There is nothing more Australian than Volunteering.

Community Resilience is in the hands of our Volunteers!


Volunteering

Give a Little. Change a Lot.

Volunteering
is a journey,
not a job
that you do.

The right volunteer job can enrich your life, improve your skills and help you achieve the goals you have set for yourself. But you need to plan the journey - like any trip. Where are you volunteering? How long for? What do you want to get out of the journey? Some volunteers like the social inclusion, like having fun. Some volunteers just want to do a simple task well each time they come and other volunteers want to improve their skills to help them get a job. We encourage you to plan your journey to get the most out of it. We collected some and some more resources below, to help inform your journey. Some key tips are highlighted with . One of the biggest tips we can give you is to find the right organisation. Thats what we do.    






Be a
Professional
Volunteer
If you are the kind of person that wants to see change and improvement in our communities, volunteering is for you.
But do it right - be professional!
Professionalism has nothing to do with being paid.

It has everthing to do with your appearance, demeanour, attitude, ethical decision making, committment to the task and the manner in which you conduct your work life.

Remember the community organisation is already trying to make their community a better place and they genuinely need your help. If you are a professional volunteer, your help will be of great value!

No Pay!

Every volunteer job, is a job without pay, but it doesnt mean there is no value in what you do. Your work is of great value to the organisation!

Be Ethical!

Make ethical decisions and effective contributions to the organisation.
Do no harm.

You must be Reliable!

Even though you are not paid, the organistion you work for relies on you. Be reliable.
Plan your
Volunteer
Journey

We can help.

Why are you volunteering? What do you want to achieve at the end of your journey? What are your goals? When are you available?
If you have the answers to those questions, you are more likely to have a great journey. Matching your availability with the organisations requirements, matching your expectations at with the organisations and having an end date to your volunteering allows the organisation to plan your role more successfully.


Step 1

Update your Resume, make sure it lists all your qualifications, skills, abilities and experience. Take a copy with you to your volunteer job interview.

Step 2

Identify what days and times you are available and how long you are prepared to volunteer. Are you planning on volunteering for a couple of months, weeks or years?

Step 3

Research every potential organisation. Find one that has similar Values, Goals or projects of interest to you. There is nothing wrong with shopping around - be a mystery shopper!

Step 4

If you have goals that you want to achieve, look for an organisation that will help you achieve them.
Research
before you
start!
It’s important to get a sense of who you will be working with – as placements can vary a great deal depending on the organisation. You should try and match your values, goals and beliefs with those of the organisation that you are considering volunteering for. That way, you will feel comfortable with their corporate culture and fit into the organisation more easily than if you selected an organisation at random.
Do some research.
Find out what they stand for, who they support and what their Values are.

Mission, Vision and Values

The Mission describes the overall purpose for the organisation, the Vision is a description of what the organisation aspires to be and their Values are the guiding principles they will apply to achieving their purpose. You should try and match your Values to those of the organisation, see yourself as part of their Vision and have the right skills to help with their Mission.

Investment

You are investing your time and skills in the organisation. Do they invest in their volunteers? Will they help you achieve your goals?

Research the volunteer organisation, before you volunteer!

As the
Journey
begins...
Every volunteer should receive an induction.
An Induction is an introduction to the way things are done at the organisation. You should get information on safety policies and procedures, a job description, what your role is, how to be an effective part of a safe workplace, how you are to treat everyone else and how you are to be treated. They should tell you about anti-discrimination and anti-bullying, tell you who to report to and advise you what the complaint process is.

Safety at Work is Everyones Job

In Queensland, the Workplace Health and Safety laws require that everyone take care to reduce the risk of injury in the workplace. Everyone. Including Volunteers. If you breach that duty of care, you may be liable to legal penalties. So find out what the organisation expects of you in terms of safety policies and procedures, find out where the first aid kit is and who is the First Aid Officer at the organisation.

Reduce Risks

You need to report risks that are likely to cause injury to the organisation. All organisations should have an incident form that you can fill in to report a risk.

Safety Laws specficially include Volunteers!

That includes a requirement that they have the same safety gear as employees.
Get your
journey
going!

We can help.

There are thousands of ways to start your volunteer journey.
We can help you with the start, and support you along that journey.

Friendship
Volunteers

Vinnies Volunteers working to help Migrants & Refugees

Helping those
less fortunate

Vinnies Volunteers working to help with Financial Hardship

Conservation
Volunteers

Preserving and Protecting our Environment for the future

Migrants &
Refugees

Helping New Australians settle into their new community


Surf Lifesaver

Youth Volunteers

A Volunteers Day

VMR

Questions
for you to
consider
This is general information, not legal advice. If in doubt contact Worksafe QLD on Phone: 1300 362 128.

In Queensland, employers, workers and volunteers are required to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and not to cause harm or create risk of harm, to others.
The QLD Workplace Health and Safety Laws (the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld)), impose a legal obligation on organisations to provide and maintain a safe working environment for its volunteers (unless there are no paid staff in the organisation). There is also a common law duty of care to take reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable harm, injury or loss. This also applies to volunteers. That means if your role requires safety equipment, then it should be supplied to both employees and volunteers.
This is general information, not legal advice. If in doubt contact Worksafe QLD on Phone: 1300 362 128.

It is really important that you check out the organisation you plan to volunteer for, to ensure that they have insurance for volunteers. Workers’ compensation insurance does not cover volunteers (except in rare circumstances), and public liability insurance will usually cover injuries that a volunteer causes to others, but not necessarily to injuries caused to themselves. Volunteer insurance covers volunteers for injuries to themselves. But insurance isnt the only thing that needs to be inplace. Volunteer Safety should never be relegated to being a matter for insurance - insurance is not a risk management strategy. There should be WHS policies and procedures, a risk management strategy and information on working safely in QLD.
There is no doubt that volunteers are needed by community organisations. So when you consider volunteering, make sure that your Resume or CV reflects all of your qualifications, skills, abilities and experience correctly, so that the recruitment and placement part of your volunteer journey have truth in them. Most organisations will do reference checks and require some kind of Police check or security clearance - even for a volunteer role. When you are correctly matched to a role that suits your skills, abilities and experience, you will get the best out of the role and the organisation will benefit from your work.

If you are successfully recruited, make sure your decisions are ethical and your contribution is professional.
The Golden Rule of Volunteering, is "Do no Harm"..
Sadly, not all organisations that claim to be doing good, are doing good. To avoid doing more harm than good, thoroughly research the overseas volunteering organisation and the role that you have applied for before you leave. Make sure that you are qualified and have the skills to assist the program or project achieve its purpose, in order to benefit the community. The Australian Government has a lot of great information and advice on and the website. The program matches volunteers to positions overseas.



Give a Little. Change a Lot!

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