‘Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.’ – Volunteering Australia
Volunteering is critical to building a healthy, connected and inclusive community. Volunteers support community groups to achieve their goals, while making meaningful use of their time and skills contributing to social and community outcomes. You’ll find many types of volunteering from formal to informal, governance, project-based and virtual.
Benefits of volunteering
‘Volunteers are happier, healthier and sleep better than those who don’t volunteer. Just a few hours of volunteer work can make a difference to your happiness and mood!’ – Volunteering Victoria
Volunteering promotes a sense of belonging and wellbeing. It allows you to participate in activities, create new friendships and build a real sense of achievement. Volunteering can also help you develop skills and experience and provide potential pathways to employment.
Volunteer rights and responsibilities
Volunteering is a two-way relationship. Organisations and volunteers have rights and responsibilities to ensure a successful partnership.
Organisations must provide a safe environment for volunteers. Volunteers should follow their host's policies and ask for support when needed.
The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement can help organisations plan their volunteer strategy. They offer advice on the role of volunteers and how they can help you achieve your goals. The standards are easy to adapt and can help you maximise the benefits of volunteering. They provide guidance on protecting volunteers' rights and supporting volunteers in their roles.
Volunteers should consider their rights and responsibilities when thinking about a volunteer role. You can read this Volunteering Australia information sheet (PDF) to learn more. Volunteering Victoria also has a guide outlining volunteer rights and responsibilities (PDF).
Volunteering during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant the benefits many volunteers experience have stopped. Many volunteers question if it is safe for them to volunteer. We developed COVID safe guidelines for volunteers (PDF) to help answer your questions about volunteering during COVID-19. It includes advice on keeping connected to your organisation or helping in the community and keeping yourselves and others safe.
Emergency management volunteering
WeVolunteer is a community recovery volunteering program that helps communities in times of need. It brings together organisations, volunteers, volunteer support organisations and local communities. You can register your interest on the WeVolunteer website.