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National Research and Policy Coordinator

Justice Reform Initiative

Job Description

  • Location: Sydney (although flexible working conditions so the position is a potential option for people living outside of Sydney also)
  • Part-time: 19 hours per week
  • Contract to June 2023
  • Classified under SCHADS Award Level 7.1
  • ($102, 260 per annum salary applied pro-rata) + 10% Super
  • Reports directly to the Executive Director
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply
  • People with lived experience of incarceration are encouraged to apply.

Are you an experienced researcher and a fantastic, engaging writer? Are you passionate about reducing the numbers of people incarcerated across Australia and excited about informing the advocacy strategy of the Justice Reform Initiative by ensuring we have a strong research and policy approach? The Justice Reform Initiative is looking for an exceptional researcher, writer and thoughtful policy analyst who is passionate about bringing about justice system change.

The Justice Reform Initiative is a new national justice advocacy organisation working to reduce over-incarceration in Australia and promote a community in which disadvantage is no longer met with a default criminal justice system response. The Justice Reform Initiative currently has a network of over 100 eminent Australians as patrons, including two former Governors-General, former High Court judges, former parliamentarians from all sides of politics and many other established community leaders. We also have strong support and partnerships with organisations and stakeholders around Australia who are all working to reduce incarceration. We are excited to start building our employee team in order to achieve our goal of reducing the numbers of people in prison by 50% by 2030. The Research and Policy Coordinator will work directly with the Executive Director to implement the strategic plan and drive reform.

Key Responsibilities

  • Researching, developing and drafting position papers in the justice reform priority areas outlined in the Justice Reform Initiative's strategic plan as part of the process of developing the Justice Reform Initiative Roadmap for Reform
  • Consulting and working with key stakeholders and experts including people with lived experience of incarceration, peak organisations, advocacy organisations and service delivery providers in the development of the Roadmap for Reform research.
  • Writing Justice Reform Initiative submissions to relevant government/parliamentary inquiries/Commissions
  • Writing briefing papers as required (political briefings, best practice briefings, public facing op-ed briefings)
  • Coordinating pro-bono support, student research projects, university partnerships and research volunteers
  • Assisting in analysis and response to relevant government policy announcements as required
  • Providing research and policy assistance to the Executive Director as required.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience (Selection Criteria)

  • High level research skills: Experience in carrying out high level research. The ability to independently and confidently conduct desktop research, literature reviews, scoping and mapping exercises, policy consultation, and research and consultation interviews. The capacity to collate, synthesise, thematise and clearly summarise information from a range of different sources.
  • Exceptional critical thinking skills: The ability to identify research gaps in the context of advocacy, formulate new research questions, and think creatively about how to utilise existing evidence (including the often unpublished expertise held by people with lived experience and service delivery providers) to strengthen the evidence base. The ability to translate research findings into policy and advocacy actions. The ability to remain curious and critical about research, advocacy and strategy, and the flexibility to be responsive to shifts in research approaches if required.
  • High level critical understanding of the criminal justice system in Australia: Experience (preferably more than three years) working in justice advocacy or adjacent/related areas. A deep understanding of the failures of incarceration, and a thoughtful approach to building alternative, evidence-based approaches.
  • High Level Communication Skills: Exceptional written and verbal communication skills alongside the ability to listen thoughtfully, summarise and thematise complex information in a range of different settings.
  • Excellent Interpersonal Skills: The ability to relate to people from a diverse range of social and cultural backgrounds, and maintain professional, positive and warm relationships with staff and stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated organisation and time-management skills: The ability to deliver high quality briefing and research papers to tight deadlines. The ability to manage and prioritise competing demands (including working on short term urgent projects, alongside medium and longer-term projects). The ability to respond thoughtfully to multiple and competing demands, prioritise work, and manage multiple projects across multiple jurisdictions.
  • Motivated and independent: The ability to work in a small team, with minimal supervision, and a high degree of autonomy, confidence, and independence.
  • Integrity: Demonstrated experience working in environments which have required a high degree of integrity, judgement, confidentiality, sensitivity and thoughtfulness.
  • Qualifications and Experience: Post-graduate research qualifications, or equivalent in on-the-ground research/policy experience
  • The unrestricted right to work in Australia

A position description is attached.

How to apply

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