Mental Health Lawyer

  • Victorian Aboriginal Legal Services
  • Preston VIC, Australia
  • 26 Feb, 2024
Full time Criminal Law Employment & Industrial Relations Law First Nations & Maori Law Other

Job Description

Salary Offering: $81,317.60 - $87,377.11 depending on experience plus 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 of up to $15,900+ per FBT available via Maxxia

Overview of the role

This is an exciting opportunity for a successful candidate to be part of the first Aboriginal community controlled mental health legal service in Victoria. The Practice was established on 1 July 2022 in response to the recommendation by the Mental Health Royal Commission in Victoria to increase legal representation at the Mental Health Tribunal.

The successful applicant can also expect to take carriage of coronial matters where mental health care and treatment is an issue, work closely with the VALS Community Justice Program team on the delivery of community legal education, with the VALS Policy team on mental health law reforms impacting on our clients and with the Lotjpa Legal Service to help clients who have experienced mistreatment in mental health service provision to tell their story to the Yoo-rrook Commission. The role holder will also strengthen and maintain relationships with key stakeholders to increase awareness of our service and ensure strong referral pathways. Key stakeholders include mental health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled health service providers, other legal services, and mental health advocates

Office Location: 273 High Street Preston, Vic, 3072

This role is full-time fixed term until 30th of June 2026

This position may require regional and very occasional interstate travel.

Key Responsibilities:

Working with the Mental Health Senior Lawyer to establish a new mental health legal service at VALS. 

• Providing high quality, culturally safe and trauma informed legal services to clients. 

• Be culturally sensitive and committed to ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access to justice. 

• Operate under the general direction of the PML, Civil and Human Rights. 

• Be creative and innovative when engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in relation to community legal education.


  • . Admitted as a lawyer in the state of Victoria, ideally with experience in Aboriginal Legal Services, Legal Aid or Community Legal Centres. 
  • Demonstrated understanding of the issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and ability to effectively communicate, establish relationships and work in person with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This includes an understanding of the drivers of mental health issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians. 
  • Demonstrated high level diagnostic and problem-solving skills to accurately assess and address client needs and an understanding of culturally safe and trauma informed practice and how to apply them when providing services to clients.
  • Proven ability to work under pressure and work with clients with complex needs when the legal concepts involved are complex and difficult for the client to understand. 
  • A knowledge of the general business of VALS and a commitment to our vision and values.


  • Experience in working with, and providing safe services, to people experiencing mental health issues. 
  • Demonstrated experience in implementing community engagement activities, initiatives, and strategies.


On offer of this position, you must provide:

Copy of your current Employee Working with Children Card.

You will be required to complete a current Criminal History Police Check.

Up to date vaccination certificate or valid medical exemption

Proof of rights to work in Australia, i.e., a copy of an Australian Passport, Birth Certificate, or Immigration VISA documentation

Current valid Australian Driver’s Licence


To apply for this opportunity, please provide:

A covering letter outlining who you are and why you are suited to this position.

A statement addressing each of the key selection criteria – applications submitted without a statement addressing the key selection criteria will not be accepted. Please note the key selection criteria is found within the position description.

Your resume detailing your education and professional experience and two referees.

Please submit your application to the subject line: POSITION TITLE

Please note:

*Only successful applications will be contacted*

We do not accept unsolicited resumes from employment agencies. No (search) fee will be paid in the event we hire a candidate whose resume is submitted by an employment agency to any of our employees without a valid written recruitment agreement. Such resumes shall be deemed the sole property of VALS.

Firm or Organisation Name

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Services

Contact Name


Email Address

Job Level



Legal services