Senior Mental Health Lawyer

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

Job Description

Salary Offering: $94,458 - $98,625.80 (depending on experience) plus superannuation

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.

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 role is responsible for conduct of matters in the MHLRS within the Civil and Human Rights practice at VALS. 

The Senior Lawyer can expect to have carriage of more complex casework in the practice and will work closely with the Managing Lawyer of the practice to build up VALS’ MHLRS services in the first year of the practice.

Key Responsibilities 

  • MHT matters, appearing as an advocate and conducting casework, generally with respect to community and inpatient treatment orders. 
  • Appeals to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal from MHT decisions. 
  • Mental health discrimination and complaint matters. 
  • Coronial inquest matters with a mental health dimension.
  • Wraparound civil justice services for clients experiencing mental health issues, from the Civil and Human Rights team’s core practice areas. 

Key Selection Criteria

  1. Comprehensive understanding of the issues Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face in relation to the delivery of legal services and a commitment to advancing VALS strategic priorities.
  2. Knowledge of, and expertise in the provision of legal services to those with acute and complex mental health issues. Demonstrated ability to provide trauma informed, culturally safe and accessible services to those clients.
  3. Highly developed interpersonal, presentation, verbal and written communication and partnership development skills. This includes with diverse stakeholders, including VALS colleagues, members of the judiciary, partner organisations and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community members experiencing significant anxiety and stress as part of traumatic client work and proceedings. 
  4. Capability to provide independent, strategic specialist legal advice and guidance to VALS lawyers and community justice teams on complex legal matters and or policy issues impacting the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 


  • 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