Public Interest Law Careers Guide - Disability Services Commissioner

Field of Law

Disability; Health

Stage of Career

Secondary; Undergraduates; Practising lawyers

Contact Details

Address: Level 30, 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000 Australia
Phone: 1800 677 342
Visit the Disability Services Commissioner website
Contact person: Linda Rainsford
Email: Linda.rainsford@odsc.vic.gov.au

Description of Organisation

The Disability Services Commissioner was established on 1 July 2007 under the Disability Act 2006  to improve services for people with a disability in Victoria through assisting in the resolution of complaints raised by or on behalf of people who receive services.

The Disability Services Commissioner is a statutory body that functions independently of government, the Department of Human Services and Victorian disability services to provide a free, confidential and supportive complaints resolution process. They work with people with a disability and disability services to resolve complaints.

They encourage and assist the resolution of complaints in a variety of ways including informal approaches to resolution, assessment conferences, conciliation and under certain circumstances formal investigation.

They research ways to improve outcomes for people with a disability and improve disability services' complaints systems. The Disability Services Commissioner also provide capacity development activities for people with a disability, their families and disability services through a variety of education and information.

Number of legal positions within organisation: 1

Does your organisation have a human rights officer?

Not a specific designated officer, but all employees are expected to act in accordance with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006

Information for secondary schools

Do you host school trips or send speakers to schools?

By arrangement

Contact person for school trip and/or speakers: Depends on content requirements.  If it is legal focused, the senior legal and policy officer email Jo-Anne Mazzeo at: jo-anne.mazzeo@odsc.vic.gov.au

Information for university students/graduates

Do you have a Graduate Program?

No

What sorts of internship opportunities are available?

Limited placements are available for tertiary level students and will be considered on request.

Contact person for internships: Jo-Anne Mazzeo

What are you looking for in an applicant?

The ideal candidate will have the following attributes and experiences:

  • Interpersonal Skills: Relates well with all kinds of people, and displays interpersonal astuteness when dealing with others. Adopts a person-centred approach. 
  • Communication: Sound oral and interpersonal skills, with a demonstrated capacity to liaise effectively and relate well to all kinds of people.
  • An interest in disability law/administrative law/human rights related issues

Qualifications/skills required

  • Depends on the position we are seeking to fill. If it is a legal position, then Admission to Practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court.
  • Current national mediation accreditation would be highly valuable

What electives/areas of study are viewed favourably?

  • Human Rights
  • Disability
  • Administrative Law

What prior work/volunteer work is viewed favourably?

Work in the disability or community law sector

How does one apply

Interview process

 A number of suitable applicants will be shortlisted and then invited to attend a face to face interview.

Do you have a minimum Grade Point Average standard for an applicant's academic record?

No

If there are any fails on a candidate's academic record how will they affect the recruitment process?

It will not

Information for practicsng lawyers

What are you looking for in a permanent employee?

  • Interpersonal Skills: Relates well with all kinds of people, and displays interpersonal astuteness when dealing with others. Adopts a person-centred approach. 
  • Communication: Sound oral and interpersonal skills, with a demonstrated capacity to liaise effectively and relate well to all kinds of people.
  • An interest in disability law/administrative law/human rights related issues

What prior work is viewed favourably?

 Work in the disability, government or community law sector

On average, how many positions become available per year?

There is only one legal position and so would only be available when that position becomes vacant.

How many applications do you receive for these?

20

Where do you advertise your positions?

Victorian Government Jobs website

Do you use a recruitment agency?

No

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