• Location: Australia-wide
  • Term: Ongoing
  • Full-time 37.5 hrs (Part time at 0.8 FTE will be considered) 
  • Remuneration: SCHADS Level 8: FTE $110-122k + 10% super + 17.5% Annual Leave Loading
  • This is a Pasifika identified position open to people of Pacific Island heritage/descent. The role is specifically designed to work with organisations and communities across the Pacific region and being of Pacific Island Heritage/descent is an occupational requirement of this role.

Job title: Managing Lawyer, Pasifika (Pacific) Program

Reporting to: Director, Legal Strategy

We have a rare opportunity for a lawyer of Pacific Island heritage/descent to lead our Pasifika (Pacific) Program. This opportunity occurs at a crucial time to work strategically with international and regional players and local communities to take on some of the biggest environmental issues facing the Pacific region: illegal logging, unsustainable mining, deep seabed mining and climate change.   The Managing Lawyer will manage the delivery of current work and play a key role in the future design and development of the Program, including areas of work, such as Oceans, customary law program and Pacific climate justice.

Our Pasifika (Pacific) Program embodies Pasifika values, providing pathways for Pasifika environmental lawyers and represents EDO’s regional presence in the wider Pacific region through maintaining and developing long-standing and trusting relationships with government, partner organisations and local communities across the region and international organisations who share EDO’s vison of a world where nature thrives. The Pasifika (Pacific) Program is focused on protection of nature in the Pacific – with a particular focus on illegal logging. The Program works to deliver key environmental protections via strengthening public interest environmental law in the Pacific, delivering strategic legal interventions, and ensuring local knowledges, custom/kastom and culture plays a central role.

To date the Program has focused on work in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu and has relationships across the entire region. Our work to date involves working hand in hand with lawyers, partner organisations and communities in the Pacific to run cases in local courts, use international mechanisms, analyse policy and law, support community outreach and support communications and story-telling about environmental issues and communities in the Pacific. 

To maximise our impact, our Program works closely and collaboratively with international donors, environmental lawyers, journalists, and human rights organisations and a Pacific-network of organisations, communities and individuals. 

Candidate Profile

First and foremost, you are a leader with a big vision. You are across the environmental issues which face the region and have a strong understanding of Pasifika peoples’ values, including collectivism, reciprocity/relationality, and respect. You are someone looking to make a significant difference in a crucial space, at a crucial time and understand the historical and contemporary Pacific context.

You will have the ability to lead a small team which is predominately made up of lawyers of Pacific Island descent and work collaboratively with solicitors and partners across Australia, the Pacific and internationally. You will have strong relationship building skills and be confident in developing trusted relationships with a diverse range of clients and other stakeholders, including government, partner organisations, local communities, and media.

We are looking for an independent and strategic thinker, a skilled communicator and someone with a strong instinct for developing and delivering strategic legal interventions – an ability to think outside the box and deliver effective results for partners and clients.

You will understand effective leadership and the requirements to successfully deliver projects, including budget management, partner relations and compliance matters.

At a personal level you will be comfortable working with diverse communities, and in remote and isolated areas. You will have resilience, tenacity, and compassion.

Key selection criteria


  • The ability to hold and foster cultural relationships across the Pacific.
  • Lived experience of a Pacific culture and a strong understanding of the cultural diversity across the Pacific.
  • Excellent EQ and communications skills.
  • Experience in program management, including fundraising and donor management, budgeting, contract drafting and negotiation.
  • An understanding of the political and cultural contexts of the Pacific – including its colonial history and ongoing influences of colonialism and climate and environmental racism.
  • The ability to act as a bridge between pacific and non-pacific worlds.
  • A leadership style characterised by “with and for” and models respect, collectivism, and consensus decision-making.
  • 10 years post admission litigation experience, with at least 2 years practicing in environmental law, human rights law, administrative law, civil enforcement and/or criminal enforcement.  Will consider a lower post admission litigation experience with the right candidate.
  • A strong understanding of Pacific legal pluralism, particularly the interaction between customary and state legal systems. 
  • A strong working knowledge of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • An unrestricted practising certificate in an Australian jurisdiction and/or in a Pacific country, or the ability to obtain practising certificates in these jurisdictions.
  • Cross cultural competency and/or experience, in particular experience working with indigenous or Pacific-led Pacific organisations or Pacific communities.
  • Experience in supervising and mentoring legal staff including from diverse backgrounds.
  • Capacity to develop own practice.
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively and to deadlines
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain good relationships with clients and partners
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including an ability to communicate clearly in plain English and an understanding the importance of Pacific ‘story-telling’ and ways to achieve this story-telling in a legal practice.
  • Commitment to the protection of the environment and public interest environmental law and to the platforming and development of Pacific environmental lawyers both in the diaspora and in the Islands.  


  • Fluency in one or more Pacific language.
  • Understanding of policy and law reform and community outreach issues and ability to undertake related work.
  • A strong knowledge of context compatible environmental law developments such as, ecocide, a right to a healthy environment, Indigenous led rights of nature.
  • A strong knowledge of Pacific environmental initiatives. A strong knowledge and understanding of the impact of climate change on Pacific Island communities.

Personal qualities and cultural competency

  • A champion of the agreed values of the EDO
  • Personal leadership, tenacity, and resilience
  • Demonstrated ability to drive program development, strong initiative, and self-motivation
  • A strong sense of ethics and understanding of professional obligations
  • Demonstrated ability to bring out the best in others and mentor other lawyers, and high emotional intelligence
  • The ability to give and receive regular formal and informal feedback in a timely, constructive, respectful, and consistent manner
  • Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations in both the delivery of our work and our internal culture
  • An ability to engage non-legal audiences to help them interpret and understand our goals
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative and team-based environment

Our culture and benefits

  • We care deeply about creating a workplace where our team members feel valued, respected and empowered. We are committed to providing equal opportunity regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or life stage
  • The chance to be part of the largest environmental legal practice in the Australia-Pacific.
  • A very flexible and family-friendly workplace
  • Option to work from home and the office
  • 8 weeks paid parental leave, regardless of gender or carer status
  • 15 Days Personal/carer’s leave
  • 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave
  • 3 days paid cultural leave 
  • Extra leave over the Christmas period
  • Access to Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Ongoing professional development opportunities
  • EDO proudly has a JEDI (Justice, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion), and a Mental Health Ambassador Committee, and has developed a First Nations Program with the aid of indigenous-led consultancies

Our values

Commitment – We are committed to; a united organisation, to each other, to collaboration, to justice, to our communities and to creating a world where nature thrives.

Diversity – We are respectful of and welcome diversity of staff, volunteers, offices, environmental regions, communities, stakeholders.

Integrity – We work effectively, efficiently, strategically, professionally, and ethically; “justice is in our nature”.

Vision – We lead change and environmental empowerment using innovation, creativity, and courage.

How to apply

All offers of employment may be subject to satisfactory background checks including a National Police Check, disclosure of previous or current disciplinary action, referee checks, proof of eligibility to work in Australia and qualification checks.

EDO particularly encourages applications from Pacific Island people, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, workers of all ages, people living with disabilities and people who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Applications must include a CV and a letter that clearly addresses each of the selection criteria.

Applications which do not address the selection criteria will not be considered.

Applications close on 24 July 2022. Applications should be emailed to [email protected] with “Application for position of Managing Lawyer – Pasifika (Pacific) Program” in the subject line.