Whether you work a day job or are seeking one, volunteering is a great opportunity to gain valuable experience. It’s also a fantastic way to meet new people, often with the same interests as yours. You might find yourself with a whole new bunch of friends!
Volunteering can also be lots of fun. Whether you’re at a sporting or music event, or helping within a more corporate environment, giving your time to help a team can be a very positive and uplifting experience for everyone involved.
Students who want to gain work experience, can often find it challenging to be given that first break by an employer. Volunteering can offer you that chance, giving you that much needed practical experience you need to demonstrate your skills relating to your chosen career.
If you’re a job seeker, volunteering can also help you gain hands-on local experience. Making connections with organisations can also help your job seeking efforts, as employers will see first hand what you can bring to their team.
Plus, you’ll get a great confidence boost whilst you’re applying for jobs. Use your experience in your job interviews, by talking about real examples of how you helped your team achieve its goals. This is a great way to show your potential future employer how much you have to offer them!
Volunteering can also be deeply rewarding. Offering your time to help others is a unique way to give back to your community. People who volunteer speak about their experiences as being very fulfilling and happy times. A recent study by Volunteering Australia reported that 99% of volunteers would continue to engage in volunteering in the future. Sounds like a lot of happy people!
Volunteering is a large part of many Australians lives and there are hundreds of volunteering opportunities available every day across the nation. You might be surprised at how many practical and life skills you can offer the community.
You can choose to support a particular cause, be on the front line at sporting events, or your passion may be to connect with young people. With so many organisations seeking volunteers, you’re bound to find an opportunity that suits your skills and interests. Here are just a few examples of how you can share your talents with the community:
If you have a creative talent, you could help mentor a young child to develop new ideas and help them develop their own unique abilities.
You could become the positive change to make a difference in their lives.
Fundraisers and Charity events often look for people skilled in preparing and cooking food. Put your culinary skills to the test and meet food enthusiasts just like yourself.
If you love the sun and fresh air, perhaps an outdoor event is for you. It could be anything from handing out flyers and asking participants questions, to something more physical such as tree planting or helping set up stages and installations.
So what are you waiting for? Join many other people who volunteer their time and see what you can learn.
There are many online resources to find volunteer opportunities located across major cities in Australia.
Volunteer by Seek
A huge source of volunteering opportunities are listed on www.volunteer.com.au. Here you can search by your interests or event type, by location, and length of time required. It also gives you the option to tick why the opportunity might be good for you. For example, if you want to volunteer for work experience, or if you have limited English, these are options for you.
To apply, fill in your details online, and you will receive an email confirming your interest.
Volunteering Australia www.volunteeringaustralia.org work to advance volunteering in the community. They run National Volunteer Week which is from 9th – 15th May this year.
Here you can connect with your State/Territory body to find your nearest volunteer resource centre. You can also search volunteer opportunities by entering your interest, duration and location.
Go Volunteer phone app
Keep track of your volunteering interests on the go with the www.govolunteer.com.au/App. Create a profile, and you’ll be shown opportunities of interest as they become available. You can also create a shortlist of your favourites and make new searches wherever you are.
The app is free and currently available from the App Store and Google play.
Taking a walk down to your local community centre may provide opportunities right there on your doorstep. What better way to connect with your neighbours then to volunteer in your local community?
Not only will you be providing immediate benefits to your home town, you could open up even more opportunities, such as local job offers and making new friends.
Instead of waiting to hear about volunteering positions, why not create them yourself? You can do this by approaching an organization that interests you directly. Offer them your time and skills and explain the difference you can make. Putting yourself in front of people will show you as an enthusiastic person with a positive attitude. This is a great way to attract attention for yourself.
If you end up volunteering with them, and become a valuable member of the team, they may find they can’t carry on without you. This is a great way to form connections to organisations that you may want to work with long term.
A recent report by Volunteering Australia shows that 93% of volunteers saw positive changes as a result of their volunteering efforts. This means they felt appreciated by the community, they helped improve the wellbeing of others, and improved their own sense of place in the world.
What a great list of benefits and way to connect with your community in Australia. If volunteering sounds right for you and your situation, why not start with the resources above today and see what you can gain.