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 Expressions of interest for appointment to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

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Expressions of interest

We invite suitably qualified members of the public to submit an expression of interest to be considered for appointment to the AAT. Appointments are for one or more of the categories below:

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • Deputy President

This expression of interest process will create a register of candidates from which recommendations for appointment may be drawn. The register will be valid for up to 12 months.

Deputy Presidents may also exercise a designated leadership role as the head of a division or divisions. Deputy Presidents or Senior Members may also be assigned as a Deputy Division Head. Suitably qualified individuals who are interested in a Division Head or Deputy Division Head role are invited to submit an expression of interest accordingly.

Current members who wish to be considered for advancement to a higher level or category of membership should also submit an expression of interest.

About the AAT

The AAT conducts independent merits review of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws. It reviews decisions made by Australian Government ministers, departments and agencies under more than 400 pieces of legislation across all government portfolios. In limited circumstances, it also reviews decisions made by state government and non-government bodies.

Applications for review are managed in one of nine divisions:

  • Freedom of Information Division
  • General Division
  • Migration and Refugee Division
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme Division
  • Security Division
  • Small Business Taxation Division
  • Social Services and Child Support Division
  • Taxation and Commercial Division
  • Veterans' Appeals Division

Find out more about the AAT.

A member's role

Members of the AAT are independent statutory appointees who hear and decide applications for review of decisions. In doing so, they are required to interpret and apply relevant legislation to factual scenarios, conduct hearings and other processes in a procedurally fair manner, and make well-reasoned and timely decisions based on relevant criteria and evidence. Suitably qualified members may also conduct alternative dispute resolution processes.

Members work collaboratively with Australian Public Service (APS) staff in undertaking reviews. APS staff provide a range of support services to members, however members are responsible for the management of their own caseload.

Members are appointed on a full-time or part-time basis for a term of up to seven years and are remunerated in accordance with determinations made by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal for Judicial and Related Offices. Members may be assigned to one or more divisions. With the exception of the President and Deputy Presidents, members may only exercise powers in the division or divisions to which they are assigned.

Who we are looking for

The minimum requirements for appointment to the AAT are outlined in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (AAT Act).The AAT Act provides that a person must:

  • be enrolled as a legal practitioner of the High Court or the Supreme Court of a state or territory for at least five years, or
  • in the opinion of the Governor-General, possess special knowledge or skills relevant to the position.

The following professional and personal qualities are required for all member positions:

Professional qualities

  • ability to communicate respectfully and sensitively with a diverse range of parties and colleagues
  • ability to efficiently manage a demanding workload
  • ability to interpret the law and policy, including knowledge of, or the ability to rapidly acquire knowledge of, the AAT's statutory framework and its roles and responsibilities
  • commitment to continuing professional development, and a willingness to embrace new ways of working
  • demonstrated ability to utilise information technology in the workplace
  • demonstrated experience in, or aptitude for, complex decision-making, including an understanding of the rules of procedural fairness
  • proficient oral and written communication skills, including the ability to deliver persuasive reasons for decisions, and
  • relevant professional experience.

Personal qualities

  • accountability and diligence, and
  • sound judgement, impartiality, integrity, and respect for the law.

The roles of Deputy President and Senior Member require additional professional qualities:

  • ability to hear and decide a more complex caseload, and/or
  • ability to provide effective leadership in an area of practice or of other members, including by mentoring others.

Division Heads and Deputy Division Heads are expected to contribute to the strategic management of the division and the AAT more broadly.

How to apply

Individuals may submit an expression of interest by clicking the following link:

Expressions of interest must be submitted by 8 September 2019.

Your expression of interest must address the required professional and personal qualities outlined in Who we are looking for.

You may use a maximum of 200 words for each quality. You should provide specific examples that support your claims.

Contact aat.appointments@ag.gov.au with questions about the expression of interest process.

Assessment process

The suitability of candidates will be based on an assessment of the expression of interest and may also involve an interview. Comments from referees may also be sought. Suitable candidates must also meet the minimum requirements for appointment as set out under the AAT Act. If you are a current member seeking advancement to a higher level or category of membership, you will also be assessed by reference to your past performance as a member.

If you submit an expression of interest, you will receive an acknowledgement email. However, you may not receive any other communication about the status of your expression of interest.

When a new call for expressions of interest is advertised, individuals who have previously applied will need to submit a new expression of interest if they wish to be considered again.

Appointment process

The Attorney‑General's Department manages the appointment process for AAT positions. However, the department cannot comment on the status of individual expressions of interest.

This expression of interest process will create a register of candidates from which recommendations may be drawn over a period of up to 12 months. Recommendations will be made based on merit. This includes recommendations for the appropriate division or divisions to which a potential member should be assigned. Appointments to the AAT are ultimately made by the Governor-General on the advice of the government.