Essentials for Volunteers

Registering with Volunteer Central Vic

1. Complete the online application form:

  • This provides Volunteer Central Vic with a starting point for your interests and skills.

2. Search for Available Roles online:

  • Use our search engine to see what opportunities are available near you right now.

3. Receive personalised support:

  • Once we have your registration form, Volunteer Central Vic will be in touch to help you find the right role. We can also help you understand your Rights and Responsibilities and know what to look for when choosing a volunteer role, as well as to understand what is expected of you when you volunteer.
  • We can also answer questions about Mutual Obligation Requirements and how to meet them.

There are many reasons that people volunteer and it is a great way to become involved in your community. Volunteering is a great way for people, regardless of their age, cultural background, location or circumstances, to get involved in the community, do something that is meaningful and that creates a sense of purpose.

There are many benefits to volunteering:

  • Meeting new people and making new friends
  • To give back to, or get involved in, your community
  • Meet new challenges
  • Raise awareness and support causes that are important to you
  • Experience different cultures
  • Help people or contribute to social change
  • Develop professional networks
  • Find a pathway to getting a job or into a course or training
  • Learn new skills or gain experience in a variety of roles
  • Explore different career and job opportunities.

Research has also found a significant connection between volunteering and good health with reports showing that people who volunteer have:

  • Longer lives
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Less incidence of heart disease
  • Better sleep
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced stress
  • More self-esteem and confidence
  • Reduced loneliness and isolation
  • Better relationships
  • More happiness and general satisfaction with life!

Kyneton Men’s Shed. Image c/o Mark Griffiths

As a volunteer you have the right to:

  • A healthy and safe environment
  • An orientation or induction session
  • Information about the organisation you are working for, including access to relevant policies and procedures
  • A volunteer position description
  • A volunteer agreement which outlines the tasks that you will be expected to perform and the agreed working hours
  • Be provided with sufficient training and supervision
  • Be reimbursed for necessary out of pocket expenses
  • Be protected by appropriate insurance
  • Have your personal information dealt with in accordance with the Privacy Act and held in a confidential manner
  • Take holidays
  • Say ‘no’ if you are uncomfortable or feel you are being exploited
  • Be informed and consulted on matters which affect you and your work.

As a volunteer you should not be:

  • Filling a position previously held by a paid worker
  • Doing the work of paid staff during an industrial dispute
  • Treated in a manner that is discriminatory

You have a responsibility to

  • Be punctual and reliable
  • Be loyal to the organisation
  • Treat all information regarding other employees, volunteers, clients or visitors as strictly confidential
  • Carry out the duties listed in your volunteer position description
  • Have a duty of care towards others and follow all Workplace Health and Safety guidelines
  • Have read and understood relevant policies and procedures
  • Respect the privacy of others
  • Be accountable
  • Give notice if your availability changes or you are leaving the organisation
  • Report any injuries or hazards that you notice in the workplace
  • Adhere to the organisation’s policies and procedures
  • Deal with complaints in the appropriate manner
  • Undertake training as requested
  • Ask for support when needed
  • Support other team members
  • Use the internet and local papers to research the types of roles that other volunteers are doing in your area.
  • Think about what kind of role you would be suited to. Some people want to work outdoors, others prefer an office environment.
  • If you have a good idea of your skills and interests, this will help you narrow down your options. If you have a resume or CV, it is a good idea to review this when you are preparing to volunteer.
  • You can find volunteering opportunities on this website, on SEEK Volunteer and GoVolunteer. You can also find links on Volunteering Victoria. Local papers and community newsletters also often advertise for volunteers.
  • Put as much useful and relevant information into your expression of interest as possible.
  • You may be asked to attend an interview, this is usually so that the volunteer coordinator or program manager can get to know you and check that you will suit the volunteering opportunity.
  • Volunteers frequently require background checks. Working with Children Checks are valid for 5 years, and you will be required to register a new organisation if you change where you volunteer during that period. Volunteer WWC’s are free.
  • Police Checks must be conducted by the organisation, and the cost should not be paid by the volunteer. If you have paid for your own Police Check, ask to see if you can be reimbursed by the organisation.