justice group coordinator - aurukun

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             AURUKUN COMMUNITY JUSTICE GROUP
                      COORDINATOR

                                JOB DESCRIPTION


The Aurukun community established the Aurukun Community Justice Group in 1997. It broadly
follows the guidelines of the Local Justice Initiatives Program (LJIP) of the Department of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy (DATSIP) of the Queensland Government, which
presently contributes funds to the Aurukun Shire Council for the position of Coordinator.

The Group seeks to deal with law and justice issues in the community according to Aboriginal law
and custom and in cooperation with the courts and the criminal justice system.

Under legislation the Aurukun Community Justice Group assumed the role and responsibilities of
the Aurukun Alcohol Law Council from January 2003.

                OVERALL RESPONSIBILITIES OF COORDINATOR

The Coordinator will:

        1.      Assist the Justice Group to address the following broad range of justice issues in
                the Aurukun community:

                    •   Conflict between individuals and families, especially boyfriend/girlfriend
                        relationship problems
                    •   Domestic violence
                    •   Abuse of children
                    •   Breaches of the law
                    •   Non-attendance at school
                    •   Non-attendance at work
                    •   Control of supply and consumption of alcohol in the community
                    •   Supply and use of illicit drugs and other harmful substances.

                Whilst all of these issues are important, the priority areas will be non-attendance
                at school and the control of the supply and consumption of alcohol.

        2.      Organise and facilitate meetings of the Justice Group.

        3.      Assist the Justice Group to work in cooperation with the police service,
                community police, the courts, Corrective Services, Shire Council and other
                government agencies.
       4.      Assist the Justice Group to take action on the primary causes of violence and
               offending in the Aurukun community and thereby help in the prevention of crime
               and violence.

       5.      Assist the Justice Group and the community to establish an effective system for
               overseeing supervisory orders.

       6.      Assist the Justice Group in providing advice and recommendations to the court,
               especially pre-sentencing reports and submissions.

       7.      Where necessary, assist the Justice Group to facilitate culturally appropriate
               mediation processes as a way of resolving disputes and reducing conflict.

       8.      Enable the Justice Group to undertake traditional dispute resolution processes as
               a way of giving effect to culturally appropriate sanctions and social control
               measures.

       9.      Manage and oversee the effective operation of the Community Justice Group.

DUTIES
      1.       Organise and facilitate regular meetings of the Justice Group on at least two
               days a week or as required in response to situations of lawlessness and
               disputation.

       2.      Record and file minutes of all meetings of the Justice Group.

       3.      Maintain a well-organised Justice Group office that is accessible to the public.

       4.      Work in a collegial way with local staff.

       5.      Prepare and present submissions to the Court on behalf of the Justice Group.

       6.      Provide a point of contact to members of the community in relation to Justice
               Group activities..

       7.      Prepare correspondence and write submissions for funding as required.

       8.      Provide a report to the Aurukun Shire Council on behalf of the Justice Group, as
               required.

       9.      Ensure that reports and acquittals are provided to DATSIP and other government
               funding agencies in a timely manner.

       10.     Maintain files in a safe and confidential system.

       11.     Network with other justice groups and attend meetings in Cairns and other places
               as required in relation to the work of the Justice Group.

       13.     Perform duties as directed.

       14.     Undertake professional development and training as appropriate.


ACCOUNTABILITY
The Coordinator shall be accountable to the Aurukun Shire Council through the Chief Operational
Officer.


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Essential skills and knowledge:
       1. A demonstrated capacity to work and communicate cross-culturally;

        2. An ability to learn about and understand key concepts of Aboriginal law and social
           organisation, especially those relating to kinship, land ownership and ceremony, of
           the people of Aurukun;

        3. An ability to relate an understanding of the key concepts of Aboriginal law and social
           organisation to the work of the Justice Group;

        4. An ability to manage and coordinate a community based program;

        5. An ability to coordinate, work with and facilitate a group of people to take action on
           key community-justice issues;

        6. An ability to work cooperatively with other community organisations and relevant
           government departments and agencies;

        7. Ability to write reports and make submissions and acquittals to government.

        8. Have ability to show initiative, have self-reliance within a cooperative ‘Team’
           environment.

In addition to the above key selection criteria it is desirable that applicants have the following
skills and qualifications:

DESIRABLE
      1. A relevant tertiary qualification;

        2. Experience in working with Aboriginal people and communities;

        3. Ability to live in a remote community;

        4. Experience in the justice system;

        5. A current drivers licence.


SPECIAL CONDITIONS

Salary and Conditions
The salary is negotiable depending on experience. $58,842.00 can be used as a guide. The
salary package will be discussed in detail during the interview.

The salary package to be negotiated will include:

    •   A Council residence with basic furnishings at a nominal rental (currently $37.50 per week
        for duplex, $52.50 per week for house). Rental does not include telephone, electricity or
        gas. The successful applicant would also need to supply his/her own crockery, cutlery,
        linen, kitchen appliances and utensils, and electrical goods (apart from fridge, freezer and
        washing machine).

    •   Additional eight (8) days isolation leave per annum.

    •   One return airfare for the appointee and dependants to Cairns for one period of annual
        leave and one period of isolation leave per annum. Airfares cannot be converted to cash.


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        A special allowance is payable should an employee choose to utilise his/her own vehicle
        for leave travel.

    •   Fares and reasonable removal expenses to Aurukun and return on completion of the
        term of employment, subject to qualifying periods. These will be discussed at the
        interview.

Other benefits
If an applicant is seeking to negotiate any further benefits other than those mentioned above, and
the applicant should include details of the benefits sought in his/her written application.

This will give Council the opportunity to consider the request before interviews take place.

Payment of Salary
Salary is paid weekly by direct deposit to the employee’s nominated bank account.

Hours of Duty
Employment is based on a 36.25 hour week. Council office hours are Monday to Friday 8.00am
to 4.15pm. Due to the nature of the position and the need to consult with the community and
arrange meetings of the Aurukun Justice Group working hours will need to be flexible to meet the
needs of the position.

Annual Leave
Five (5) weeks annual leave after the completion of twelve (12) months’ service. This leave is to
be taken at a time mutually agreed between the employee and Council.

Sick Leave
Fifteen (15) days sick leave is available annually and doctor’s certificates are required to be
produced for absences of more than two (2) days.

Long Service Leave
Three (3) months’ long service leave is granted after ten (10) years’ service and long service
leave is portable between Councils in Queensland. Long Service Leave may also be payable on
a pro-rata basis if any employee leaves after seven (7) years without joining another Council’s
service.

Isolation Leave
Eight (8) working days isolation leave in a twelve month period is to be taken six (6) months from
anniversary date. This leave is not accumulative and must be taken within the twelve (12)
months.

Personal Leave
Bereavement Leave 5 days
Compassionate Leave 5 days.
Please Note this leave is not accruable

Superannuation
All permanent employees of the Council (ie those who have been in the Council’s employment for
at least twelve (12) months) are required to contribute to the local Government Superannuation
Scheme. Current contributions are 6% of salary deducted weekly and the Council also makes
employer contributions of 12%.

Other Factors
Applicants should be aware that Aurukun is a remote aboriginal community with very limited
access to the range of commercial facilities that would be found in many other provincial towns.

Access to Aurukun is by road during the dry season and flights four (4) days a week from Cairns.
A fortnightly sea barge service operates during the wet season. There are also daily flights from
Weipa to Cairns with charter flights available from Weipa.

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Alcohol is restricted to sales at the Tavern only. Alcohol Management Plans apply to the Shire of
Aurukun.


SHIRE OVERVIEW

The Shire of Aurukun covers an area of 7,500 square kilometers.

It is bounded by the Holroyd River and Pormpuraaw Deed of Grant in Trust lands to the south,
Cook Shire and Archer Bend National Park to the east, the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cook Shire to
the north.

The northern boundary however, is fragmented, with the Shire of Aurukun having jurisdiction over
two separate parcels of land not joined to the rest of the Shire area.




FORMATION OF THE SHIRE

Aurukun Mission was established in 1904 with the reserve being managed under the provision of
the Queensland Aborigines Act by the Presbyterian Church. Aboriginal people were relocated
from a large surrounding area, many against their will, to the mission settlement. Today’s
township is on the site of the original mission.
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In 1978, the Queensland Government decided to take over control of both Aurukun and
Mornington Island reserves. Both communities were against this and protested seeking the help
of the Commonwealth Government.

After lengthy negotiations, legislation for self-management of the two reserves was introduced
into Federal Parliament and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Queensland Reserves and
Communities Self-Management) Act was passed on 7 April 1978. On the same day, the
Queensland Government revoked the two reserves which meant that neither the Queensland Act
or the new Commonwealth legislation applied to the area any longer.

Further negotiations took place between State and Federal Ministers and after lengthy
discussions, an agreement was reached wherein local authorities would be created for the former
reserves and that the land should be leased to the newly created councils for a period of fifty (50)
years.

The Local Government (Aboriginal Lands) Act came into force on 22 May 1978. This Act
constituted the Aurukun Shire Council and granted to it Aboriginal Land Lease No. 1. This lease
includes a substantial part, but not all, of the original Aboriginal Reserve and the traditional lands
of the aboriginal people living in Aurukun.

Under the terms of the lease, Aurukun Shire Council is trustee for the land within the Shire
boundaries, excluding Crown Reserves.




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ADMINISTRATION

Aurukun Shire Council is a Queensland Local Government authority administered under the
provisions of the Local Government Act 1993 and Local Government (Aboriginal Lands) Act
1978.

In addition to the normal services traditionally provided by Local government, Council is involved
in a wide range of social and community areas which present special challenges to both the
elected Council and staff. These include:

                     The development of decision making processes which are more appropriate
                     to an Aboriginal community;
                     Operation of Tavern;
                     Operation of General Store;
                     Operation of Airline and Postal Agencies;
                     The maintenance of assets in a harsh environment;
                     The provision and maintenance of rental housing;
                     Development and maintenance of Outstation/Homeland Centres supporting
                     the return of the Wik peoples to their homelands;
                     Training of local Aboriginal people for future roles in managing and
                     administering the Shire;
                     Social and community issues, including education, health, police and welfare
                     service;
                     Responsibility for the operation of the Community Development Employment
                     Program (CDEP);
                     Establishment (by Local Law) of a Land and Sea Management Office;
                     Establishment of an Artists and Craft Workers Collective to focus on
                     establishment of a viable art and craft industry in Aurukun.

Council has a staff of 400 people of which 300 are engaged under ATSIC CDEP (Community
Development and Employment Program).

Council is the principal body responsible for policy with day to day management under the control
of the Chief Executive Officer.

Council Departments and senior staff reporting to the Chief Executive Officer are:

        Chief Executive Officer           vacant
        Administration                    Mr Grant Crossley (Deputy CEO)
        Finance                           Mr Darryn Reid
        Works Overseer                    vacant
        CDEP                              Mr Stuart Watson
        Outstations                       Vacant
        Art and Craft Resource Worker     Mr Guy Alain
        Commercial Activities
        General Store                     vacant
        Tavern –                          vacant

Council’s Administration Centre is located at 39 Kang Kang Road, Aurukun. Council also
operates an office in Cairns where Council’s Finance Manager and Grants Officer are based.

All Council’s financial systems are computerised.

Due to the fact that the whole of the Shire is held under lease by the Council, there is no rateable
land and the Council relies on funding from other sources.

Council’s budgeted operating revenues for the 2004/2005 financial year were $21.9 million. Of
this 63% is derived in subsidies and grants and 32% is derived from commercial enterprises.
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THE ELECTED COUNCIL


Ordinary Meetings of the Council are held monthly on the first Tuesday of the month.

Aurukun Shire Council consists of a Mayor and eight (8) Councillors.

                Mayor                   Cr Neville Pootchemunka
                Deputy Mayor            Cr Patrick Savo
                Councillors             Cr Dennie Bowenda
                                        Cr Dereck Walpo
                                        Cr Janine Chevathun
                                        Cr Bernard Pootchemunka
                                        Cr Anthony Kerindun
                                        Cr Jonathan Korkaktain
                                        Cr Winifred Ngakyunkwokka

The current Council’s term is for a period of four (4) years and the next Local Government
election is due in March 2008.

PERMISSION TO ENTER SHIRE LANDS
Under the Local Government (Aboriginal Lands) Act, permission must be obtained from Council
for entry to all Shire lands.

If you are residing in the Shire because of employment with Council, and wish to have friends and
family visit you during your term of employment, permission must be obtained from the Council
Office for all visitors to come and visit you.

Permission must also be obtained to camp and travel to other areas within the Shire for overnight
camping.




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SERVICES

Public Order and Safety
Five State Police officers are permanently stationed in Aurukun. Council funds the employment
of Aboriginal Community Police Officers who work in conjunction with the Queensland Police
Service.

Volunteer State Emergency Service, Marine Rescue and Rural Fire Brigade groups are
established.

Medical
A new modern Primary Health Care Centre operates under the control of Queensland Health,
Cape York District Health Service. This service is backed up by the Royal Flying Doctor Service
which provides a regular weekly clinic and emergency medical service.

Health
Environmental Health services are provided by a joint Health Surveyor shared with three (3) other
Councils.

Council employs an Environmental Health Worker who works in conjunction with Council and
Queensland Health.

Housing
Council owns all community and staff housing.

Staff houses, duplexes and shared single quarters are available and type allocated depends on
availability and individual circumstances. Basic hard furnishings are provided. These generally
include refrigerator, freezer, washing machine, kitchen suite, lounge, coffee table, beds and
wardrobes.

Gas
All staff houses are equipped with gas stoves. No charge is made when an existing gas cylinder
is in place. All subsequent cylinders are to be paid by the tenant.

Electricity
All staff houses are fitted with card meters. Cards are purchased as required from the General
Store.

Water
Town water supply comes from underground and is fully treated and regularly tested to ensure
that it meets NH and MRC guidelines for drinking water.

Sewerage
Aurukun township is fully sewered.

Garbage
Wheelie bins are collected three times weekly.

School
Preschool, Primary and Secondary Education up to year 10 is provided locally, however, the
curriculum is generally adapted to local cultural needs and is not consistent with mainstream
education.

Child Care
Council and Queensland Education have a joint partnership to operate an early childhood centre -
enquiries can be made direct on (07) 40406051.

Banks
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Bendigo Bank has a branch situated in the Council Administration Building.. Council operates an
EFTPOS facility. Weipa has EFTPOS facilities, Commonwealth Bank Agency and Queensland
Country Credit Union Agency.

Post
A Post Office agency operates from the Shire Council Office. The Post Office is open from 9 and
12 noon and 1pm to 3.30 pm Monday to Friday except for times when the Skytrans plane is
arriving in Aurukun.

Freight
Freight is brought into Aurukun by road during the dry season and during the wet season,
fortnightly by barge. Bowyer Transport from Mareeba operates this service. Airfreight service is
available via the regular air services.

Shopping
A general store sells grocery items, meat, bread, milk and a range of fresh fruit and vegetables
and is open Monday to Saturday. Many residents choose to shop direct with major chains in
Cairns utilising the regular freight services for delivery. The General Store hours are 8 am to 4
pm Monday to Friday, Saturday 8 am to 12 noon.

Alcohol
Aurukun Shire Council owns and operates a modern Tavern facility, known as the Aurukun Three
Rivers Tavern.

As of 31 December 2002, the Aurukun Alcohol Management Plan became effective and no
alcohol is allowed to be brought into the Shire. Alcohol is to be consumed at the Tavern and
no takeaways are for sale.

Communication
            2 FM Radio Stations (4K1G and ABC)
            4 Television Stations (7 Central, ABC, SBS and Imparja)
            Telephone Service (STD/ISD) and CDMA Mobiles
            Austar Satellite services are also available

Recreation
Major recreation for Aurukun residents is hunting, fishing, four wheel driving and camping.
Facilities also exist for football, swimming, cricket, tennis and basketball.

Bowls, Golf and Pistol Clubs are established in Weipa which is 200 km by road (2½ hour drive)
during the dry season.

Pay Day
Council employees are paid on Friday morning at 9 am. A number of payroll deductions are
available for employees.

Air Service
Aurukun is serviced five times weekly (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday) by a direct
Cairns/Aurukun/Cairns service operated by Skytrans. The aircraft operating is a Dash 8. and the
current cost of a return airfare is $904.20. (Special fare rates are available). Excess baggage
charges are applied for all baggage over 16 kgs.




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The Post Office in Aurukun is the Airline Agent. Bookings can be made and paid to the Agent or
to Skytrans direct in Cairns.

Weipa also has a daily service operated by Qantaslink to southern connections.

Both single and twin charter aircraft are available for charter in Weipa.

Transport
A vehicle is not generally required to move about the township, however, if you wish to enjoy the
idyllic outdoor life available on Cape York Peninsula, a boat and four wheel drive are a must.

Library
The Aurukun Community Library is open to all community residents and is operated in
conjunction with the State Library of Queensland. Residents are welcome to join and the Library
is operated under normal library rules and regulations.

Church
The Uniting Church holds regular services.

Climate
Due to the constantly hot humid climate, summer clothing is the normal dress. Warmer clothing
is frequently worn overnight and outdoors during the cooler mont




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Description: justice group coordinator - aurukun