Program Manager-Wala Yarka (Identified)

  • Base/Location:Family Services Unit
  • Reports To:Family Services Manager
  • Hours:37.5 hours per week Full time
  • Award:Level 7 SCHADS

Position Scope:                    Njernda Aboriginal Corporation (NAC) is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) with the cultural authority to work with Yorta Yorta children and young people. Wala Yarka is the program name for our Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care Program (section 18), it is a Yorta Yorta word meaning Water Children. ACAC programs operationalise section 18 of Children, Youth and Families Act 2005(CYFA), giving Aboriginal organisation control of children who are under specific child protection orders. Practice is guided by CYFA, Best Interest Case Practice Model and Cultural practice principles.



Program objective


Once pre-authorisation phrase has been completed Njernda Aboriginal Corporation will move to ensure that the Wala Yarka program will go to full authorisation, this will include all aspects of case planning, decision making, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children authorised to Njernda. While under pre-authorisation Njernda manages all aspects of the management and planning for the child in conjunction with child protection.


Reporting to the Manager of Family Services the Wala Yarka Program Manager oversees the operation and ongoing development of the Wala Yarka program. The position is responsible for the supervision of Team Leaders and Practice Leaders and will ensure the program is a healthy and positive work environment that promotes staff growth and that leads to best possible outcomes for children managed and or authorised to Njernda. The Wala Yarka Program Manager is responsible for ensuring high quality administration of the CYFA as well as compliance with relevant guidelines and MOU’s. The position will require some travel, after hours work, and will manage an on-call service.





Njernda 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:


Primary Responsibility
  • Lead the Wala Yarka Program in a solution focused, strength based and culturally approach that ensures healthy work environment and leads to best possible outcome for children and families in the program
  • Monitor and evaluate budget in collaboration with Family Services Manager and adjust if needed
  • Ensure adherence with the DHHS program requirements for ACAC and MOUs.
  • Ensure high quality administration of the CYFA 2005 under section 18 CYFA.
  • Ensure the program adheres to Njernda policies and procedures for Wala Yarka program
  • Monitor all program policies and procedure including the program manual and review as needed including legal delegations.
  • Lead and support program staff to ensure that practice is cultural safe and recognises Aboriginal parenting and child raising principle.
  • Represent Njernda input into the review of: MOU’s, Program requirements and Victorian legislation as required
  • Manage all aspects of staffing within the program including recruitment, retention, supervision, and performance management.
  • Provide expert advice and direction to the program on child protection matters working under section 18 of the CYFA.
  • Maintain Njernda arrangements for legal representation and consultation in Child Protection matters.
  • Facilitate the authorisation of children in line with program requirements, manage Njernda responsibilities in regards to transitioning Aboriginal children into program including selection, briefing, and compliance with section 18 CYFA 2005.
  • Ensure that senior management is appropriate informed of decisions and or children eligible to enter the program to facilitate sound decision making by senior managers
  • Audit and review all client files (written and electronic) to ensure accuracy and compliance.
  • Ensure that all files once closed are backed up for access in the future.
  • Facilitate appropriate training to build capacity of staff to work cultural with Aboriginal children and families.
  • Ensure that court application and reports are submitted to ensure all protection orders are current and updated (if required) prior to expiry date and that no protection orders are allowed to lap unintentionally.
Liaison with key stakeholders and professional networking
  • Build and maintain high quality collaborative relationship with external stakeholders including CASA, VicPol, and SOCIT, DHHS Child Protection, local community services organisations and other Aboriginal Organisations.
  • Review and develop protocols and procedures between organisations
  • Participate on relevant interagency working committees.
  • Represent Njernda at various forums and promote the work of Njernda and the Wala Yarka Program.
  • Be available for external consultation regarding ACAC and Njernda services.
  • Willingness to travel including overnight as needed to attend training, meetings and events.
Administration & Compliance
  • Model and abide by Njernda values, coded of conduct and policy and procedures.
  • Participate actively in and facilitate supervision and professional development activities.
  • Ensure that you participate in team meetings, staff meetings and other community activities as required.
  • Ensure that up adhere to legislation requirements.
  • Ensure that you report any risks identified immediately to your line manager
  • Participate within the team to ensure performance against expectation including performance management and staff development, in accordance with Njernda policies and procedure.
  • Ensure that all staff are provided with and operate in a safe environment in accordance with Njernda OHS policies and procedures.
  • Participate in Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) activities.


Key Selection Criteria:

Applicants must possess:

  • Understanding of program management including budget, staffing and program development
  • Demonstrate leadership that promotes a healthy work environment, staff growth and retention and attains best possible outcome for children and families.
  • Ability to administer Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 as authorized under section 18 of the Act.
  • Understanding of the administration of legal delegations and ability to review and implement in policy.
  • Ability to build and maintain high quality collaborative relationship with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal culture and ability to apply an Aboriginal lens across all aspect of the program.
  • Sound investigative and assessment skills regarding child safety concerns in care and the ability to lead staff in identifying and responding to at risk concern.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of local Aboriginal community and role Njernda plays within our community
  • Evidence of advanced report writing skills.
  • Capacity to make balance and sound decisions in high-risk and high-pressure situations
  • Ability to manage crisis with a measured and reflective approach.
  • Understanding of debriefing and supporting staff through traumatic events.
  • Ability to work after hours and on call (when required)


Mandatory Qualifications

  • A recognized Social Work degree or a similar welfare or behavioral related degree which includes
  • a primary focus on child development, human behavior, family dynamics and/or impacts of trauma; and preferably
  • a practical component such as counselling or case work practices.




  • A recognized Diploma of Community Services work or similar qualification which is studied over a minimum of 2 academic years of full-time study (or part-time equivalent) and includes:
    • A primary focus on child development, human behavior, family dynamics and/or impacts of trauma and
    • Supervised fieldwork placements (ideally completed within the child and family welfare sector) and at least one unit of study in case management, case work practice or counselling.


Other relevant information

  • Must have a Criminal Police Record Check
  • Must have a current Working with Children check.
  • Must hold a current full Victorian Drivers/Licenses and provide a copy
  • Commitment to equal opportunity and occupational health and safety

Principles and practices are 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.



Written applications must include:

    • a covering letter
    • resume
    • must address the selection criteria otherwise interview will not be given
    • Please include the names and telephone contacts of at least two referees and forward to:


All applicants must address the Key Selection Criteria and include a recent resume


Address your application marked: “Private & Confidential


To:                  HR Manager

Njernda Aboriginal Corporation

307 High St, Echuca Vic 3564

PO Box 201, Echuca Vic 3564




All applications close: 29 January 2021


All applications close: 29th Jan 2021

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