Human resource management


The ALRC has one office in Sydney and all staff are located at this office. On 30 June 2012, the ALRC’s full-time equivalent staffing level was 14.44 FTE. This figure does not include Commissioners (1.8 FTE).

Table 8: Staffing profile, as at 30 June 2011

ALRC Classification






Executive Director






EL2/PLO ($124,789–132,389)






EL1/SLO ($92,854–121,155)






APS 5–6/LO ($69,810–88,432)






APS 3–4 ($55,108–67,777)






APS 1–2 ($38,652–53,502)












Staff retention and turnover

2011–12 has been a very stable year for the ALRC in terms of staff retention and turnover. One non-ongoing employee left the ALRC at the end of the employee’s contract, and one ongoing employee went on maternity leave.

Table 9: ALRC staff 2011–12

Staff member



Corporate Support

Sabina Wynn

Executive Director


Maria Zacharia

Finance Manager


Dimitra Zinonos

Finance Assistant


Greg Diggs

Payroll Officer


Tina O’Brien

Executive Assistant/Project Coordinator


Trisha Manning

Office Services Coordinator


Communications and Information

Marie Claire Muir

Website Manager


Carolyn Kearney



Legal Team

Bruce Alston

Principal Legal Officer


Justine Clarke

Senior Legal Officer


Jared Boorer

Senior Legal Officer


Sara Peel

Senior Legal Officer


Virginia Marshall (until Nov 2011)

Senior Legal Officer


Krista Lee-Jones (on leave from April 2012)

Legal Officer


Khanh Hoang

Legal Officer


Amanda Alford

Legal Officer


Julie MacKenzie (from April 2012)

Legal Officer


Employment conditions

All employees are covered by the ALRC Enterprise Agreement 2011–14. This Agreement is designed to ensure the ALRC values and develops its employees through:

(a) ensuring health and wellbeing, including:

  • providing flexible conditions and working arrangements that assist employees in balancing their work and personal responsibilities;

  • providing a safe and healthy workplace; and

  • promoting a work environment that upholds and supports policies relating to staff development, anti-discrimination, consultative workplace relations, work health and safety, and workplace diversity.

(b) supporting a responsive organisation able to meet future challenges by:

  • providing remuneration that is competitive and fair;

  • promoting arrangements that increase productivity;

  • maintaining a strong performance and merit-based culture that encourages both individual and collegial achievements and contributions, and improves overall organisational performance;

  • being consultative and encouraging open communication; and

  • encouraging responsible and accountable practices across the organisation.

(c) facilitating productive workplace relations and collective bargaining in good faith with ALRC employees and their representatives that will assist the ALRC to identify and realise productivity improvements.

The ALRC is committed to providing a flexible working environment, while maintaining the high quality of its work. The ALRC acknowledges that employees have to balance their working life with other commitments, including family, carer and community responsibilities. This is recognised through various provisions in the Agreement including, but not limited to, forms of leave, flexible work arrangements and a ‘work from home’ policy.

Performance rewards and bonuses

The ALRC Enterprise Agreement 2011–14 makes provision for an annual increase of 3% and includes a salary scale, with each pay point in the scale representing a 3% increase in salary. The performance appraisal provisions of the Agreement allow for performance to be rewarded through a mixture of movement up the salary scale and one-off bonuses, as summarised below.

Table 10: Performance rewards and bonuses

Performance rating


Exceeding performance

2 pay point increase

Meets all performance expectations

1 pay point increase

Meets most performance expectations

Remain on current pay point

Does not meet performance expectations

Remain on current pay point or go down one or more pay points in accordance with procedures in Clause 20, ‘Managing Underperformance’

An employee who is at the maximum salary point for a classification will be eligible for a bonus of up to 2% of his or her annual salary, based on a performance appraisal. If rated as meeting all performance expectations, the bonus will be 1%. If rated as exceeding, the bonus will be 2%. If rated as meeting most, or not meeting performance expectations, there will be no bonus awarded.

During 2011–12, 7 employees were awarded a performance bonus, amounting to a total bonus payment for the year of $16,866.

  • 1x SES Band 1—$10,861
  • 1x EL1—$1,176
  • 2 x APS 6—$2,575
  • 3 x APS 4—$2,254

Further details of total remuneration expenditure in 2011–12 are provided in the financial statements.

Staff development

The performance appraisal process is the main mechanism for determining professional development needs of employees, but the ALRC also considers requests for education and training as they arise. The ALRC budgets for professional development at a whole-of-organisation level as well as for individual employees. Where appropriate, the ALRC organises tailored training for groups of employees with similar needs. In addition, the ALRC considers attendance at relevant conferences and professional seminars to contribute to the professional development of staff.

During 2011–12, all ALRC employees attended fraud training and cross-cultural communication training. Legal officers attended presentation skills training and training in professional legal writing.

The following professional development opportunities were taken up by corporate staff during 2011–12:

  • Australian Law Librarians’ Association (ALLA) Annual Conference

  • Records and information management in the Australian Government

  • Libraries Australia Document Delivery

  • Developing a Records Authority

  • Classification of Content

  • Fringe Benefits Tax 2012 Seminar

  • Financial Statements 2011–12 Seminar

  • Central Budget Management System/ACM training

  • Creating an effective Information Management Strategy and Plan for your business

  • Leading and managing small teams, Australian Public Service Commission Executive level training

  • Taking good minutes

  • Applied First Aid training

Legal officers attended the following conferences and seminars:

  • The Big Picture: Socio-Cultural Research and Australia’s Policy Challenges, ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI) Symposium

  • Communication on the Edge: Shifting Boundaries and Identities, Australian and New Zealand Communication Association annual conference

  • 7th Annual Public Sector In-House Counsel Conference 2011

  • Child Support National Stakeholders Engagement Group, Canberra

  • Managing Patient Confidentiality & Information Governance Forum, Melbourne

  • AIJA and National Judicial College of Australia, Discovery Seminar, Melbourne

  • Inform Media Regulation Forum 2012, Sydney

  • Tomorrow’s Law: Disclosure of Information—Balancing Public and Private Interests, Conference of the Centre for Legal Governance, Macquarie Law School Macquarie University Interactive Media Institute public forum, Sydney

  • Knowledge/Culture/Social Change Conference, University of Western Sydney

  • Child Support National Stakeholder Engagement Group meeting, Canberra

  • WA Family Pathways Network Conference, Perth.

  • Legalwise, Solving Problems that Keep Litigators Awake at Night, Sydney

  • Australian Copyright Council and Copyright Society of Australia, 15th Biennial Copyright Law and Practice Symposium, Sydney

  • Network Insight Institute, Communications Policy and Research Forum 2011, Sydney

  • Australian Digital Alliance, Copyright Forum: Growing the Digital Economy: Copyright Exceptions for the Internet Age, Canberra

  • Communications Law Centre, Orphan Works White Paper Launch—Proposals, Discussion and Debate, University of Technology Sydney

  • Copyright Society of Australia Seminar, Football, Meat Pies, Convergence and Copyright: A Discussion of the Federal Court’s Recent Decision in Optus v NRL and its Implications, Sydney

  • Copyright Society of Australia, Who Authorised This? A discussion of the High Court’s recent decision in Roadshow v iiNet and its implications, Sydney

  • Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia in association with the Centre for Media and Communications Law and the Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney, New Models for Copyright Law Reform, University of Technology Sydney

  • Annual Labour Law Conference 2011, Sydney

  • National LGBTIQ Domestic Violence Interagency Conference, Sydney

  • Workplace Diversity Connected Forum, Sydney

Study leave

Study leave is available for all ongoing employees (full-time and part-time). Study assistance provided by the ALRC is in the form of granting up to five days unpaid leave per academic year (part-time staff will be granted a pro rata amount) to facilitate an employee’s study, No employees sought approval for study leave in 2011–12.

Workplace diversity

The ALRC values workplace diversity and will promote a work environment that is free from discrimination on the basis of race, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction, social origin or union membership.

The ALRC has an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy and Reasonable Adjustment Guidelines. The EEO Policy is a statement of the ALRC’s commitment to the goals of equal opportunity and affirmative action in employment, and aims to provide a work environment for staff, contractors and interns that fosters fairness, equity and respect for social and cultural diversity, and that is free from unlawful discrimination, harassment or vilification. The EEO Policy also sets out procedures to ensure concerns and complaints are dealt with in a prompt and appropriate manner.

The Reasonable Adjustment Guidelines are designed to assist in fulfilling the ALRC’s legal and organisational responsibilities for providing a workplace that allows employees, contractors and interns with disability to compete for vacancies and pursue careers as effectively as people who do not have a disability. The Guidelines require management to consider whether it is necessary and reasonable to make an adjustment to remove a barrier to enable a person with disability to achieve equal opportunity, equal participation or equal performance at work.

The ALRC invites all new staff to participate in a voluntary EEO survey that allows the organisation to track the number of staff who are from groups or communities that are specifically identified in the EEO Policy. All information collected through the survey is treated as confidential and is used only for reporting in a de-identified manner.

As at 30 June 2011, 12 of the ALRC’s 16 staff were female. There was one new non-ongoing appointment made during 2011–12 and this fell within categories recognised in the EEO policy (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with a disability, people from a non-English speaking background, and women). A breakdown of staff by gender and classification is provided in Table 8.

Work health & safety

The ALRC is committed to providing and maintaining the highest degree of health, safety and welfare of all employees and other persons by aiming to prevent all injury and illness potentially caused by working conditions. The ALRC recognises its responsibility to provide a healthy and safe workplace for employees and to provide them with workplace-based, easily accessible information on work health and safety matters.

The ALRC’s Health and Safety Management Arrangements (HSMAs) and OH&S policy establish the framework for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all employees. As a result of recent changes brought in by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act), the ALRC is in the process of updating these arrangements and policies to ensure alignment and compliance.

The ALRC has a commitment to consult with employees and their representatives on work health and safety issues and to work together to ensure a safe work environment. The ALRC, so far as is reasonably practicable, consults with employees who are, or are likely to be, directly affected by a matter relating to work health or safety. As part of this, the ALRC shares relevant information about health, safety and welfare with employees and ensures that they are given the opportunity to express their views and to contribute in a timely fashion to the resolution of work health, safety and welfare issues.

The ALRC supports the use of a risk management approach to work health and safety. The ALRC identifies any potential risks to the health and safety of ALRC employees and puts in place strategies to minimise any potential hazards or risks. OH&S policies are accessible to workers on the ALRC file server and new staff are provided with information on work health and safety as part of the induction process.

ALRC employees have responsibilities along with management to assist the ALRC to meet the objectives of the ALRC’s OH&S Policy. Under the WHS Act, workers have a primary duty to:

  • take reasonable care for their own safety at work;

  • take reasonable care that their own acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons

  • comply, so far as the worker is reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction that is given by the ALRC to allow it to comply with the Act; and

  • co-operate with reasonable policy or procedure of the ALRC relating to health or safety at the workplace that has been notified to workers.

The ALRC has an Occupational Health and Safety Consultative Committee (OH&SCC), comprised of the Executive Director, Legal Officer and union delegate, Office Services Coordinator (safety officer), Payroll Officer and Executive Assistant/Project Coordinator. ALRC workers and management have a responsibility to report to the OH&SCC any situation that could constitute a hazard to the health, safety or welfare of any ALRC worker. Any accident or injury that occurs while an employee is undertaking ALRC work—regardless of where it is being undertaken—must be reported immediately to the OH&SCC.

One of the objectives of the OH&SCC is to assist the ALRC in disseminating information about health and safety throughout the ALRC, for example:

  • in the induction of all new staff to the ALRC;

  • with training and workstation assessments at least every two years;

  • by managers and employees being aware of their responsibilities under the new Act through regular updates and training. Specific training with regard to the new Act will be undertaken in October 2012.

During 2011–12 there were no OH&S issues reported, and no accidents nor any dangerous occurrences during the year that required the giving of notice under Part 3 s 38 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

As a workplace health initiative under the Enterprise Agreement, the ALRC provides free and voluntary influenza vaccinations to staff each year. In 2011–12, eight employees took advantage of a free vaccination.

In addition, all employees have access to a free and confidential counselling service that provides up to three free sessions of counseling per year. In 2011–12, two sessions of counseling were delivered.