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Expressions of Interest for Appointment to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Suitably qualified members of the public are invited to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to be considered for appointment to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

This EOI process is also open to current members of the AAT. Current members whose terms are due to expire in 2022 only need to submit an EOI if they are seeking advancement to a higher remuneration level or category of membership.

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 and, in limited circumstances, decisions made by state government and non-government bodies.

Applications for review are managed in 1 of 9 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

For more information about the AAT, please visit the AAT's website.

About the role of AAT members

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 7 years and are remunerated in accordance with determinations made by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal. Members may be assigned to 1 or more divisions.

Who we are looking for

The minimum requirements for appointment to the AAT are outlined in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975. You must have been enrolled as a legal practitioner of the High Court or the Supreme Court of a state or territory for at least 5 years, or, in the opinion of the Governor-General, possess special knowledge or skills relevant to the position.

Occupants of all roles at any member level at the AAT are required to demonstrate the following competencies:

Conducting hearings and other Tribunal proceedings

An AAT member must be able to manage a hearing and other proceedings, demonstrating procedural fairness, knowledge of hearing processes, an ability to deal fairly and effectively with diverse parties, representatives, witnesses and interpreters, and an understanding of pre-hearing case management processes and alternative dispute resolution techniques.

Decision-making and reasoning

An AAT member should be capable of making decisions that generally resolve a problem by identifying the correct or preferable answer to a question posed in a particular review. An AAT member should demonstrate forensic skills required to make findings of fact, the ability to analyse evidence, and apply legislation, policy and practice directions. An AAT member should also have the ability to formulate and deliver lawful, objective and well-reasoned decisions, and deliver decisions in a way that is fair, just, economical, informal, quick and promotes public trust and confidence in the AAT.

Writing and communication skills

An AAT member should have strong verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to deliver clear, concise and persuasive written decisions, oral decisions and other communications. An AAT member should also be capable of communicating sensitively with self-represented parties, being mindful of cultural or language differences, literacy, disability and other factors. They should also be able to communicate effectively and professionally with other members, staff and stakeholders.

Independence, integrity and collegiality

An AAT member is responsible for understanding and adhering to their professional obligations, including the need to be independent and objective, and the rules against bias and conflict of interest. An AAT member should also demonstrate collegiality, and commitment to ongoing professional development.

Productivity, diligence and resilience

An AAT member must efficiently manage their allocated workload and discharge their responsibilities in a timely way, without compromising quality. An AAT member should have the capacity to manage a complex caseload which may be intellectually and emotionally challenging; engage with information technology effectively; work in partnership with staff; critically evaluate their own performance; and be available and reliable.

Candidates for appointment to the levels of Deputy President and Senior Member must also demonstrate an additional competency:

Leadership

A Deputy President or Senior Member should provide leadership and mentoring to other members, and may be responsible for managing an area of practice. A Deputy President or Senior Member should also hear and decide cases of greater complexity and make a significant contribution to the AAT's jurisprudence in a particular jurisdiction. They demonstrate leadership through the highest standards of decision-making, often dealing with cases remitted from the courts.

A Deputy President or Senior Member who is assigned as a Deputy Division Head supports the Division Head, understands and responds positively to change and contributes constructively to change initiatives.

Process

EOIs will be accepted on an ongoing basis over a 12-month period, or until such time as a new call for EOIs is advertised. You are strongly encouraged to submit your EOI as soon as possible. You may not be contacted unless you are being considered for a position.

The President of the AAT makes recommendations to the Attorney-General with respect to the AAT's need for new members and reappointments. The Attorney-General then makes recommendations to Government. Appointments are ultimately made by the Governor-General.

Recommendations by the AAT will be made on the basis of merit and the AAT's current and future needs and will include a recommendation as to the appropriate division or divisions to which a potential member should be assigned. The AAT may decide to conduct an interview process to assess the suitability of candidates.

Individuals who have previously expressed interest in 2019 will need to submit a new EOI if they wish to be considered again.

Enquiries regarding the EOI process may be made to aat.appointments@ag.gov.au.

Click here to submit an expression of interest