Careers – CEO

The Westerman Jilya Institute for Indigenous Mental Health (the Institute) is an ACNC registered charity and registered Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation, registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

Applications close date TBC 

Chief Executive Officer


Ideally Perth based but will be negotiated with successful applicant


Full time (40 hours per week)


Attractive salary, plus superannuation and salary sacrifice options.

About Us:

Jilya’s vision is to reduce Indigenous suicides, build resilience and strengthen wellbeing in Indigenous Australian communities. Its contribution is to lead the development of culturally and clinically informed mental health and suicide prevention responses, with a specific focus on increasing the number of Indigenous Psychologists in our highest risk communities. Jilya has four streams of operations:

(1) research to determine unique causal contributions to Indigenous suicide; criminality; child removal;

(2) determining treatments of best practice based on these unique causes;

(3) development of unique intervention programs in train the trainer into high-risk communities; and

(4) the Dr Tracy Westerman Indigenous Psychology Scholarship Program which builds and feeds this ongoing capacity. Jilya also undertakes significant national fundraising and promotional activities to fund its activities.

About the Role

The Chief Executive Officer will need to be a highly experienced individual with a strong track record of organisational management in the not-for-profit sector and a demonstrated ability to work in a research and academically focused setting. They will work with the Jilya Board to oversee the implementation and growth of the strategic direction of the organisation, development and implementation of governance requirements, administration, programs, strategic planning, and direction setting of the organisation. They will also be responsible for establishing best practice financial governance and practices with a focus on revenue security by securing grants, donations and operational funding for the Institute. This position reports directly to the Board of Directors.

Selection Criteria

To be considered for this role, you will need to demonstrate the following essential criteria:

  • Transparent high integrity, culturally informed leadership.
  • High level strategic thinking and planning. Ability to envision and convey the Institute’s strategic future to the staff, board, volunteers and donors and other stakeholders.
  • A demonstrated understanding of the operations of an Indigenous not-for-profit research and mental health intervention organisation and working with a Board of Directors.
  • An understanding of funding sources, including the philanthropic community, and a proven track record to generate new revenue streams and improve financial results and growth.
  • Strong organisational abilities, including financial management skills, planning, decision making, program development, and reporting.
  • Demonstrated strong communication skills (written, verbal and non-verbal) and a demonstrated ability to work at an effective level with Aboriginal communities, organisations and staff.
  • Relevant tertiary qualification preferred, in the health sciences and or business.
  • Values and attributes that align with the vision and goals of the organisation.

Key Responsibilities

Board governance and reporting:

  • Overall responsible to the Board for all aspects of the Institute, including the development of data based operational reporting frameworks, resource acquisition, community events and engagement, relationship brokerage, and strategy development.
  • Responsible for leading in a way that supports the implementation of the organisation’s strategic direction and vision as defined by the Board of Directors and reduces risks.
  • Report to the Institute’s Board of Directors on achievements in relation to the strategic objectives and data-based work plan.
  • Ensure the Board has appropriate governance systems and reports to undertake their functions.
  • Ensure the organisation and students have appropriate policies, procedures to guide their conduct and operations.
  • Prepare, develop and gather data-based reports on outcomes achieved for the Institute’s Board of Directors, members, governance bodies, donors, funders and stakeholders.
  • Determine Jilya’s focus based upon clear return on investment focus.
  • Respond to, action, and record any complaints and report significant problems and suggestions for improvement to the Board.

Finance and Compliance:

  • Work with the Board of Directors to establish an annual budget and ensure regular reporting of actual financial performance against budget.
  • Responsible for working with the Institute’s bookkeeper to ensure sound fiscal management and monthly financial statements that accurately reflect the financial condition of the Institute.
  • Ensure that the Institute is operating within the approved budget, that there is maximum resource utilisation and that the Institute maintains a positive financial position.
  • Ensure all grants and other funds are properly acquitted and reports to funders are fit for purpose, factually accurate and timely.
  • Ensure all contracts entered by Jilya are properly procured and the contract terms are met.

Human Resources:

  • Responsible for maintaining a highly functioning workplace and ensuring the values of the organisation are reflected in the workplace.
  • Responsible, in consultation with the Board of Directors, for the employment of Institute staff as per the operational structure of the Institute and for the management of all Institute staff.
  • Manage volunteers and ensure clarity about their respective roles.
  • Oversee the scholarships program and ensure support for scholarship holders is successful.

Occupational Safety and Health:

  • Provide a safe workplace as defined by the new WA The Work Health and Safety Act 2020.
  • Ensure other workplace laws are observed.
  • Ensure there is a clear system for grievances and mediation available in the workplace.
  • Ensure a culturally safe workplace at all times.


  • In accordance with the Performance Development Planning and Review Policy (under development), develop an outcome-based Work Plan that aligns activities and tasks with the Institute’s strategic priorities and operational plans and ensures measurable outcomes are being tracked.
  • Oversee the establishment of governance and operational systems and ensure they are implemented and ensure they align to best cultural practice processes and transparent practice.
  • Oversee and implement appropriate resourcing to match operational goals.
  • Personally undertake operational activities to meet the intended objectives and outcomes of the Institute.
    An understanding of research and evaluation methods with the ability to apply research into practice.
    Create sustainability, diversity, integrity, strong governance and performance that is underpinned by Jilya’s values and philosophy.
  • Take proper care of the assets of the organisation.

Networks, Communication and Marketing:

  • Build and maintain effective, measurable, and reportable communication with Institute stakeholders.
  • Work effectively with all research stakeholders to identify grant and funding opportunities.
  • Develop and support forums, committees and workshops as required and or supported by the Institute.
  • Work with the Communications Manager to ensure planning around fundraising campaign goals and strategies is executed and targets are established.
  • Maintain overall responsibility for campaign launch events and oversee key campaign relationships.


  • Undertake media and promotional activities as required.
  • Other duties as reasonably requested by the Board of Directors.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to your own continued Professional Development.

Prior to appointment, the successful candidate will require the following:

  • Current C or A class driver’s license
  • Working with Children Check
  • National Police Clearance
  • Verification of no history of Bankruptcy or Disqualification as a Director
  • Up to date vaccinations
  • Be able to travel as required
  • Be available to work outside standard business hours when required

Indigenous applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

Your application should include a detailed resume and a cover letter no more than two pages long summarising your experience against the selection criteria. Further job-related information can be sourced by contacting us on 08 6244 3399 during business hours. Applications without a cover letter will NOT be processed.

If you are having trouble accessing the form, please email through your CV and a cover letter addressing the selection criteria to

Closing Date: TBD

Download the JDF here: Chief Executive Officer