Applications open for First Nations Cadetship Program


PLEASE NOTE - Applications for the 2023 First Nations Cadetship Program are now closed. Please submit an Expression of Interest to join the waitlist for the next round of the First Nations Cadetship Program (February 2024). 

  • Open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people studying Law, Social Work, Communications, or Community Development.
  • Exciting opportunity for up to six First Nations students passionate about social justice.
  • Paid, well-supported and flexible program with generous salary and leave entitlements.
  • Gain practical experience in at least two community legal centres.
  • Flexible around your study – opportunity to work part-time or full-time.
  • Structured mentoring and networking opportunities, access to training and professional development, and cultural supervision and support.

About the First Nations Cadetship Program

Expressions of interest for Community Legal Centres NSW's First Nations Cadetship Program are now open. The program is for students of Law, Social Work, Communications, or Community Development in the final two years of their degree.  

After a successful first year, we are excited to offer up to six (6) cadets the opportunity to undertake paid placements at (at least) two community legal centres each. The program will also include structured mentoring and networking opportunities, including opportunities to meet and greet members of the judiciary, attend Aboriginal court models, participate in training at law firms in the Sydney CBD, and receive mentoring.

Cadets will gain practical experience that will complement their study and will participate in a range of professionally and socially meaningful work, as well as training and mentoring opportunities. 

The cadetship is for 90 days of paid work. It is designed to be undertaken on a part-time basis to provide an income while studying. Ideally, students will be placed at two community legal centres for 4 months each, for 2 days a week. The program can be tailored to suit peoples’ different study and personal commitments.

About community legal centres

There are 42 community legal centres across NSW. Community legal centres provide free, independent legal help and holistic support to people in need. Each year, community legal centres support tens of thousands of people experiencing financial hardship, housing issues, domestic or family violence, discrimination, and other legal and social issues. Community legal centres also educate people on their legal rights and responsibilities, challenge injustice, and advocate for fairer society through policy and law reform.

More than a dozen community legal centres are participating in this program, including generalist and specialist centres. Specialist community legal centres give legal advice on specific legal issues (like social security or tenancy), or to particular groups of people (like First Nations people, people with disability, or women). Generalist community legal centres support people within geographic areas with a range of everyday legal problems, including in regional, remote, and rural areas. If you are chosen for an interview, you will be given a list of centres to identify your preferences. 

Who should apply? 

You should apply if you:

  • Are an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person enrolled in a degree of Law, Social Work, Communications, Community Development, or other program related to social justice.
  • Have an interest and commitment to social justice.
  • Would like experience working with people experiencing money issues, housing stress, job insecurity, discrimination, violence or abuse, and other legal and social issues.
  • Want to work in a community-based, dynamic, flexible setting.
  • Are keen to develop connections with inspiring and passionate First Nations people working in community legal centres (and beyond).

We encourage applications from people living in regional, rural and remote areas of New South Wales.


An applicant for the cadetship must: 

  • Be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent and identify and be accepted as such in the community; 
  • Be able to provide evidence of enrolment in an undergraduate or post-graduate degree at an approved Australian tertiary institution.
  • Continue to be enrolled in the degree throughout the cadetship. 

Salary and allowances

Successful applicants will receive a salary of $28,388.29, plus super, which includes: 

  • Cadets will be paid at Grade 3, Level 4 for 14 hours per week under Community Legal Centres NSW's Enterprise Agreement.
  • Cadets will be paid for 45 weeks (90 days), as contracted part-time roles, so students will be accumulating paid leave.

  • There is a travel budget in the instance that cadets need to travel to other community legal centres or mentors need to be funded to visit cadets.

Want to learn more?

How to apply

Fill out the Expression of Interest form:

Expressions of interest (EOIs) are now open. Please fill out the EOI form that will ask you for your basic information and a few questions about why you want to participate in the First Nations Cadetship Program. We are not asking for a resume, cover letter or any additional documentation at this stage.

If you are selected for an interview, you may be asked to provide further documents (such as evidence documents or a resume) before your interview.

Successful students will be contacted with an offer to participate in the First Nations Cadetship Program. We'll then work with you closely to design a program plan and placements that suit your goals and needs.

Even if you are not ready to start in the next 6 months register your interest with us so that we can discuss how the cadetship program can work for you in the future.

Got any questions?

Please contact Bobbi Murray any time with questions about the First Nations Cadetship Program.

Phone: (02) 9212 7333 then press 9

Apply now

Please note there is no closing date on the Expressions of Interest. We invite you to apply as soon as possible, as places will fill up soon.

To apply, please fill out the Expressions of Interest form: