Job Alert: Lawyer or Senior Lawyer, Whistleblowing | Human Rights Law Centre

April 11, 2023
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The Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) is a registered charity with offices in Melbourne and Sydney that uses strategic legal action, policy solutions and advocacy to support people and communities to eliminate inequality and injustice and build a fairer, more compassionate Australia.

The Role

HRLC  is seeking a dynamic, motivated Lawyer or Senior Lawyer (subject to experience) to lead on their whistleblowing work as it relates to climate and environmental wrongdoing. In particular, the Lawyer/Senior Lawyer will work within our democratic freedoms team and closely with the climate justice team, to support whistleblowers who have disclosed, or wish to disclose, misconduct that relates to environmental and climate harm. The Lawyer/Senior Lawyer will also work closely with partner environmental organisations, to ensure our work contributes meaningfully to the movement. The role may also encompass some work within the organisation’s other human rights focus areas.

Salary:  $97, 786 (Lawyer) or $106,820 (Senior Lawyer)

Contract: Full-time 1-year position, with a view to extending subject to donor support. 

Location: HRLC have offices in Sydney and Melbourne but are open to remote work arrangements for the right candidate.


Reporting to the Legal Director, Democratic Freedoms, the Lawyer/Senior Lawyer will:
  • Receive and triage requests for support from whistleblowers and potential whistleblowers.
  •  Provide high quality legal advice and representation to clients, ensuring compliance with legal professional responsibilities.
  •  Identify strategically significant opportunities for litigation, where it advances whistleblowing law, and/or protects the climate and environment.
  •  Work with a wide range of stakeholders to achieve greatest protection for whistleblowers and the environment and climate, including experts, partner organisations and politicians.
  •  Help to develop and implement innovative legal and advocacy strategies in partnership with clients and other people most impacted.
  •  Research and write reports, legal & policy submissions, briefing papers, speeches, letters and other publications that effectively communicate and promote our advocacy objectives.
  •  Represent the organisation in senior-level meetings, at public events and in the media in relation to our work.
  •  Working with the Legal Director and fundraising team, help to identify and secure financial resources to support the work of the Democratic Freedoms Team and assist with fundraising events, applications, reporting and acquittal
  •  Assist with supervising secondees and with recruitment as required.
  •  Occasional interstate or international travel may be required and some work outside standard business hours to accommodate work across time zones.


  •  Deep understanding of and commitment to promoting human rights in the context of government or corporate accountability, or climate and environmental justice.
  •  A law degree and admitted to practice in an Australian jurisdiction, and a minimum of 3+ years (Lawyer) or 5+ years (Senior Lawyer) post-qualification experience working in a legal and/or policy setting on human rights issues.
  •  Experience in litigation and client-facing work.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills and proven ability to produce high quality external communications targeted at a variety of audiences.
  •  Excellent organisational and project management skills, including managing large projects involving external partner organisations. Demonstrated ability to work autonomously and to set priorities, plan and organise workflow to meet tight deadlines.
  •  Willingness to work collaboratively and able to communicate easily with people from diverse backgrounds and quickly build relationships of trust and confidence.

  •  Experience practicing in whistleblowing law or employment law.
  • Political judgement and strategy: Sound knowledge of legislative processes and politics and a demonstrated capacity for innovative strategic and analytical thinking.
  •  Network and alliance-building: Experience in helping to build and nurture effective and diverse   alliances to promote human rights or law reform, including with unlikely allies.
  •  Experience working in the environmental protection or climate movement.
  •  Experience working for a community legal centre.
  •  Experience in public speaking, media advocacy and/or campaigning.


Deadline: 5pm Wednesday April 26, 2023.

Applications should be sent by email to Justin Baré, Director, People & Operations at

Applications should comprise:

• a cover letter addressing the key selection criteria (maximum 2 pages); and your resume.
• Please combine these as a single PDF document, clearly named with your name in the document title.