Giving your time to a worthy cause can be an incredibly rewarding experience. The YourLifeChoices Volunteering page has information about volunteer work, whether you are looking for something local, Australia-wide, international or even online.
Australians contribute more than 700 million hours each year to volunteering, undertaken by 34 percent of the population. Volunteering is a great way to get out of the house, meet new people and even travel the world.
You will find information about environmental volunteering, mentoring students, working on conservation projects and much more below. So why not make the world a better place and find out how you can help?
Is volunteering for you?
If you’ve always wanted to experience the feel-good factor that often comes with volunteering but are not sure of the opportunities available to you, then this quick guide is enough to help you make up your mind and get you started.
Dip your toe in the water
Deciding to volunteer is the easy part but finding the right opportunity for you can take a little time. Search by location, skills or organisation for the position that suits you best.
Use your age to advantage
Senior volunteers are much sought after by organisations thanks in the main to the skills and life-experience you can offer. If you’re over 50 and have professional, business or executive skills then there are many organisations just waiting to hear from you.
Woofing not just for dogs
Give your support to organic farms acrossAustraliaand enjoy a cost-effective way to see the country, perfect for seniors on a budget. Give up four to six hours of your day in return for your keep, including accommodation and meals, and get to seeAustraliaoff the beaten track.
Save the planet
Do your bit to save the planet by getting involved with environmental scientific projects which aim to undertake research and educate. These projects operate worldwide and there are opportunities inAustraliahowever, you do need to be in good physical shape to volunteer.
Travel with your trade
Use your carpentry or plumbing experience to help communities build homes and villages, while experiencing travel through the eyes of a local. No matter your area of expertise, be it nursing, teaching, electrical or accounting, there are global projects which need assistance and support.
Giving up your time and the benefit of your knowledge and experience need not mean leaving home. If you have access to a computer, you can volunteer by translating documents, offering consulting advice or developing designs. You can home in on an area of interest such as health, education or environment to name just a few.
Volunteering and your Centrelink benefits
If you are receiving Centrelink benefits volunteering can be a great alternative to paid work, however, it is important to find out if there are restrictions on the number of hours per week you can volunteer. If you are aged between 55 and 65 and not doing any paid work you may be eligible for Newstart Allowance by carrying out at least 15 hours of approved voluntary work per week.
Remote teaching opportunities
Remote communities often struggle to attract teachers and the result is that children in such areas do not get the necessary education. If you’re a retired teacher, then consider giving up six weeks to spend time in a rural community and ensure your teaching skills don’t go to waste.
Make the most of your business skills
Retired or self-employed business people can use their valuable skills to help educate communities worldwide on how to successfully manage budgets, projects and how to get the best price for their wares.