Where can I volunteer?
We can put you in touch with a wide range of opportunities in not-for-profit organisations across the Greater Sydney area. To find volunteer positions in regional NSW, we can refer you to your nearest volunteer resource centre.
What kind of work can I do?
Almost anything. There are countless opportunities in the community for you to make a difference. This can include contributing to aged care, office administration, gardening, special events, driving, community work, childcare, or community visiting (to list only a few).
Do I have a choice about where I volunteer?
Absolutely. You can search for volunteer opportunities in your local area, aligned to your interests and availability using our find a position search engine. We can also provide additional one-on-one support in finding online volunteer vacancies.
How long do I have to commit for?
It’s your choice. Your commitment to a particular role depends upon your circumstances, interests, and the length of time your volunteer position is available for. Some organisations will set the minimum length of time a volunteer position is required for.
How much time do I need to give?
It depends. You can volunteer at any time of the week, day or night. While most volunteering takes place during office hours, you can volunteer at evenings and weekends too. Typical volunteer opportunities outside office hours include telephone counselling services and help lines, mentoring and tutoring, and sporting events. Virtual volunteering provides flexible opportunities to volunteer online. Generally, most roles range from 2 to 16 hours per week.
Are there age restrictions?
Sometimes. There may be age requirements depending on the type of volunteer role. Some not-for-profit organisations have a policy of not involving volunteers under or over a certain age due to insurance reasons. Organisations will specify if there are age restrictions for a role.
Can people on tourist visas volunteer in Australia?
It depends. The Department of Home Affairs has updated its website information on people on visas who volunteer. Generally speaking, if a person’s visa allows them to do paid work they are able to volunteer, however everyone’s circumstances and visa conditions are different. Please check the Department of Immigration website for the latest information.
Can I volunteer with my family or friends?
Sometimes. Some volunteering opportunities are available for groups. Examples of volunteering for two or more people include bush-care and special events. Check our website for special event opportunities or contact us about group volunteering opportunities that are currently available.
Do I need experience or qualifications?
This depends on the role. Some volunteer roles require specific skills or qualifications, while others ask only for a willingness to learn. Training is often made available to volunteers if it is required.
I work full time. Can I volunteer?
Yes. There are many volunteer opportunities that do not require you to be available during ‘normal’ office hours. One of the best things about volunteering is that it can be done when it best fits your lifestyle. Many organisations would love to find volunteers who are able to volunteer evenings, nights or weekends.
Do I need references?
This depends on the role. Some organisations require references or referee contact details. Before referring you to a particular volunteering opportunity we will talk to you about any references or referee contact details the organisation requires.
Will I need a background check?
This also depends. Some volunteer roles, particularly those where volunteers are interacting with vulnerable people (such as elderly, children and people with a disability) may require background checks such as a National Police Check or Working with Children Check. You will be advised if this is required.
What happens if I start volunteering but I decide to leave?
You are under no obligation to keep a volunteer position that you are unhappy with or can no longer sustain. To see if your issues can be addressed, talk with your supervisor, manager, or volunteer coordinator before you give an appropriate amount of notice that you’re leaving your voluntary role. Most organisations have a grievance procedure. If you feel strongly that something should be done, access this process to seek a resolution.
What can I do after volunteering?
Many people use volunteering to try out a new career or to secure paid employment, others find the experience valuable for personal reasons. Whatever your motivations, there is no doubt that the skills and experience gained through volunteering are often very useful personally and professionally. For example, volunteering can enhance your resume by making it stand out from the pack, or through the addition of valuable references.
I’m interested in volunteering overseas. Can you help me?
Yes. We have information on our website regarding organisations that deal with volunteering overseas. Please note that these organisations are not affiliated with us and therefore are not a recommendation.
Will volunteering cost me anything?
It does not cost anything for individuals to volunteer. Organisations providing volunteer opportunities may be able to reimburse minor expenses such as travel. Out-of-pocket expenses must be agreed by the organisation before they are incurred. These may include travel, meals purchased while volunteering, and special clothing. It is a good idea to ask about expenses before committing to a volunteer role.
If you have any further questions, contact: