We have a number of resources available that have been specially designed to assist you in becoming a volunteer. You can also read more about your volunteering rights and responsibilities below.
A Volunteer National Police Check can only be used for volunteer purposes when the work to be complete is unpaid, eg. volunteering, work experience, charity or community services. Trust Australian Federal Police (AFP) – your partner for background screening and due-diligence.
A volunteer must not commence regulated child-related work until they hold a valid blue card. Working With Children checks for volunteers vary depending on which state or territory you are volunteering in. Follow the link below for more information about working with children in Queensland.
The National Standards for Involving Volunteers in Not-for-Profit Organisations (National Standards) have been developed by Volunteering Australia through a consultation process with volunteer-involving organisations and volunteers, and aims to promote a model of best practice in the management of volunteers.
The National Standards emphasise the importance of adopting a systems-based approach to managing volunteers and compliance. The standards will ensure that volunteer rights are protected, their role is explicit and they work in safe and healthy environments.
Not-for-profit organisations can use the National Standards in a number of ways, including:
An organisation that is able to demonstrate compliance with the standards is strategically well-positioned to recruit and retain more volunteers, as well as attract funding or sponsorship for new initiatives.
Click here to download a copy of The National Standards.
Like everything else in life, the more you know about something, the more interesting it becomes and the easier it is to contribute in a meaningful way. Volunteering offers so many unique opportunities to be a part of the community and to give in so many ways. Before you embark on your volunteering experience, decide what interests you and find out as much as you can about the options that are available.
Research the causes and/or issues important to you:
Use your skills:
Learn new skills:
Combine your goals:
Find opportunities that can contribute to your current goals. For example: if your goal is to stay active, consider volunteer positions that include health and fitness and the outdoors.
Volunteer as a family:
Consider participating as a group in short or long-term event volunteer positions. Volunteering with family and friends has shown to help people stay committed and excited about volunteering.
Avoid over-committing your schedule:
Organisations require different levels of commitment for certain types of roles. Consider the amount of time you are able to commit to without exhausting yourself or losing interest. It is important to discuss your availability candidly with the organisation you are considering joining.
Non-profits have questions too:
Discover the possibilities and enjoy your journey!
Just like a paid employee, each volunteer has rights and responsibilities. These include:
Click here for an overview of volunteers’ rights and some important points for volunteers to check off with their organisation before volunteering.
The Definition and Principles of Volunteering are the result of a national consultation undertaken in 1996, with a wide range of stakeholders including: Volunteers, Not-for-Profit organisations, policy makers and Unions.
In 2015, the National Steering Committee reported significant changes to the current definition to include key components: ‘Without financial gain and for the common good’; and to recognise informal acts of volunteering, taken outside formal organisations.
This article investigates the Definitions and Principles of Volunteering and its relationship to formal organisations.
The challenge of recruiting, managing and retaining volunteers has become a hot topic for many Not-For-Profit organisations. As the reliance on voluntary human resources increases, so does the need to focus on Volunteer Management planning.
Volunteering Gold Coast believes one of its most important objectives is to build the sector through the support, encouragement and recognition of people involved in leading volunteer programs.
In addition, we hold monthly Volunteer Network Managers’ meetings. These meetings focus specifically on topics relevant to managing volunteers and demonstrates remarkable value to all who attend.
Resources for Volunteer Managers
Centrelink Request for Organisation Approval Form – used for approving Not-For-Profit community organisations wishing to engage unemployed clients in voluntary or community work positions.
Training Resources for Volunteer Managers – Access to the latest free skills training and education resources for volunteers, managers of volunteers, trainers and not-for-profit organisations.
National Standards for Involving Volunteers in Not-for-Profit Organisations – The National Standards have been written with the explicit intention of protecting the volunteer, the volunteer-involving organisation and customer of the organisation. Compliance with the standards will ensure that volunteer rights are protected, their role is explicit and they work in safe and healthy environments.
Justice Connect Not-For-Profit law is a specialist legal service for community organisations. Not-For-Profit Law helps groups by providing free or low cost practical legal assistance and advocates for improved standards and legal frameworks. More information here.
Volunteering Gold Coast ensures that member organisations have adequate insurance before referring volunteers. All volunteers should be covered by their organisation’s insurance. Check with your organisation to find out what the process is.
This depends on the organisation and their current financial circumstances. However, some organisations do reimburse volunteers for expenses such as petrol costs for using their own vehicles, or phone call costs that have been incurred on behalf of the organisation. Before volunteering, it is important to discover whether or not the organisation covers these costs.
It is necessary for checks to be conducted for some volunteering positions, particularly for those who are working with the elderly, people with disabilities, or children. In these instances, Police checks and/or Blue Cards are required to ensure that the volunteer has been certified or given clearance to work with these demographics.
Volunteering is diverse in opportunities so the skills needed are dependant on the type of volunteering role that is being considered. Volunteering Gold Coast will match your skills and interests with a suitable role that best utilises your current skills and allows you to develop new skills.
*Prior to searching for available volunteering positions, it is recommended that you identify your existing skills and any skills you would like to develop. This will assist you and our organisation to establish the most fitting volunteer role for you.
In general, volunteering is not age specific nor is there a globally determined age limit to volunteering. However, age limitations or restrictions often depend on the type of volunteer position and/or are specified in policies that may exclude people of certain ages.