Enrolments are now open for 2019.

This training is  subsidised by the NSW Government Smart and Skilled Program for eligible participants in the NSW Richmond Tweed Region. This qualification is offered by mixed mode with some online and face to face training combined with Recognition of prior learning where appropriate.

Please note there is no funding available in Queensland for this course. Fee for service cost in QLD is $10,000

Please see the Gold Coast Training College Smart and Skilled page for more details about Smart and Skilled funding.

This Diploma provides relevant industry training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who intend to work in a para-legal capacity. It is intended to address the training needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have significant experience working in a legal environment.

The course is specifically designed to provide a detailed knowledge of legal matters necessary to work as a Senior Field Officer or Senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Advocate and to enhance skills in office administration, staff supervision and/or management work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services or related areas.

It is also designed to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with significant experience working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations, Government departments / agencies relating to juvenile justice, corrective services or care and protection, or participating in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community justice mechanisms and in other similar roles but who are or are seeking to transition into a more legal role.

Vocational outcomes include but are not limited to employment in the following positions:

Senior Legal Advocate/Senior Field Officer – engaged in supervisory and/or management work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services areas, including field work.

The Diploma of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Advocacy is a qualification within the National Indigenous Legal Advocacy Courses (NILAC). The NILAC courses originated from Recommendation 212 of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody which states:

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC)1 and State Equal Opportunity Commission was encouraged to consult with appropriate Aboriginal organisations and Aboriginal Legal Services with a view to developing strategies to encourage and enable Aboriginal people to utilise anti-discrimination mechanisms more effectively, particularly in the area of indirect discrimination and representative actions.

This course addresses the lack of:

  • opportunity to study the law from the perspective of Indigenous peoples’ cultures, aspirations and social contexts;
  • skills and knowledge training available for Legal Advocates and Senior Legal Advocates (also known as Field Officers and Senior Field Officers), the major client or industry
Qualification level


Graduates of the Diploma of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Advocacy are able to apply technical knowledge of legislation and the Australian Legal System to provide client service and advocate on behalf of clients, who may be in a wide range of situations including criminal, tort and civil legal issues.


Graduates of the Diploma of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Advocacy have the following technical and theoretical knowledge and concepts, including but not limited to:

  • Legislation relating to a wide range of situations including criminal, tort and civil legal issues
  • Workplace requirements
  • Ethics
  • Mediation strategies
  • Privacy and confidentiality of clients
  • Access and equity
  • Indigenous culture and the importance of the land
  • Supervision and management strategies


Graduates of the Diploma of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Advocacy will have the following skills:

  • Identify and analyse client’s circumstance/s
  • Undertake and complete a broad range of legal procedures
  • Communicate clearly and effectively with clients, colleagues and relevant authorities
  • Apply problem solving skills
  • Responsibilities and involvement in law reform
  • Supervision and management of other personnel and processes

Application of Knowledge and Skills:

Graduates of the Diploma of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Legal Advocacy are required to demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills:

  • with depth in some areas of specialisation, in known or changing contexts, such as in relation to criminal, tort and civil legal procedures
  • to transfer and apply theoretical concepts and/or technical and/or creative skills in a range of situations, such as mediation, advocacy, client representation, supervision and management
  • with personal responsibility and autonomy in performing complex technical operations with responsibility for own outputs in relation to broad parameters for quantity and quality, such as in managing ethical practice
  • with initiative and judgement to organise the work of self and others and plan, coordinate and evaluate, such as managing workplace strategies and processes
  • the work of teams within broad but generally well-defined parameters, such as management and review of personnel and processes.

Volume of Learning:

The nominal hours for delivery of this program is a range from 1295 to 1475 (the range is dependent on the elective units of competency included in the program). This is the suggested amount of hours that a participant is to undertake supervised training and assessment.

The unsupervised component of the course is between 800-1200 hours and includes:

  • homework and class preparation
  • assignment work
  • workplace practice

The unsupervised hours are relatively high because the course anticipates significant workplace practice.

The volume of learning for 10408NAT Diploma of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Advocacy is 2095-2675 hours (which is expected to be completed between 1- 2 years. This represents the total time (both supervised and unsupervised) that a participant is required to undertake learning and assessment activity.

Applicants must be Aboriginal people and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

This training product has been developed specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in support of equity policy for post- compulsory education.

Entry is not restricted by formal educational requirements.

Applicants must be interviewed to determine literacy and numeracy skills levels.

Applicants must be notified that criminal history and integrity checks will be required when gaining employment in government and legal industry organisations.

ILAADV501A Advocate for clients in care or custody or in need of assistance
ILACOM501A Manage effective communication processes for legal work
ILACSA501A Support clients needing legal assistance
ILACSA502A Utilise ethical standards when dealing with clients
ILACUL501A Provide assistance to aboriginal and torres strait islander people maintaining cultural importance
ILALAW501A Assist persons seeking bail
ILALAW502A Manage responsibilities in relation to law reform
ILAWOR501A Manage responsibilities for court appearances
AHCCCF405A Develop community networks
BSBATSIW514C Represent your organisation
BSBITU202A Create and use spreadsheets
BSBITU301A Create and use databases
BSBRES404A Research legal information using primary sources
CHCCOM403A Use targeted communication skills to build relationships
CHCORG405E Maintain an effective work environment
CSCSAS306A Manage conflict through negotiation
ICAICT108A Use digital skills to access the internet
BSBITU102A Develop keyboard skills
BSBWHS301A Maintain workplace safety
CHCADMIN403D Undertake administrative work
BSBFIA301A Maintain financial records