Volunteering is a great way to:
- Make new friends
- Gain confidence
- Learn new skills
- Have fun
The rewards you get for putting something back into your community are limitless.
Types of volunteering
There are so many opportunities and organisations are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers. Choose an area that interests you - where you would like to make a difference in your community.
The following are some ideas of how you could volunteer:
- Work at an animal shelter
- Help out with a community performing arts group
- Visit a sick or elderly person
- Be a lifeguard
- Deliver fresh hot meals to the elderly and disabled
- Work on a conservation project in your local council area
- Get involved in human rights and social justice
- Tutor a refugee in English
Volunteer to gain work experience
Volunteering is a great way to help you find paid work. If your resume is looking a little short because you don't have much work experience, volunteering is an excellent way to learn new skills and gain genuine work experience at the same time.
Most employers will think your volunteering history shows that you:
- Have initiative
- Are community minded
- Have a positive attitude towards work
Learning to work as part of a team and developing your organisation skills are just a few of the benefits of volunteering that will serve you well in any job.
When volunteering, it's important to remember that volunteers are not a substitute for paid workers. Be aware of employers who might try to exploit their volunteer workers as cheap or free labour.
When volunteering, your work should be making a contribution to the not-for-profit sector, not your boss's pocket!
Age requirements and police checks
While a number of volunteer positions require you to be 18 or older, there are still plenty of opportunities around for younger people. Unless a position states that you're required to be 18 or over, assume that it's OK to apply.
Some organisations, especially those where you are volunteering to work with children, will require a police check. If a police check is required, the organisation that you're volunteering for will most likely organise this on your behalf.
While there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in your own backyard, there's a whole world out there seeking volunteers to help with a multitude of projects and programs.
Volunteering overseas is a great way to combine your wanderlust and passion for making a positive impact on the world. Check out the Idealist website (new window) for information and opportunities for volunteering overseas, or International Volunteers for Peace (new window) to find out about volunteering in overseas workcamps.
I Can Do That
Victorian Government volunteer information resource that helps volunteers and volunteer organisations
Find out about volunteering opportunities near you and how to get involved in volunteering projects.
GoVolunteer provides you with information you might need to find out about volunteering and volunteer opportunities in your area.
Information for volunteers and a directory of positions.