Jobs: Executive Officer

Executive Officer, Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association (ATCA)

Expressions of Interest are Invited

Appointment: Part-time
Salary level: Total remuneration package in the vicinity of $110,000 p.a. pro rata
Responsible to: The Directors of ATCA
Closing date: Friday 25 July 2014


The Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association (ATCA) currently represents forty-one members (including organisations and individuals), and they in turn manage 65 Therapeutic Communities (TCs) across Australia and New Zealand. These services employ more than one thousand members of staff in a variety of residential and non-residential services, in community and prison settings, and treat over 9,000 people annually as well as providing additional critical services such as detoxification units, family support programs, child care facilities, exit housing and outreach services to a further 23,000 annually.   Therefore, ATCA represents services which provide treatment to more than 32,000 people on an annual basis.

TCs are a proven model of effective treatment for a range of issues, including substance use and mental health, and have been shown to be especially effective for people with coexisting mental health and alcohol and other drug (AOD) conditions and those affected by chronic substance dependency.

ATCA was established in 1986, and from then until 2006, functioned largely as a voluntary association managed by an elected Board comprising CEOs and other Directors from TCs across Australia. Between 1986 and 2005, the Association provided support and peer reviews to 26 Therapeutic Community programs across Australia and New Zealand to ensure that TCs were operating within a quality framework and to ensure the fidelity of the TC model, which had been part of the Australian treatment landscape since the early 1970s with the establishment of the WHOS program and The Buttery in NSW, Odyssey House in NSW and Victoria, Killara House on the NSW/Victorian border and Karralika in the ACT.

In New Zealand, CareNZ had its beginning with the establishment of the National Society of Drug Dependence in 1954, Odyssey House was established in both Christchurch and Auckland in 1977 and Higher Ground in Auckland in 1984.

In 2006, the Association received a grant from the Australian Government Department of Health & Ageing (DoHA) which facilitated the establishment of the ATCA Secretariat.

Since the Secretariat’s inception ATCA membership has increased by 58 percent from 26 members to 41 members, and the number of TCs and other services which of member agencies provide, has also increased significantly.  Attendance at ATCA conferences and training symposia has grown by more than 100 percent.   The Secretariat has successfully contributed to the advancement of the sector in five key areas; treatment, education, support, research and governance, as well as developing quality standards and training for its members.

With the impending retirement of the current executive officer (EO), ATCA is seeking to appoint a successor who will continue the philosophy, ethos and direction of ATCA, continue to develop and support the membership and promote the TC method of treatment to governments, stakeholders and the community.

Position overview

  1. Duration of employment – the position is offered for an initial 12 month period.  A further contract may be entered into between the parties, dependent upon mutual satisfaction of job performance, with reference to the Key Performance Indicators.  Extension of the contract will also be subject to ongoing funding being available.
  1. Hours of work – this is a .5 position (38 hours per fortnight). These hours may be worked flexibly in accord with the needs of the project.  Any work required to be carried out beyond the 38 hours per fortnight allocated will require the approval of the ATCA Chairperson or the relevant Board Sub Committee.
  1. Location – work from home provisions are available in line with the ATCA working from home policy and procedure guidelines.
  1. Lines of Authority – to the Chairperson ATCA and in turn the ATCA Board of Management.



As part of the employment package offered to staff of ATCA, part of the salary will be paid as a non-salary fringe benefit.  The value of this benefit is $611.51 per fortnight.


Superannuation is paid at the rate of 9.5% to a nominated fund.


An Annual Leave entitlement of 76 hours paid leave per annum is paid to an equivalent full time position (ie: 38 hours per fortnight).

Sick Leave – also pro rata, nominally 38 hours paid per annum cumulative for five years but not payable on termination.


During the course of employment with ATCA the EO may become acquainted with or have access to Confidential Information such as financial information, donation amounts, client names, addresses and phone numbers.  Confidentiality must be maintained with regard to this information and prevent its unauthorised disclosure to or, use by, any other person, firm, company or organisation. Confidential Information must not be used for any purpose other than for the benefit of ATCA during or after a period of employment with ATCA.  Staff must not remove any of the confidential information from the premises of ATCA without the written consent of ATCA Board or the Chairperson.


Any and all information gathered and disseminated as part of the Executive Officers role remains the property of ATCA and is not to be used in any other position that the Executive Officer might hold in the future or concurrent positions outside of the Association.


Four weeks notice required, other than by mutual agreement or in the case of dismissal.


The Executive Officer is accountable to the Board of ATCA for all the operational activities undertaken by ATCA.  He/she oversees a small office and staff and is responsible for implementing the strategic direction and policies established by the ATCA Board of Management.

This position requires a person with knowledge of Therapeutic Communities and an understanding of the TC model of treatment.


  1. Responsibilities and Accountabilities


The primary responsibilities of the position are to:

  • Effectively establish the organisation nationally and provide effective leadership to support its vision and values and ensure it is appropriately managed to deliver on its strategic objectives and key priorities


  • Provide strong leadership and vision to create a supportive relationship with members which is flexible, consultative and accountable in its approach and characterised by effective team work, open and honest communication and a strong commitment to good customer service and delivering the best outcomes for those it serves


  • Advocate, negotiate and effectively represent the ATCA at senior levels across government and the broader health sector


  • Work closely with the Board to ensure the organisation is effectively governed and that strategic plans are implemented to achieve its core objectives


  • Provide leadership to the sector through the development of relevant policy and strategic plans, produce discussion papers, participate in key working groups, oversee any projects undertaken by the ATCA and provide forums for consultation regarding key issues


  • Oversee rigorous processes and systems to ensure accountability, particularly in regard to financial and contract management.


  1. Duties


The Executive Officer is responsible for ensuring that ATCA performs in the following key areas:


  1. Representation of the Therapeutic Community in the AOD sector to governments and key decision making bodies.


  1. Representation of the Therapeutic Community in the AOD sector to the broad community


  1. Information provision and brokerage aimed at improving the quality of Therapeutic Community services in the areas of treatment, research, education, and support


  1. The development of consultation and democratic processes aimed at accurately reflecting the views of the ATCA and interested parties


  1. The management and development of ATCA’s organisational structures, staffing and financial accountability


For further information and enquiries please contact:

Dr Lynne Magor-Blatch

T: 0422 904 040


P: PO Box 464

Yass NSW 2582