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(AS817) Refuge Victoria – CEO

Organisation : Brooker Consulting

Location : Melbourne (Melbourne)

Work type : Full-time

Profession : CEO & Senior Management

Sector : Women

Salary type : Annual Package

About the organisation

Organisation Name : Brooker Consulting

About the role

Leadership in promoting and protecting cultural safety and inclusion

For 45 years, Refuge Victoria has been a respected, purpose driven provider of specialist family violence services. It empowers people escaping control, abuse and violence, to rebuild their lives.
In partnership with the board, you will ensure ongoing viability and success, through effective stewardship and management of day-to-day operations, in keeping with the organisation’s strategic objectives and vision for people to live safely and freely.
A seasoned leader in complex, community oriented human services delivery, you are a proven workforce developer. Your commercial acumen is the key to your ability to build capacity and program excellence on behalf of the people your team supports.

Position Profile

General Information
Position title:
Chief Executive Officer
Corporate Services
Position Reports to:
Board Chair
Executive Agreement
Job status:
Full Time 38 hours per week

Key Relationships:

Chief Operating Officer, Site Managers, Corporate Services Staff, Service Delivery Staff

Key Stakeholders: DHHS, referring agencies, peak bodies, clients their families and advocates, community service organisations and partners including Safe Steps, regional organisations and key stakeholders.

Overview of Refuge Victoria
Refuge Victoria is a not-for-profit Specialist Family Violence Organisation that provides services to women, children and non-binary people to help them escape control, abuse and violence and rebuild their lives.  We have been responding to family violence and changing people’s stories for over 45 years. Refuge Victoria has grown to be the largest provider of refuge and crisis accommodation in Victoria – which includes three core and cluster refuges, 15 crisis properties and nomination rights to approximately 35 Transitional Houses. We employ staff across 2 main sites in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs and 1 site in the Western Melbourne Region. We are funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and the generous support of donors.
Refuge Victoria supports women, children and non-binary people experiencing homelessness from family violence, providing refuge and crisis accommodation, risk assessment and case management support and outreach case management support to clients in transitional properties and/or private rental.
Our clients are referred to our service by Safe Steps.
Refuge Victoria is committed to promoting and protecting the safety and wellbeing of all people involved in our programs and services, including all children and young people.
Refuge Victoria is committed to the principles of cultural safety and inclusion of all individuals from diverse backgrounds and to the safety and inclusion of individuals with a disability.

Our Vision

For people escaping family violence to live safe and free.

Our Model
The Refuge Victoria model is premised on a “wrap around “process of service delivery. Refuge Victoria provides intensive, holistic and individualised care planning and case management. Wrap around plans aim to develop problem solving and coping skills and self-efficacy of Family Violence Survivors. Refuge Victoria wrap around philosophy of care begins with the principle of “voice and choice” where self-determination and the perspective and views of the family, including that of the child or young person must be given primary importance during all phases of service delivery.
The wrap around approach places the individual and family at the centre and builds a support team around them to drive change. A strength-based approach is taken to identify and build capabilities, capacity and resources to empower victim survivors of Family Violence. Services are individualised, flexible, community based and culturally competent.  

The Role
The Chief Executive Officer in partnership with the Board, is responsible for the efficient and effective management of the human, material and fiscal resources of Refuge Victoria.
The Board delegates responsibility for management and day-to-day operations to the Chief Executive Officer. The Chief Executive Officer has the authority to carry out these responsibilities in accordance with the Constitution of Refuge Victoria, policies and direction established by the Board. The Chief Executive Officer provides direction to the Board, supplying relevant information about the general business context to enable the Board to carry out its governance  and strategic functions.

Key Accountabilities

Legal compliance
The Chief Executive Officer is required to:

  1. ensure compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements and make all necessary lodgements and payments.

Mission, policy, and planning
The Chief Executive Officer is required to:

  1. work collaboratively with the Board to determine the values, mission, vision, and short term and long-term goals of Refuge Victoria.
  2. work collaboratively with the Board to monitor and evaluate Refuge Victoria’s relevance to the community, its effectiveness, and its results.
  3. keep informed of developments in human services, not-for-profit management, governance, philanthropy and fund development.
  4. keep the Board fully informed of the state of Refuge Victoria and  all matters relevant to and influencing its operational success including:
    • identifying problems and opportunities and addressing them;
    • bringing matters to the attention of the Board and facilitating discussion and deliberation of them as appropriate;
    • informing the Board about trends, issues, problems and activities in order to facilitate policy-making and recommend policy positions.

Management and administration 
The Chief Executive Officer is required to:

  1. provide general oversight of all Refuge Victoria activities, manage the day-to-day operations, and ensure a smoothly functioning and efficient organisation.
  2. ensure program quality and organisational stability through development and implementation of standards and controls, systems and procedures, and regular evaluation.
  3. ensure a work environment that recruits, retains and supports quality staff and volunteers.
  4. ensure proper processes for selecting, developing, motivating, and evaluating staff and volunteers.
  5. recommend staffing and financing thereof to the Board of Directors, that is, recruit staff, negotiate professional contracts, and ensure that appropriate salary structures are developed and maintained, in accordance with relevant employee awards and legislation.
  6. specify accountabilities for management staff, whether paid or volunteer, and evaluate performance regularly.
  7. attend management meetings with the Board Chair on a fortnightly or  otherwise regular basis.

The Chief Executive Officer is required to:

  1. submit regular reports to the Board of Directors monitoring implementation of the Board approved Refuge Victoria Strategic Plan including measuring outcomes of Key Performance Indicators.
  2. report on industry issues and make recommendations accordingly.
  3. build relationships for strategic purposes to gain access to resources as well  as increasing the profile of Refuge Victoria.
  4. submit regular reports evaluating risk management and Occupational Health and Safety outcomes.
  5. ensure Refuge Victoria has appropriate operational governance structures, including standards of ethical behaviour and a culture of compliance with legal, financial and policy frameworks.
  6. regularly communicate with the Board Chair on:
    • general operational matters, including staffing; resourcing; and budgetary requirements;
    • significant operational matters and events, including those that require reporting to funding bodies such as the Department of Health.
    • sentinel events and near misses, which require immediate notification to the Board Chair

The Chief Executive Officer is required to:

  1. promote programs and services that are produced in a cost-effective manner, employing economy while maintaining an acceptable level of quality.
  2. oversee the fiscal activities of the organisation including budgeting, reporting and audit functions.
  3. work within financial delegations
  4. work with the Board to ensure financing to support short term and long-term goals.

Community relations
The Chief Executive Officer is required to:

  1. act as an advocate, within the public and private sectors, for issues relevant to Refuge Victoria, its services and clients.
  2. listen to clients, volunteers, donors and the community in order to improve services and generate community involvement.
  3. ensure community awareness of Refuge Victoria’s response to community needs.
  4. serve as chief spokesperson* for Refuge Victoria ensuring proper representation of the Refuge Victoria to the community.
  5. initiate, develop, and maintain cooperative relationships with key stakeholders.
  6. work with legislators, regulatory agencies, volunteers and representatives of the not-for-profit sector to promote legislative and regulatory policies that encourage a healthy community and address the issues of Refuge Victoria’s constituencies.

Note: *The Chief Executive Officer and the Board Chair are the only people authorised to make public statements, including to the media, on behalf of Refuge Victoria.

People & Culture

The Chief Executive Officer is required to:

  1. demonstrate effective leadership of the senior management team.
  2. Promote leadership behaviours that express a zero tolerance for bullying.
  3. ensure that the workplace is safe, healthy and efficient in line with all Occupational Health and Safety requirements and regulations.
  4. ensure that the workplace has a harmonious culture and that all issues are effectively resolved.
  5. ensure that staff development is seen as a major professional expectation and offer the necessary support for continuing learning and development.
  6. implement Board and Operational policies, including risk management, staff discipline and professional conduct, as well as maintaining records required in People and Culture matters.

Performance Review
The Chief Executive Officer is required to:

  1. Perform against agreed Key Performance Indicators.
  2. Participate in a 6 month probationary Review followed by an annual performance review with Remuneration Committee/Board Chair

Pre-Existing Injury

  • Prior to any person being appointed to this position it will be required that they disclose full details of any pre-existing injuries or disease that might be affected by this position.


  • Consider appropriate levels of immunisation in accordance with Refuge Victoria  workforce Immunisation/Screening Policies, in the interest of yourself, all staff, clients and visitors.

Mandatory Background Checks

  • Police check
  • Working with Children’s Check
  • Current Victorian Driver’s License
  • Covid 19 Vaccinated

Key Selection Criteria/ Position Requirements

Required Knowledge and Skills

  • Highly developed mentoring, coaching and supervision skills and the ability to motivate and influence others in a positive manner.
  • Highly developed written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to represent Refuge Victoria at internal/external meetings.

Personal Attributes & Values

  • Ability to self-manage and support various levels of the organisation
  • Self-motivated to seek out information, supports and resources
  • Aptitude in decision-making and problem-solving
  • The ability to complete tasks accurately and efficiently
  • Exceptional organisational skills in order to juggle different tasks and meet tight deadlines
  • Excellent interpersonal and strong oral and written communication skills
  • A commitment to promoting Refuge Victoria programs and services
  • An awareness and commitment to confidentiality


  • Bachelor of Social Work or Behavioural Science/Psychology or
  • Masters in Management/Business or equivalent

Previous Experience

  • Proven experience as Chief Executive Officer or General Manager or similar role
  • Previous experience managing a team in a complex environment
  • Previous experience working in Not for Profit and Community Services environment.
  • Experience negotiating with government departments and reporting of KPIs
  • Demonstrated experiencing in working with vulnerable people.



How to apply


Please quote in application: (AS817) Refuge Victoria - CEO via Pro Bono Australia.

Profession: #CEO_and_Senior_Management
Sector: #Women



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