Voluntary programmes take many forms in Australia and they can be anything from one-off projects to long-term commitments. Each state has a variety of programmes that you might consider taking part in and there are some federal and international ones, too.
Many Australians volunteer in an organised programme. In fact, well over a third of the adult population take part in some form of voluntary project which is the equivalent of more than six million citizens. In addition, large numbers of people are involved in what is classified as informal volunteering which includes things like offering care to others in the home.
If you are considering giving something back to society and volunteering for an existing programme, here are some ideas that are well worth weighing up.
Natural Environment Regeneration Volunteering
Known as bush regeneration in Australia, these programmes suit people who are fit and who would like to do something with others that helps the environment. A volunteer bush regenerator will typically work on a patch of land close to a city which improves it for both natural flora and wildlife. With programmes all over the country, the aim of each project is to restore the natural ecosystem in Australia by promoting the regeneration of indigenous plants.
There are even bush regeneration consulting firms, so if you find that you really love this work, you might be able to make it your actual job.
Arts and Culture Volunteering
If you have a desire to work in an artistic environment and would like to volunteer with others who have similar interests, then there are numerous opportunities in the country. There are plenty of arts centres, theatres and galleries which rely on volunteers to offer their services to the public. Some will be focused in visual arts while others are more connected with the performance side of things. Many of the arts organisations looking for volunteers and not-for-profit organisations can make good use of your time and inter-personal skills.
Human Rights and Advocacy Volunteering
There are plenty of professional people in Australia who have specialist skills that some sections of society cannot get access to. Legal advisers, translators and advocacy professionals can all be of use in the field of human rights. Sometimes assisting the poorest off in society, human rights and advocacy volunteer programmes are very rewarding but can also be challenging. Organisations such as the Australian Red Cross, Amnesty International and the National Justice Project are all looking for helpers who have experience with legal and advocacy matters. This form of voluntary programme can be very suited to recently retired people who want to continue to offer their skills on a part-time basis.