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Position Description

Position Title: Drug & Alcohol Female Case Worker (Non-clinical)

Location: 135 Kepler Street, Warrnambool
Award / Classification: Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Award.

Classification: Level 4. Salary range $60,000 - $67,000 p.a., depending on qualifications and experience


Reports To: Team Leader, Community Services
Supervises: nil
Hours of Work: Full-time, subject to funding


Historical background
The Gunditjmara Nation starts at the South Australian border then goes to the foothills of the Grampians, to Pirron Yallock and Gellibrand; this covers the coastlines within these areas. There are many tribes within the Gunditjmara Nation; each tribe had their own identity, which was knowing where their boundary lines were on country. These were often recognised by creeks, rivers and small hills.

Gunditjmara nation is a diverse country made up of volcanic plains, Lakes, Rivers, forest, coastal plains and sea country. Our people adapted to the landscape and constructed permanent housing such as huts made of volcanic rocks. The Kerrupgunditj Clan also utilised the volcanic rocks to construct weirs and channels for the trapping of eels and fish, better known as ‘the fish traps’ by Gunditjmara people.


Gunditjmara country is located in Victoria's south-west region. Our country is within the boundries east of the Glenelg River, south of the Wannon River, west of the Hopkins River and north of the sea is the traditional country of Gunditjmara Nation (Dhauwurd Wurrung language group). West of the Glenelg River is the traditional Country of the Boandik (or Buandig) and to the north of the Glenelg and Wannon, the Jardwadjali. Gunditjmara people have occupied this country for many thousands of yearsGunditjmara nation is a diverse country made up of volcanic plains, Lakes, Rivers, forest, coastal plains and sea country. Our people adapted to the landscape and constructed permanent housing such as huts made of volcanic rocks. The Kerrupgunditj Clan also utilised the volcanic rocks to construct weirs and channels for the trapping of eels and fish, better known as ‘the fish traps’ by Gunditjmara people.
Gunditjmara country is located in Victoria's south-west region. Our country is within the boundries east of the Glenelg River, south of the Wannon River, west of the Hopkins River and north of the sea is the traditional country of Gunditjmara Nation (Dhauwurd Wurrung language group). West of the Glenelg River is the traditional Country of the Boandik (or Buandig) and to the north of the Glenelg and Wannon, the Jardwadjali. Gunditjmara people have occupied this country for many thousands of yearsWhen the world was called to arms in the first and second world war Gunditjmara warriors answered the call, those warriors carried their ancestors spirit with them in battle and continued the legacy of the Fighting Gunditjmara. Every generation of Gunditjmara have left a mark on time and have added to the legacy of warrior culture in defense of country. These stories are passed on to us as part of our history by our elders. Today we carry that warrior spirit with us and have become the living embodiment of the ‘Fighting Gunditjmara’.

Gunditjmara nation is a diverse country made up of volcanic plains, Lakes, Rivers, forest, coastal plains and sea country. Our people adapted to the landscape and constructed permanent housing such as huts made of volcanic rocks. The Kerrupgunditj Clan also utilised the volcanic rocks to construct weirs and channels for the trapping of eels and fish, better known as ‘the fish traps’ by Gunditjmara people.


Gunditjmara country is located in Victoria's south-west region. Our country is within the boundries east of the Glenelg River, south of the Wannon River, west of the Hopkins River and north of the sea is the traditional country of Gunditjmara Nation (Dhauwurd Wurrung language group). West of the Glenelg River is the traditional Country of the Boandik (or Buandig) and to the north of the Glenelg and Wannon, the Jardwadjali. Gunditjmara people have occupied this country for many thousands of years.When the world was called to arms in the first and second world war Gunditjmara warriors answered the call, those warriors carried their ancestors spirit with them in battle and continued the legacy of the Fighting Gunditjmara. Every generation of Gunditjmara have left a mark on time and have added to the legacy of warrior culture in defense of country. These stories are passed on to us as part of our history by our elders. Today we carry that warrior spirit with us and have become the living embodiment of the ‘Fighting Gunditjmara’.

Gunditjmara nation is a diverse country made up of volcanic plains, Lakes, Rivers, forest, coastal plains and sea country. Our people adapted to the landscape and constructed permanent housing such as huts made of volcanic rocks. The Kerrupgunditj Clan also utilised the volcanic rocks to construct weirs and channels for the trapping of eels and fish, better known as ‘the fish traps’ by Gunditjmara people.


Gunditjmara country is located in Victoria's south-west region. Our country is within the boundries east of the Glenelg River, south of the Wannon River, west of the Hopkins River and north of the sea is the traditional country of Gunditjmara Nation (Dhauwurd Wurrung language group). West of the Glenelg River is the traditional Country of the Boandik (or Buandig) and to the north of the Glenelg and Wannon, the Jardwadjali. Gunditjmara people have occupied this country for many thousands of years.When the world was called to arms in the first and second world war Gunditjmara warriors answered the call, those warriors carried their ancestors spirit with them in battle and continued the legacy of the Fighting Gunditjmara. Every generation of Gunditjmara have left a mark on time and have added to the legacy of warrior culture in defense of country. These stories are passed on to us as part of our history by our elders. Today we carry that warrior spirit with us and have become the living embodiment of the ‘Fighting Gunditjmara’.

Gunditjmara nation is a diverse country made up of volcanic plains, Lakes, Rivers, forest, coastal plains and sea country. Our people adapted to the landscape and constructed permanent housing such as huts made of volcanic rocks. The Kerrupgunditj Clan also utilised the volcanic rocks to construct weirs and channels for the trapping of eels and fish, better known as ‘the fish traps’ by Gunditjmara people.


Gunditjmara country is located in Victoria's south-west region. Our country is within the boundries east of the Glenelg River, south of the Wannon River, west of the Hopkins River and north of the sea is the traditional country of Gunditjmara Nation (Dhauwurd Wurrung language group). West of the Glenelg River is the traditional Country of the Boandik (or Buandig) and to the north of the Glenelg and Wannon, the Jardwadjali. Gunditjmara people have occupied this country for many thousands of years.

Gunditjmara people established permanent settlements thousands of years ago, revealing a deep, enduring connection to the land. The Gunditjmara people used the land's natural topography and features to establish permanent settlements and villages along the lava flow near creeks and lakes.



Gunditjmara people gathered food including eels from the rivers and shellfish from the ocean. Places such as Lake Condah, Tower Hill, Budj Bim, Deen Maar and the Framlingham Mission areas all significant cultural sites for Gunditjmara people that tell the story of our ancestor’s way of life, culture and history.

Organisational background
Incorporated in 1982 Gunditjmara Aboriginal Cooperative is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) that provides a range of holistic community health and social support programs, principally to the Aboriginal community and other residents in Warrnambool and outlying areas work in close partnership with local government, other health service providers including other Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations in the Western District of Victoria, liaising regularly on the provision of primary health service and community services.

Overview of the position
The Drug & Alcohol Female Case Worker role provides local Aboriginal women of 18 years and over experiencing substance misuse issues with prevention, early intervention, group support, basic counselling, and referral to specialist services including treatment and care coordination and ongoing support. A particular focus is placed on reducing the uptake of alcohol and other drugs by Aboriginal women and empower and motivate community in making positive changes in their lives.

Key responsibilities
Service delivery

  • Encourage, motivate, empower individuals to access mainstream services.

  • Develop relapse plans for clients using a strength based/client centered approach.

  • Develop exit and transition plans for clients leaving the AOD program

  • Provide referrals to counselling, withdrawal, post withdrawal, including drug treatment and rehabilitation.

  • Establish a direct referral pathway with mainstream AOD services.

  • Develop specific Gundtijmara AOD promotional materials and increase the visibility of the program out in the community.

  • Develop sound knowledge of the program guidelines, KPI’s and procedures.

  • Identify individuals experiencing mental health issues and provide advocacy and support to specialist clinical services.

  • Develop local Drug Action initiatives that embrace Aboriginal cultural therapeutic approaches to harminimisation.

  • Develop programme specific resources.

Case management and information management


  • Attend case planning and review meetings for each AOD client as needed.

  • Ensure accuracy and timeliness of program and funding reporting via Communicare and other relevant reporting systems is maintained.

  • Utilise existing internal services to compliment and provide further wrap around services to individuals experiencing AOD issues.

  • Develop Aboriginal Stay Strong plans using the Aboriginal Stay Strong assessment tool.

  • Manage time effectively and provide professional case management skills.

  • Encourage a cultural healing/connection approach to recovery.

  • Adhere to VADC (Victorian Alcohol and Drug Collection) reporting and assessment requirements.

  • Develop strong and healthy relationship with Gunditjmara local stakeholders and service providers.

  • Ensure close working relationships with the SEWB case workers and other AOD case workers.

  • Attend and contribute to Gunditjmara’s internal multi-disciplinary meetings with Psychologists, Aboriginal Health Workers, SEWB case workers and other relevant health professionals.

Professional / personal development

  • Participate in monthly supervision with the Team Leader

  • Contribute to internal staff Divisional Meetings

  • Participate in and contribute to Gunditjmara Health Service staff meetings, case conferences and other professional meetings as required.

  • Work collaboratively across the Gunditjmara organisation and with external agencies.

  • Maintain current professional knowledge and skills relevant to the position.



Other duties


  • Participate in a six monthly (post-employment) and then annual performance reviews with the Manager, Community Services, and develop a work plan for the next twelve month period

  • Participate in and attend Gunditjmara organizational meetings as directed by the Manager, Community Services

  • Be accountable for the effective and efficient achievement of the key responsibilities of the position.

  • Be familiar with and abide by the Gunditjmara policies and procedures including Occupational Health and Safety, the Code of Conduct and Child Safety policy

  • Participate in the Continuous Quality Improvement and Risk Management programmes, and promote compliance with legislation and Gunditjmara policies

  • Participate in Gunditjmara Aboriginal cultural awareness training

  • Assist with and support internal and external audit processes

  • Contribute to monthly newsletter as required

  • Provide regular reports on the activities and outcomes of work undertaken, including internal reporting requirements.

  • Undertake professional development to increase skills and knowledge

  • Other relevant duties within the scope of this role, as directed by the Manager, Community Services


Essential skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience





  1. Knowledge of and affinity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, Community and community control

  2. A sound knowledge and understanding of Intergenerational challenges faced by Aboriginal women

  3. A sound knowledge of the social and emotional wellbeing framework (Balit Murrup)

  4. A willingness to complete formal study, as required, with training expenses being met by Gunditjmara

  5. Case management skills, understanding of strength based models

  6. Sound communication, writing and computer skills

  7. Demonstrated knowledge of Cultural Respect and apply this to practice

  8. Demonstrated ability to work effectively and cooperatively as part of a team



Desirable characteristics


  1. Minimum Cert 4 or Diploma in Community Services or 2 years relevant work experience in Community Services

  2. Experience working with Aboriginal Women experiencing SEWB issues

  3. A good understanding of the National Aboriginal Social & Emotional Well-being Framework

  4. Sound knowledge of Cultural Safety in practice and a willingness to learn



Child safety
Gunditjmara is a Child Safe Organisation and is committed to the safety of children and protecting children from abuse. Pre-employment checks include:

  • undergo and attain a satisfactory police check

  • be in possession of a current Working With Children Check card

  • be able to attain two satisfactory employment references including, attesting to your suitability to work with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children

Other position related information


  • A current Victorian Drivers Licence is required

Guidelines for submitting an expression of interest

The deadline for submitting expressions of interest is Friday 5 p.m. 6 July 2018. Expressions of interest should include your resume and why you are interested in the position and should be forwarded to Susan Kay, HR. Specific queries about the role should be directed to Ashley Couzens, Manager Community Services. Submitting an Expression of interest is limited to existing employees of Gunditjmara only.




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