Wala Yarka Practice Leader

  • Base/Location:Family Services Unit, Echuca
  • Reports To:Wala Yarka Program Manager
  • Hours:Full-time (37.5 hours week)
  • Award:SCHADS Award-level 5
  • Position Scope:

    Wala Yarka Program (Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care) (s.18)

    Njernda is the Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) in the Loddon area with the cultural responsibility and authority for Yorta Yorta children and young people.
    Wala Yarka is Njernda’s local name for what is known state-wide as Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care. Wala Yarka means Water Children in Yorta Yorta language. The program operationalises section 18 of the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 giving the Aboriginal Organisation control of Child Protection Orders for specific children.
    Practice is guided by the Children Youth and Families Act of 2005, the Best Interest Case Practice Model and Cultural practice principles.

    The Practice Leader is an instrumental role in developing and supporting practice, working with families and their children who are subject to Child Protection Orders. The Practice Leader role is a part of the leadership team of the Wala Yarka program.
    Opportunity exists to:

    • Lead practice in ground-breaking work supporting Aboriginal Children and their families
    • Creatively work to find solutions for children and their families
    • Access to quality training in line with Victoria’s Child Protection workforce
    • Unique experience of statutory work within an Aboriginal context
    • Work in a supportive and friendly team environment

    A goal of the Njernda Aboriginal Corporation is to be a leader in the care and protection of children and young people. Njernda works with families and communities to build capacity, resilience and independence to achieve this goal.

Organisational Values

The Wala Yarka Practice Leader will embrace Njernda’s vision for empowering our Aboriginal community and the organisations values:

  • Professional Integrity – We treat all our people with dignity and respect.
  • Quality – We always strive to do our best and improve the way we do things.
  • Responsibility – We commit to the actions we take to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.
  • Client Focus – We work toward improving the health and wellbeing of our clients and community.


Key Responsibilities

The Practice Leader will support the Wala Yarka program in developing culturally informed practice that is focussed on the child (in the context of their family) under Section 18 of the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 during the preauthorisation phase.
The Practice Leader will:

  • Work collaboratively with the Program Manager, Team Leader and Case Managers to strengthen practice and to support interventions which provide healing for the child and their family.
  • Support risk assessment by gathering information and facilitating analysis that informs decision making. Decision making will involve children and families and other key people in the child’s life.
  • Support planning and review of case management to inform planning and interventions to ensure work is meaningful and effective.
  • Promote collaborative practice that is child centred, family focused, and trauma informed.
  • Provide mentoring, coaching and knowledge to guide the Wala Yarka program practice.
  • Create and lead opportunities such as peer supervision and workshops to encourage learning and reflection.
  • Support the development of Cultural practice and resources for family work.


Key Selection Criteria

Applicants Must Possess:

  • An understanding of the Children, Youth and families Act 2005.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the issues relating to families in the Child Protection system.
  • Ability to conduct strength-based assessments considering the cultural safety and wellbeing needs of the child.
  • Demonstrated experience of delivering and leading therapeutic interventions.
  • Understanding of child development, attachment and trauma theories and ability to mentor staff in the understanding of these.
  • Knowledge of the service sector and referral pathways to engage services for families and children.
  • Demonstrated written skills including experience in report writing and ability to oversee the preparation of reports.
  • Experience in staff development, ability to facilitate reflective training sessions and other training to promote staff development.
  • Experience in working with Aboriginal children, young people, and families in the context of Aboriginal community.


Qualifications and Experience

    Personal Qualities:

  • Ability to achieve results – takes initiative to proactively create solutions.
  • Decisiveness – Makes rational and sound decisions based on consideration and facts
  • Resilient – responds thoughtfully, seeks guidance, communicates effectively when working with children and families in crisis and who have experienced trauma.
  • Adaptable – willing to learn



  • A recognised Social Work Degree or Diploma of Community Services qualification which includes:
    (a) primary focus on child development, human behaviour, family dynamics and/or impacts of trauma; and
    (b) preferably a practical component such as counselling or case work practice


All applications close: 14th Aug 2020

Other relevant information

    Note: Some work outside of normal hours and travel may be required.

  • This is a full-time position comprising 37.5 hours per week. In order to perform the duties of this position effectively you may be required to work additional hours or vary your working times, on any day of the week, as appropriate and necessary from time to time. There is no paid over-time, however, time in lieu arrangements will be negotiated as required
  • The position is currently based at ECHUCA, Victoria, subject to change based on strategic and operational needs of the organisation and program
  • Terms and conditions of employment will be included in an Employment Contract upon commencement
  • The successful applicant will be required to undergo satisfactory pre-employment checks, including providing at least two professional referees, completion of a medical declaration, Police Records Check, Working With Children Check, Victorian Driver’s License, and proof of identify and qualifications
  • Commitment to equal opportunity and occupational health and safety principles and practices is required
  • You will need to disclose any pre-existing illness or injury you know about which could be affected by the described work duties. Under section 82 (7) of the Accident Compensation Act, failure to disclose such a pre-existing illness or injury will mean that, if employed, you will not be paid compensation for that condition
  • Njernda Aboriginal Corporation has a smoke-free workplace policy.


To be considered for an interview all applications MUST:

  • include a current resume;
  • include a covering letter;
  • address the Key Selection Criteria;
  • and include the names and telephone contacts of at least two referees.


Address your application marked: “Private & Confidential”

To: HR Manager
Njernda Aboriginal Corporation
84 Hare Street,
(PO Box 201)
Echuca Vic 3564
Email: jobs@njernda.com.au


Please check the closing date to ensure your application is received within the specified time. Applications may be posted, emailed, hand delivered or faxed (provided that a hard copy is posted on the same day). 

Applications may be posted, emailed, hand delivered or faxed (provided that a hard copy is posted on the same day).


  • Application Form

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  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, jpg, png, tif, tiff.