The ALRC has one office in Sydney and all staff are located at this office. On 30 June 2017, the full-time equivalent staffing level was 13 FTE. This figure does not include Commissioners (2 FTE).
Table 5: Staffing profile as at 30 June 2017
As of 30 June 2017, for the current and preceding year, there was one employee and one Commissioner who identified as Indigenous.
Staff retention and turnover
During 2016–17 two ongoing employees resigned from the ALRC. One ongoing employee extended their secondment to the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Assault.
Twelve non-SES employees are covered by the ALRC Enterprise Agreement 2016–19. The Enterprise Agreement sets out terms and conditions of employment. One SES employee is employed under a section 24(1) Determination of the Public Service Act 1999. Two employees are currently working with individual flexibility arrangements. The only non-salary benefits provided during the period were paid as a health and well-being allowance.
Performance rewards and bonuses
The ALRC Enterprise Agreement 2016–19 makes provision for performance appraisal and allows for performance to be rewarded through a mixture of movement up the salary scale and one-off performance bonuses for those at the top of their pay point salary band, as summarised above.
Table 6: Performance rewards
Exceeding performance expectations
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 exceeding performance expectations, the bonus will be 2%. If rated as meeting all performance expectations, the bonus will be 1%. If rated as meeting most, or not meeting performance expectations, there will be no bonus awarded.
During 2016–17, four employees were awarded a performance bonus, amounting to a total bonus payment for the year of $7,912.58.
Table 7: Performance bonuses 2016–17
Number of employees
Further details of total remuneration expenditure in 2016–17 are provided in the financial statements.
The ALRC identifies and responds to the professional development needs of its employees as identified during the performance appraisal process to ensure that they are able to meet the ALRC’s objectives. 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. In addition, the ALRC considers attendance at relevant conferences and professional seminars to contribute to the professional development of staff.
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 applied for study leave during 2016–17.
ALRC internship program
The ALRC offers internships to students in their penultimate or final year of a law degree. An internship at the ALRC provides experience in a public policy environment and skills development for students to increase their awareness of law reform processes and improve their legal research and writing skills. Interns join a team for a current ALRC inquiry and are supervised by the Commissioner in charge and/or Legal Officers.
Internships with the ALRC are highly sought after and there is a competitive selection process that includes a formal application and interview. The number of interns accepted at any one time depends on the current work program of the Commission. In 2016–17, 15 internships were offered. Interns were involved in a range of ALRC activities, including attending consultation meetings with inquiry stakeholders, Advisory Committee meetings and inquiry team meetings.
The ALRC captures the intern experience through interviews with students at the completion of their internship. They discuss the work they have been undertaking and describe the experience of interning at the ALRC. These podcasts are available on the ALRC website.
This year the ALRC was fortunate to have three Indigenous law students participate in the ALRC intern program.
Additionally, the ALRC hosted an Aurora Project supported intern for five weeks. The Aurora Project aims to improve educational outcomes for Indigenous Australians by facilitating internships at a range of organisations.
Semester 2 (August–October 2016)
- Farah Al Majed—University of Technology Sydney
- Scott Preswick—University of Technology Sydney
- Christina Alkhamisi—University of Western Sydney
- Georgia Allen—Sydney University
- Tierneigh Parnell—Macquarie University.
Summer (January–February 2017)
- Muirgen O’Seighin—Queensland University
- Sarah Moorhead—Melbourne University
- Stephen O’Connell—Melbourne University
- Erin Ryan—Melbourne University
- Madeleine Rice—University of Western Australia
- Hanna Daych—Flinders University.
Semester 1 (March–June 2017)
- Sharfah Mohamed—Macquarie University
- Cassidy O’Sullivan—Sydney University
- Taylah Mihell—University of Technology Sydney
- Ganur Maynard—University of NSW
- Deisree Leha—University of NSW (until April 2017)
- Noah Bedford—University of NSW (until April 2017).
Aurora Project Intern (June–July 2017)
Declan Fry—University of Melbourne