I want to volunteer - how do I go about it?

Thought about volunteering but not sure where to go to find a volunteer role? Here are some options to help you find the best volunteer role to suit you. This is not an exhaustive list of suggestions but they are a good start when you may not be quite sure where to go.


1. Log on to GoVolunteer 
With this online tool you can search for volunteer positions nationally. You can search by organisation type, position or post code.

2. Contact your local volunteering centre
These services offer you the opportunity to make an appointment and talk to somebody about volunteering and the opportunities available to meet your requirements. Contact details are available on the Volunteering Australia website. When you have logged on to the Volunteering Australia website, click on the Centres icon at the top of the home page and scroll down to find your nearest volunteer centre.

3. Contact your local council 
• Many municipals and shire councils produce community directories that include not-for-profit organisations needing volunteers;
• Include lists of volunteering opportunities on their website;
• You could get in touch with the community services department in the council, as these people may have knowledge of local opportunities.

4. Look at your local newspaper 
Often there are articles about volunteering and community service advertisements that inform people about local volunteering roles.

5. Contact your local neighbourhood house or community centre
Ask for information about their volunteering opportunities or information about other volunteer involving organisations in the area.

6. Interested in a specific cause?
You might like to search on the internet for organisations that address or respond to issues related to that cause. You might also like to ask at your local library for information on groups that try to effect change in society such as advocacy, human rights or the environment.

7. Interested in volunteering in a specific sector?
If you have decided on the sector where you might like to volunteer, you could consider the following options:

You might like to phone a local hospital or community health service and ask about their volunteering opportunities.

• Education
Enquire at schools and other education institutions.

• Environment
Enquire at your local council and other environmental organisations both locally and nationally.

• Sport and recreation
Contact your local council for information on sporting clubs and groups, or visit the websites of state bodies for particular sports.

• Arts/culture
Enquire at local museums, libraries and not-for-profit galleries and heritage centres.

• Emergency
Using either the phone book or website look for volunteer based fire, emergency, surf life saving, first aid, ambulance or coast guard/patrol groups.

• Business/professional/union
Contact your local chamber of commerce or a professional body or union you belong to or are interested in supporting.

• Law/justice/political
Enquire at the head office in your state for the contact details of local branches or political parties. Another option would be to contact the Department of Justice for information about volunteer programs that support people dealing with the justice system.


This fact sheet is reproduced with permission. For more information about volunteering, please visit Volunteering Australia.