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Inhouse Counsel / Lawyer

Yugunga-Nya Native Title Aboriginal Corporation

About Us

Yugunga-Nya Native Title Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC ICN 9509 (YN PBC) is the registered native title body corporate for the Yugunga-Nya People. On 2 November 2021, Yugunga-Nya Native Title was Determined by the Federal Court over 21,305 square kilometres of land in the Mid-West and Murchison regions of WA, including Meekatharra and Cue.

YN PBC holds on trust the native title rights and interests of the Yugunga-Nya People. The corporation is responsible for delivering core governance and operational activities, fulfills obligations under mining agreements and ILUAs, implements programs to benefit Yugunga-Nya People, protects and preserves Yugunga-Nya land and heritage, and creates pathways for economic empowerment through employment, training and business opportunities. 

YN PBC is registered with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) and is currently based in Perth.

The Role

The primary objective of this position is to manage: 

  1. The legal obligations and ongoing protection of Yugunga-Nya Native Title Aboriginal Corporation interests and 
  2. Legal compliance of all Land Access and Future Acts Matters as well as other key Yugunga-Nya Native Title Aboriginal Corporation Agreements, contracts, programs and projects 

This position contributes to the strategic development, planning and management of the objectives, vision and direction of Yugunga-Nya Native Title Aboriginal Corporation and provides advice to the CEO, Board and Elders within its areas of accountability.  

The Duties

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

MANAGEMENT TEAM AND ORGANISATIONAL GOVERNANCE 

  • Contributes to the strategic development and management of the objects, vision, and direction of the Corporation.  
  • Legal advice and compliance with the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act), Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth), Native Title (Prescribed Bodies Corporate) Regulations 1999 (Cth) and the Constitution. 
  • Legal and commercial advice on all facets of the corporation’s business as directed by the CEO.

IN HOUSE COUNSEL

  • Provide professional legal advice to the CEO, Board, and stakeholders of the Corporation
  • Drafting, review and approval of contracts and associated agreements.
  • Supporting negotiation with stakeholders including the Government, partners, and members.
  • Developing, negotiating, and managing contracts and sub-contracts including any amendments, annual escalation requirements and reporting.
  • Supporting development of general legal policies, contracting frameworks, policies, procedures, risk assessments, and monitoring industry and regulatory updates.
  • Professional representation of the Corporation to stakeholders, suppliers, and industry.
  • Assisting with tender development for new business opportunities.
  • Supervise entire outside counsel as required.
  • Perform with outside counsel to present legal advice along with services on issues related to obligations, rights, risks, and organisation privileges.
  • Collaborate with Operations, Finance, Heritage departments and Professional Development to assure legal adherence for special projects.
  • Collaborate with outside counsel to defend organisation’s rights in contract settlements, negotiations, and litigation.
  • Conduct in-house education for team members on relevant matters relating to risk management (including legal risk management).

IMPLEMENTATION AND COMPLIANCE  

  • Ensure legal compliance with Native Title Agreements, Trust Deed and Rule Book 
  • Ensure the Corporation is complying legally with all its Land Access and Future Acts obligations under the Native Title Act and Service agreements. 
  • Maintain positive working relationships with key stakeholders and agreement partners. 
  • Act on actions from key meetings (e.g., AGM, Board). 
  • Report regularly to the CEO on legal compliance, risk, and relationships. 

ADMINISTRATIVE AND MEETING TASKS 

  • Attend key meetings with agreement partners, service providers and other significant stakeholders. 
  • Attend meetings to represent the CEO when required. 
  • Maintain electronic and manual files and keeping records up to date, secure and accessible, as appropriate. 
  • Adhere to compliance procedures. 
  • Periodic travel to the region to attend meetings as required. 

INTERNAL & EXTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS 

  • Manage all incoming and outgoing communications (e.g., telephone, electronic, hard copy and in person) from/to agreement partners, relevant service providers and other significant stakeholders, ensuring it is responsive, effective, and approved by the CEO. 
  • Assist with the development and implementation of communications strategy; Other duties as required by the CEO.

Selection Criteria

Essential: 

  • Significant experience in Corporate/Commercial law, particularly experience with drafting contracts.
  • Knowledge of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act), Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth), Native Title (Prescribed Bodies Corporate) Regulations 1999 (Cth), the Mining Act 1978 (WA), the Future Acts regime, Native Title Agreements, and other relevant legislation.
  • Experience working in the Native Title Sector, or for an NTRB or PBC, or in a related role within a mining company, government sector, inhouse counsel or legal practice
  • High level strategic thinking. 
  • Proven ability to formulate legal solutions and to minimise and avoid exposure. 
  • High degree of commercial acumen. 
  • Effective negotiator. 
  • Excellent stakeholder management, analytical and negotiation skills, with the ability to work with non-lawyers to achieve outcomes. 
  • Strong financial and resource management acumen. 
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise high level judgement and discretion, and to manage corporate compliance, contractual and legal issues in a not for profit / for purpose environment. 
  • Demonstrated adherence to a high standard of professional principles to ensure honesty, integrity, and ethical decision-making in all situations. 
  • Exceptional organisational skills and focus, including a capacity to effectively and efficiently prioritise tasks and manage time in accordance with strict deadlines, with meticulous attention to detail. 

Desirable: 

  • Relevant experience within for purpose, or public sector organisation. 
  • In-house legal experience. 
  • Cultural competence, particularly with Aboriginal people. 

Qualifications 

  • Tertiary legal qualification and holding or being eligible to hold a current practising certificate as an Australian lawyer. 
  • 5 years or similar previous experience.

Behavioural Competencies 

  • A high level of confidentiality, discretion, and judgment 
  • Professional conduct and demeanour 
  • Highly effective communication skills 
  • Cross cultural competency

Licenses & Accreditations 

  • Cleared National Police Check 
  • Working with Children’s check 

Desirable: 

  • Experience working with Aboriginal organisations and people. 

Salary & Benefits

Subject to a probation period, a contract for 2 years with an immediate start and option to extend.

A competitive salary up to $130k pa will be negotiated based on skills and experience.

The role is based in Perth.

If you feel you have the relevant skills and experience, we would love to hear from you. 

Applications will be reviewed and shortlisted when received. 

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