The Inclusive Volunteering Pathways to Employment Program helps to reduce and remove barriers to volunteering and employment for people living with disability or on a mental health recovery journey. The Program supports participants to engage in volunteering as a pathway to employment. The Program also works with organisations to help them become more inclusive as they involve people of all abilities and backgrounds in their workplaces.

The Inclusive Volunteering Pathways to Employment Program works closely with participants to understand their individual employment goals and support participants as they learn new skills and gain experience through volunteering. 

There is no financial cost to participate in the Program. Former participants have developed new skills, gained confidence, experienced a reduction in social isolation and fulfilled their employment goals. 

The Inclusive Volunteering Pathways to Employment Program supports participants every step of the way in their volunteering journey and endeavors to find participants a role that is rewarding and enjoyable! 

What is a pathway to employment?

Volunteering is widely recognised as a platform that allows people to build skills, create networks – socially and professionally – and as a way to contribute to the community. Through the Program we match participants with meaningful volunteering roles that help build the skills, experience and confidence needed to work towards employment goals.

The Inclusive Volunteering Pathways to Employment Program also offers training, resources and one-on-one support to organisations. This encourages organisations to evolve their inclusion policies by removing barriers to engaging volunteers with disabilities. The Program will help organisations address stigma and misconceptions around disability and mental health and embed inclusion as standard practice. The Inclusive Volunteering Pathways to Employment Program aims to open more volunteering and employment doors to all members of our community – resulting in everyone having equal opportunity to participate in volunteering and paid employment.

The Inclusive Volunteering Pathways to Employment Program offers:

  • One-on-one support for participants to identify their employment and other goals and to find volunteering opportunities that help to work towards these goals.
  • Ongoing support to ensure the participant’s volunteering experience is meaningful and helping to achieve their goals.
  • Support with resources and training for organisations to equip them with the skills and knowledge to reduce and remove barriers to involving volunteers living with disability
  • Inclusion training and support for organisations to improve their inclusion culture, practices and processes.

The Inclusive Volunteering Pathways to Employment Program does not offer:

  • The Program does not place participants in paid employment positions and cannot guarantee paid employment during or at the end of participation in the Program.

Become a Participant!

The Inclusive Volunteering Pathways to Employment Program works with participants who:

are living with disability or a mental health condition


are seeking employment


are interested in volunteering

To self-refer to our Program please complete the Participant Referral form below.

The Inclusive Volunteering Pathways to Employment Program is supported through funding from the Australian Government and delivered in collaboration with The Centre for Volunteering, VolunteeringACT and Volunteering Tasmania.


“I was shy. I was focused on finding employment and I couldn’t find a job.  Volunteering changed my life. Before volunteering I had limited interaction with others. Now I am able to interact with people, people from Australia and people visiting Australia. I’m learning about science; it is an interesting place to volunteer. I feel like an important person. I translate for Arabic visitors; I am part of a team. I feel like I have found my place. I feel Australian.”

– Program Participant, Canberra, ACT

“My son’s volunteering is going well. He is happy doing his shifts. Volunteering is one of his best therapies and strategies towards job readiness. He has had a few job interviews lately and is currently awaiting 3 offers of employment in hospitality/food preparation. Keeping fingers crossed!”

– Parent of Program Participant, Canberra, ACT

“I am delighted to inform you that I have been offered a job as an Administration Officer. It’s a permanent full-time opportunity.  I will be forever grateful to you for assisting me via the Inclusive Volunteering Program. I will always be thankful to the volunteering community as well. Thank you for helping a mother to get back into the workforce after a maternity break. Thank you for being so helpful and supportive in my journey.”

– Program Participant, Canberra, ACT

Become an Inclusive Organisation!

Is your organisation interested in creating an inclusive volunteering environment?

Australia is a long way behind other OECD Countrieswhen it comes to attracting and integrating differently abled people into the workplace. 20% of people in Australia live with a disability*. However, people living with disability face an unemployment rate of almost double that of their fellow Australians.

​​People with physical disability and/or mental health conditions often face stigma and discrimination. Organisations may have misconceptions about the support which might be required to meaningfully include/engage a person with a disability. Misconceptions can contribute to a perceived lack of capacity and subsequently the lack of ability to reduce or remove barriers and engage volunteers with disabilities. 

​​​While the majority of Australian employers are open to hiring people with disability (77 per cent), a much lower percentage (35 per cent) demonstrate behavioural commitment to doing so.+

The Inclusive Volunteering Pathways to Employment Program is here to help!

The Centre for Volunteering’s Inclusive Volunteering Pathways to Employment Program will provide support for organisations to be more inclusive and to help organisations become more accessible to people of all abilities and backgrounds.

We can also work with you to identify and structure suitable volunteering roles and match an appropriate volunteer(s) who will add value to your organisation.

Examples of support the Inclusive Volunteering Pathways to Employment Program can offer your organisation:

  • Online and face-to-face training and workshops focusing on inclusion in the workplace
  • Recommendations and suggestions for the use of inclusive language and workplace practices 
  • Resources and support to make the workplace more accessible and accommodate Inclusivity into core policy and procedures i.e. Workplace Health and Safety
  • One-on-one support, focusing on specific reasonable adjustments to suit one or more volunteers with a disability.

Volunteer involving organisations can also refer participants who already interact with your organisation who may benefit from being a part of this worthwhile program.

We’d love to hear from you!

To find out how your organisation can become involved and support people with disabilities please contact The Centre for Volunteering by phoning (02) 9261 3600 or sending an email to Inclusive-Volunteering-Program@volunteering.com.au

The Inclusive Volunteering Pathways to Employment Program is supported through funding from the Australian Government and delivered in collaboration with The Centre for Volunteering NSW, VolunteeringACT and Volunteering Tasmania.


+  https://www.jobaccess.gov.au/news-media/businesses-missing-out

Organisation Testimonials

“I shared with my team my learnings from your course and we are all now working on implementing changes to how we recruit and how we work with different members of the community.”

 – Inclusive Volunteering for Organisations Workshop Attendee