 2006-2009 Multiple Business Agreement (MBA) and Fitzroy Legal Service policies.  This position is classified at Level 4  of the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services (SCHCADS) Industry Award

All positions at Fitzroy Legal Service are subject to the continuation of external funding.   The position is offered as a part-time (22.8 hours per week) position.

Duration

Until June 2022

Location

This position can be based at the Reservoir or Fitzroy office and will involve travel to the other office and offsite as required

Responsible to

VfC Project Coordinator

Direct Report/s

Nil

How to apply

Candidates are requested to email the following as one PDF document:

· A covering letter, no longer than two pages, and which addresses the key selection criteria; and

· A resume which includes details of education, work and volunteer experience.

Applications should be addressed to Jen Black, Principal Lawyer Legal Practice and emailed as soon as possible but no later than 5pm Friday 15th January 2021  to jblack@fls.org.au.  Enquiries can be made to Jen Black via email jblack@fls.org.au.

As Access and Inclusion Officer, you will strengthen the capacity of group members to lead the group while providing a strong system of support that allows the group to set its own capacity-building pace. Supporting the group to grow at its own pace is vital to group sustainability as people from this cohort often experience very complex life circumstances and are vulnerable to becoming overwhelmed if insufficient supports are in place. This up-skilling and support will enable the organisation to function effectively and sustainably.

The ILC project will also support Voices for Change to build relationships with a  wide variety of stakeholders involved in the criminal justice system and support members to engage in consultation, training and community engagement opportunities as they arise.  The Access and Inclusion Officer will support members to engage in opportunities through preparation and de-briefing activities, reminders, note taking and advocating for accessible meeting practices. 

The Access and Inclusion Officer will ensure that meeting agendas, minutes and relevant documents and information are in accessible formats and support members to have full understanding and be engaged in project deliverables, processes, decision making and outcomes.

KEY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Project Deliverables

The Access and Inclusion Officer will work with the Project Coordinator and Group Members to ensure the day-to-day delivery of the Voices for Change capacity building project. You will be part of acquitting the project in line with the groups wishes, the Auspice Agreement with Fitzroy Legal Service and the grant agreement with the Commonwealth government.

Activities will include supporting the Voices for Change members to acquit key grant requirements including:

  • Project planning, delivery and evaluation;
  • Resource development;
  • Supporting events and meetings;
  • Attracting new members including the development and implementation of a new member plan and event;
  • Building the group’s relationships with other justice system, health and disability service providers; and
  • Ensuring all information, resources, meetings and events are accessible and led by the group.

Regular group meetings

Voices for Change meet regularly to facilitate discussion and learning between members on their self-advocacy, disability access and community participation experiences. As Access and Inclusion Officer, you will support members to attend regular meetings, provide IT support for online events, support group members understanding of information and ensure meetings, events and group communication is accessible and inclusive.

Stakeholder Engagement

As an emerging self-advocacy group, Voices for Change are developing relationships with key justice system, health and disability sector organisations. As Access and Inclusion Officer, you will be responsible for supporting these stakeholder relationships, as well as supporting group members to engage in activities relevant to the group.

Capacity Building

In supporting the group to acquit the project, you will work with the group to build their skills and manage the group dynamic. This will include working closely with group member’s support workers and other employees of the grant to ensure an accessible, inclusive and safe group environment.

KEY SELECTION CRITERIA

Essential Knowledge, and Skills

  • A responsive and open-minded approach to advocacy with an ability to ensure an accessible, inclusive and safe group environment;
  • Demonstrated experience:
    • Accessible communication
    • Stakeholder engagement
    • Working with people with cognitive disability
  • An understanding of the overrepresentation and experiences of people with disability who have been incarcerated;
  • A commitment to and understanding of human rights including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability;
  • Knowledge of the disability advocacy or self-advocacy sector, and an ability to apply the principles of community inclusion, empowerment and consumer participation in planning and decision making;
  • Highly developed organisational skills;
  • Good self-care and stress management skills;
  • Excellent communication skills including knowledge of accessible communication styles and Plain English
  • Competent IT skills including proficiency in Microsoft Office and online meeting platforms; and
  • Ability to facilitate conflict resolution and support effective group dynamics.

Qualifications and experience

  • Experience working with people with cognitive disability;
  • Experience working with diverse communities or a similar role is desirable;
  • Tertiary qualifications in social work, community development or disability studies or demonstrated equivalent experience and skills; and
  • First Aid certificate is desirable.

Personal Attributes

  • Dedicated to achieving excellent outcomes for the Voices for Change group and its members;
  • Strong commitment to social justice;
  • Ability to contribute to a positive working environment;
  • Team orientation;
  • Discretion and professionalism; and
  • Compassion and understanding

The Fitzroy Legal Service is an inclusive employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability. People with lived experience of disability and/or the criminal justice system are encouraged to apply.