- Volunteering Victoria - https://volunteeringvictoria.org.au -

Learn about volunteering in Victoria

Definition of volunteering

‘Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.’ – Volunteering Australia, 2015.

This is an inclusive definition, and covers volunteering with organisations as well as in the community.

Learn more [1] about this definition on the Volunteering Australia website. 

Volunteering is similar, but not the same as student placements and internships. If are not sure, ask who is the activity mean to benefit most – if it’s the community, it’s probably volunteering.  If it’s you, or it’s connected to your studies, it’s probably not volunteering.  The difference is important – read more [2] on the Justice Connect website. 

Where and how you can volunteer

In Victoria, many organisations rely on volunteers, such as:

Only organisations which do not trade for a profit are allowed to engage volunteers.

There are lots of types of volunteering available: every week or fortnight or just for an afternoon or a few days, team or individual, in-person or virtual – and some may require skills.

Volunteer rights and responsibilities

In Australia, volunteers are not covered by legislation in the same way as employees.  However, we believe that volunteers have rights, and we advocate for these every day. 

Volunteer rights include:

At the same time, many organisations rely on volunteers – so it’s important to recognise that volunteers have responsibilities. 

As a volunteer, you should:

Read  [3]more about your rights and responsibilities. 

Read [3] about other things to know, including workplace checks, confidentiality and volunteer codes of conduct.

Need more info?

Read more [3] in our Guide for Volunteers.

If there are problems where you volunteer, learn [4] about your options to address them.

If you are concerned that you may not be undertaking a genuine volunteer roles, or may be experiencing discrimination, seek advice from Volunteering Victoria [5] or the Study Melbourne Student Centre [6].