Employment Opportunity: Managing Solicitor

Managing Solicitor – Health Justice Program, Women’s Legal Centre ACT 

  • Exciting opportunity to lead, develop and manage our innovative Health Justice Program 
  • Work with a multi-disciplinary team, including health staff to deliver legal services to women experiencing or at risk of family violence. 
  • Build strong, collaborative relationships with a wide range of stakeholders.  
  • Develop and deliver training to health staff and contribute to law reform. 
  • Competitive remuneration package, including generous PBI salary packaging, leave loading, paid Christmas shut down, and flex time. 

What we’re looking for 

The Women’s Legal Centre is looking for a Managing Solicitor to lead our Health Justice Program. The Women’s Legal Centre operates two Health Justice Partnerships (HJPs), at Gungahlin Child and Family Centre (GCFC) and Calvary Public Hospital. These embedded Partnerships work together to provide safe and confidential legal assistance to women affected by domestic and family violence to support better health and justice outcomes. 

This position will be filled on a 12-month contract.  

You should be able to: 

  • Build and maintain relationships with senior staff at Calvary Public Hospital Maternity and Gungahlin Child and Family Centre, including working with midwives, social workers and other health professionals, to provide coordinated and responsive assistance to clients within multi-disciplinary teams  
  • provide advice, assistance and representation to women who are experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence on a range of matters, including care arrangements for children, care and protection matters, property disputes and protection orders  
  • develop and deliver community legal education to health professionals to build their capacity to identify and respond to legal issues 
  • Represent the Centre and work with various stakeholders, including funders and evaluators, to deliver and promote program objectives 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women with disability, and women from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Applicants must be eligible for a restricted practising certificate in the Australian Capital Territory and a WWVP Card (ACT). 

Note: Being a woman is a genuine occupational qualification under section 34 of the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) and section 30 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth). 

How to apply 

Please email your application to Sarah Milson-Mahy, Deputy Principal Solicitor at: smilsonmahy@womenslegalact.org. 

Your application should include: 

  • your current CV; 
  • response to selection criteria in the position description (maximum 2 pages); and
  • the names and contact details of two referees who have supervised your work. 

Applications close 9am Monday 21 September 2020. 

For more information, please contact Sarah at smilsonmahy@womenslegalact.org or call (02) 6257 4377. 

Managing Solicitor HJP – Position Description

Employment Opportunity: Solicitor

Solicitor – Health Justice Program, Women’s Legal Centre ACT 

  • Exciting opportunity to use your legal training and experience to deliver legal services to women experiencing or at risk of family violence.
  • be part of a multi-disciplinary team, including health professionals, to deliver this innovative new project.  
  • Competitive remuneration package, including generous PBI salary packaging, leave loading, paid Christmas shut down, and flex time. 

What we’re looking for 

The Women’s Legal Centre is looking for a Solicitor to deliver our Health Justice Project with Calvary Public Hospital and Gungahlin Child and Family Centre. These embedded Partnerships work together to provide safe and confidential legal assistance to women affected by domestic and family violence to support better health and justice outcomes. 

This position will be filled on a 12-month contract, with the possibility of extension.  

You should be able to: 

  • provide advice, assistance and representation to women who are at experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence on a range of matters, including care arrangements for children, care and protection matters, property disputes and protection orders  
  • support strong and collaborative relationships with staff at Calvary Public Hospital and Gungahlin Child and Family Centre, including working with midwives, social workers and other health professionals, to provide coordinated and responsive assistance to clients within multi-disciplinary teams  
  • deliver community legal education to health professionals to build their capacity to identify and respond to legal issues    
  • work with various stakeholders, including funders and evaluators, to deliver program objectives 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women with disability, and women from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Applicants must be eligible for a restricted practising certificate in the Australian Capital Territory and a WWVP Card (ACT). 

Note: Being a woman is a genuine occupational qualification under section 34 of the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) and section 30 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth). 

How to apply 

Please email your application to Sarah Milson-MahyDesputy Principal Solicitor at: smilsonmahy@womenslegalact.org. 

Your application should include: 

  • your current CV; 
  • response to selection criteria in the position description (maximum 2 pages); and 
  • the names and contact details of two referees who have supervised your work. 

Applications close 9am Monday 21 September 2020. 

For more information, please contact Sarah at smilsonmahy@womenslegalact.org or call (02) 6257 4377. 

Solicitor HJP – Position Description

Employment Opportunity: Receptionist

Use your highly developed administration and people skills to support clients and staff in a vibrant and innovative community service delivering essential services to women.

  • Provide confident and responsive reception and administration support in a vibrant and innovative community service.
  • Varied, busy and challenging role with a friendly and positive team in a central location.
  • Competitive remuneration package, including generous PBI salary packaging, leave loading and paid Christmas close down.

About the position

The Women’s Legal Centre is looking for a confident, kind and flexible Receptionist to join our busy organisation.

The Receptionist will:

  • Manage all incoming phone calls and provide a welcoming and positive atmosphere for clients and other visitors to the Centre;
  • Support the administration of the Centre’s legal practice, including managing appointments;
  • Provide administrative and bookkeeping support to the Centre;
  • Develop and maintain a strong knowledge of the Centre’s services;
  • Support volunteer management and pro bono partnerships.

If you’re self-motivated and confident dealing with a range of people and stakeholders, have a good eye for detail and process, and want to work with an energetic and diverse team, then we want to hear from you!

Applications should provide

  • a current CV; and
  • maximum of three pages ‘Expression of Interest’, addressing the selection criteria in the position description available here or by contacting mkaczmarek@womenslegalact.org or (02) 6257 4377.

Applications close COB Friday 31 July 2020. Applications should be sent to recruitment@womenslegalact.org

Note: being a woman is a genuine occupational qualification under s34 of the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT).

About the Centre

The Women’s Legal Centre is an innovative community legal centre providing specialist legal services to vulnerable women in Canberra and the surrounding region.  Our main areas of practice are family law, domestic violence, victims of crime, employment and discrimination.  We also provide case management support, and run specialist programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

For position descriptions or to discuss the position please contact mkaczmarek@womenslegalact.org or (02) 6257 4377.

Receptionist – Position Description

Employment Opportunity: Employment & Discrimination Solicitor

Employment & Discrimination Solicitor, Women’s Legal Centre ACT

  • Exciting opportunity to join the Centre’s growing Employment & Discrimination Practice.
  • Use your legal skills to advocate for women in discrimination, sexual harassment, human rights, and employment matters.
  • Deliver community legal education and contribute to law reform.
  • Work with a dynamic, multidisciplinary team in a varied, busy and challenging role.
  • Competitive remuneration package, including generous PBI salary packaging, leave loading, paid Christmas shut down, and flex time.

What we’re looking for

The Centre is looking for a junior lawyer to join our Employment & Discrimination Practice. This role will assist the Centre to meet the increased demand for employment law services due to COVID-19.

You should have:

  • 1-3 years’ post admission experience;
  • A commitment to providing high quality legal assistance to women with vulnerabilities;
  • The ability to manage competing workloads under pressure;
  • The ability to communicate effectively with a diverse range of people; and
  • A restricted practising certificate in the Australian Capital Territory (or be eligible to apply for one).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women with disability, and women from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Note: Being a woman is a genuine occupational qualification under section 34 of the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) and section 30 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth).

How to apply

Please email your application to Beth Hender, Head of Practice (Employment & Discrimination) at: bhender@womenslegalact.org.

Your application should include:

  • your current CV;
  • response to selection criteria in the position description (maximum 2 pages); and
  • the names and contact details of two referees who have supervised your work.

Applications close 9am Monday 3 August 2020.

For more information, please contact Beth at bhender@womenslegalact.org or call (02) 6257 4377.

Employment & Discrimination Solicitor – Position Description

MEDIA RELEASE: Early Intervention Extended for Pregnant Women and New Families

4 June 2019

The ACT Government has extended funding for innovative Health Justice Partnerships to continue supporting women at risk of domestic and family violence for another 12 months.

The Women’s Legal Centre has partnered with Gungahlin Child and Family Centre and Calvary Public Hospital to establish two pilot Health Justice Partnerships.

These Health Justice Partnerships provide tailored legal services to women in trusted medical and community health settings during the critical time around pregnancy and early parenthood. Lawyers are embedded in these services and work as part of the team in the Hospital and the Child and Family Centre.

As Women’s Legal Centre Executive Director, Elena Rosenman stated, “we know that women experiencing violence and other legal issues are more likely to disclose and seek assistance from a trusted health professional than a lawyer.”

In Australia, one in six women have experienced physical and or sexual violence by a current or previous partner and almost half of women who were pregnant during these relationships report domestic violence during their pregnancy.

The Centre’s Health Justice Partnerships bring lawyers together with trusted clinical and allied health staff to provide crucial wrap around support to women to keep them and their children safe and well.

In the first five months of the pilot partnerships, lawyers from the Women’s Legal Centre have provided services to over 40 women and 60 children and trained more than 120 clinical and allied health staff in identifying and responding to the legal issues experienced by women in the Canberra community.

The high number of women assisted through the Partnership has revealed a significant unmet need for women. As Michelle Thinius, Calvary Public Hospital spokeswoman explained, “We know the social conditions a woman is living in are the single most important determinants of her health and ultimately of her baby’s. The lawyer from Women’s Legal Centre is working with the team at the Hospital to address these conditions at a time when women are most vulnerable. This support has the potential to change the outcomes for these women and their babies.”

Elena Rosenman continued, “Today’s announcement confirms these pilots will continue for a further 12 months, while the ACT Government finds more permanent funding. The Centre has supported the Family Safety Hub’s approach of bringing the right people together to work out how we can do things better and earlier. These Partnerships have a proven record of doing this – we are reaching women we have not engaged with before at an early stage in their legal matter. We look forward to working with the Hub, the Attorney General and the Ministers for Family Safety, Health and Community Services to ensure these crucial collaborative and multi-disciplinary approaches to domestic and family violence are adequately funded in an ongoing way.”

Media contact: Elena Rosenman, Executive Director, Women’s Legal Centre, 0402 972 545

MEDIA RELEASE: COMMONWEALTH ATTORNEY-GENERAL VISITS CANBERRA WOMEN’S LEGAL CENTRE

25 November 2016

Canberra Women’s Legal Centre Launches New Specialist Domestic Violence Program

The Women’s Legal Centre ACT today launched its new specialist Domestic Violence Program.

The program was launched by the Commonwealth Attorney-General, the Hon, George Brandis QC. The Centre was also joined by the Deputy Chief Minister of the ACT and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette Berry to mark the occasion.

The specialist program provides intensive and ongoing legal advice and representation to women experiencing violence. The program is focussed on providing support to women post-crisis. The Centre’s specialist staff provide legal advice and representation to women primarily in relation to family law matters, including support to reach equitable property settlements and safe arrangements for children.

The Centre’s Executive Director, Elena Rosenman said, “In the last three months, the program has already provided assistance to 65 women in Canberra.” She continued, “We look forward to working alongside the many expert services in Canberra to provide our clients with effective, professional and supportive legal advice and representation and the associated support they need to ensure long-term and sustainable safety and financial independence following separation.”

The program was funded as a pilot service under the Commonwealth Government’s Women’s Safety Package. The Centre welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s recent announcement that this funding will be extended to 30 June 2019.

The launch was also addressed by Jo Wood, the newly appointed ACT Coordinator-General for Family Safety and Sarah Avery, the President of the Law Society of the ACT.

The launch was attended by many representatives of community services, legal assistance services, advocates, ACT and Commonwealth government representatives and practitioners from the legal profession in Canberra. The Centre was also pleased to be joined by a number of newly elected Members of the Legislative Assembly.

For assistance please phone the Centre on 02 6257 4377.

Media contact:
Elena Rosenman, Executive Director, 0408 133 115, erosenman@womenslegalact.org

MEDIA RELEASE: Women’s Legal Centre welcomes ACT Greens’ commitment to tackling violence against women

The Women’s Legal Centre welcomes the ACT Greens’ commitment to provide additional funding to the Centre as part of their approach to tackling violence against women.

The Centre is currently facing a funding crisis as a result of the reduction of Commonwealth support for community legal centres. The ACT Greens have today announced a commitment to meet this gap in the Centre’s funding and ensure vulnerable women in Canberra have access to legal advice and representation.

Specialist legal advice is a crucial part of improving gender equality and addressing violence against women. The ACT Greens have recognised this by including Canberra’s only specialist women’s legal service in their platform on gender equality and violence against women. Specialist legal advice can support women’s workforce participation and economic security as well as protect personal safety and prevent ongoing violence.

The Centre’s Executive Director, Elena Rosenman said, “In the last year, the Women’s Legal Centre has assisted over one thousand women. We helped these women make safe care arrangement for their kids, reach a fair division of their property with their ex-partner, secure compensation after a violent crime or be paid properly and fairly for the work they do.”

“The women who come to us for advice and assistance have no other options.”

Despite this, from 1 July 2017, Commonwealth contribution to community legal centre funding nationally will fall by 30%. This could translate to the loss of a third of the Centre’s core funding and would lead to a reduction in the Centre’s services.

Ms Rosenman continued, “Without decisive action from the incoming ACT Government, next year 300 of the most vulnerable women in Canberra will have to go through legal processes with no legal support at all. This commitment from the ACT Greens is a great step towards ensuring those women have access to legal advice and representation.”

Media contact:
Elena Rosenman, Executive Director, 0408 133 115, erosenman@womenslegalact.org

NEWS: WOMEN’S LEGAL CENTRE EMPLOYEE RECOGNISED AT 2016 NAIDOC AWARDS

2 July 2016

Teletha Elemes named Canberra & District Aboriginal Community Sector Worker of the Year

The Women’s Legal Centre’s Aboriginal Legal Liaison, Teletha Elemes was named the Canberra & District Aboriginal Community Sector Worker of the Year at the NAIDOC Ball.

The Canberra & District Aboriginal Community Sector Worker of the Year is supported by Bank Australia and the ACT Council of Social Services.

Teletha Elemes has worked with the Centre for the last four years. She has worked with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Program and has recently been appointed as the Aboriginal Legal Liaison in the Centre’s new Domestic Violence Program.

Ms Elemes was recognised for her responsive, empathetic and assured support to Aboriginal women in Canberra and the region.

Teletha is a sensitive and skilled advocate. She provides information, support and advocacy to individual women and has assisted a high number of Aboriginal women to engage with the justice system to support better outcomes for themselves, their families and their communities. Teletha will now be working in the Centre’s Domestic Violence Program to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to get the information and support they need from legal assistance services.

Since being at the Centre, Teletha has also developed a 10 week community education program, Knowing Your Rights. Knowing Your Rights was developed in consultation with Aboriginal women and service providers in Canberra and the surrounding region. It is designed to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and educate them about their legal rights and legal processes including family law, domestic violence, consumer rights and receiving government services. Teletha has presented the Program with young Aboriginal women and older women across Canberra and the region.

Teletha is a highly valued member of the team and the Centre congratulates her on such a  well-deserved award.

For more information, please contact Elena Rosenman, Executive Director on 02 6257 4377  or erosenman@womenslegalact.org.

MEDIA RELEASE: Canberra lawyers rally for community legal centre funding – Wednesday 18 May 2016

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Lawyers call for legal help for the most vulnerable

Canberra lawyers will rally on Wednesday 17 May to call on the Federal Government to reverse dramatic funding cuts to community legal centres and ensure they can meet the needs of Canberrans who need legal help.

The rally will start at 8am on Wednesday 17 May at the Community Legal Centre Hub at 21 Barry Dr, Turner and is scheduled to end at 8:45am at the ACT Supreme Court.

Community Legal Centres are funded by the Federal and ACT Governments, but Commonwealth contribution to funding to community legal centres in Canberra is due to plummet by almost 30% in July 2017. The looming crisis in community legal centre funding in Canberra will be felt by those people who need the support the most.

In Canberra, the Women’s Legal Centre, the Care Consumer Law Centre, Canberra Community Law and the Tenants’ Union provide crucial support to some of the most vulnerable people in our community. They provide legal assistance to people who would otherwise go without. Together, these services provided over 6000 pieces of advice and took on over 500 cases over the last 12 months.

Julie Dobinson, Chair of the Women’s Legal Centre Board and Partner at one of Canberra’s preeminent family law firms said, “Lawyers understand it is not enough to build a legal system, you have to support people to be able to use that system. If a woman is leaving a violent relationship and doesn’t have access to any legal advice, she is more likely to make an agreement with her ex partner that does not protect her safety, her kids’ safety or her financial security. If her matter does go to court she is open to being cross-examined by her violent ex-partner. Legal assistance is a crucial part of responding to domestic violence.”

Daniel Stewart, Chair of the Canberra Community Law Board and Senior Lecturer at the ANU Law School said, “It just makes good economic sense to fund community Legal Centres properly. We want to prevent Canberrans from falling into crisis. Early, specialist legal advice for those who would otherwise go without can prevent the escalation of legal problems. This reduces costs to the justice system and other areas of government spending, including health, housing, social security and emergency assistance.”

Julie Dobinson said, “Many Canberra lawyers donate significant amounts of time and expertise to community legal centres pro bono. This rally is an opportunity for us to show the Canberra community our support for access to justice for all people.”

Media contacts:
Elena Rosenman, Executive Director, Women’s Legal Centre, 0408 133 115
Genevieve Bolton, Executive Director, Canberra Community Law, 0417 192 780
Deb Pippen, Executive Officer, Tenants’ Union ACT, 02 6247 1026
Carmel Franklin, Director Care Financial Counselling and Consumer Law Centre, 0402 011 600

LAW WEEK EVENT: Lessons for the Legal Profession: Challenging sexual harassment in the workplace

Almost half of women working in media have report experiencing intimidation, abuse or sexual harassment in the course of their work.

Within the legal profession, 25 percent of women will face sexual harassment,  40 percent will experience discrimination. Retention rates for women lawyers are alarmingly low.

Despite the high incidence of sexual harassment in many professions, the number of formal complaints remain largely static.

The Women’s Legal Centre will be hosting a panel on Thursday 19 May 2016, as part of Law Week 2016.

Time: 12:00 PM -1:30 PM
Venue: Meyer Vandenberg, Level 2, 121 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra City
Cost: $10 per person (Inc. GST)
RSVP: ACT Law Society

Chaired by former Fair Work Commissioner, Barbara Deegan, this panel will  reflect on current issues and what affects women’s decisions to complain when working in small, professional communities such as law and media. Emma Macdonald, senior reporter for The Canberra Times and representative of Women in Media will discuss recent research and reform in the media profession. She will be joined by Kavina Mistry, President of the Young Lawyers Association and Belinda Barnard, Human Rights and Discrimination Law Policy Adviser at the ACT Human Rights Commission to discuss motivators for organisational change in the absence of complaint, with a view to supporting improved responses to sexual harassment and discrimination within the legal profession.