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There are many opportunities to volunteer through community organisations, businesses, international organisations, government, and even in an emergency.
Organisations to contact
A range of organisations can help you find a volunteer opportunity.
Volunteering SA&NT operates a volunteer referral service and has a large database of available positions to choose from across South Australia and the Northern Territory.
With a total of over 11,000 volunteers across the state, most councils in South Australia have their own volunteer programs involving members of the community, providing local services to local people.
These roles can vary substantially between councils but common roles include:
- assisting in libraries, transport and the environment
- providing aged care and youth activities
- being involved in events and providing community advice
- assisting the socially isolated or people with disability
- helping culturally and linguistically diverse residents.
Find your local council on the Local Government Association website.
Volunteers also undertake a vital role in state government - see Volunteering with the South Australian Government.
Register for opportunities to volunteer for international organisations on the United Nations website.
You can find out more about becoming a Country Fire Service or State Emergency Service volunteer by visiting the South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Commission website.
For further information about becoming an ambulance volunteer, visit the SA Ambulance Service website.
If you'd like to join the many volunteers who generously lend a hand to help the community in post-emergency recovery operations - visit the Volunteering SA&NT website, where a phone number and an online link for people to register is activated in the event of an emergency.
Australians volunteering abroad
If you want to volunteer overseas, there are plenty of international volunteer and exchange programs to choose from. Register for opportunities to volunteer for international organisations on the United Nations website.
Police checks for Australian volunteers abroad
If you're planning to do volunteer work overseas, obtain a national police check from the Australian Federal Police before you leave Australia.
Overseas visitors as volunteers
If you are an overseas visitor and you would like to do some volunteer work within Australia, contact the Department of Home Affairs to make sure your visa allows this.
Currently, you may be able to work as a volunteer while on a tourist visa if:
- your main purpose in visiting Australia is tourism, and any voluntary work remains incidental to this
- the work involved would not otherwise be undertaken in return for wages by an Australian resident
- the work is genuinely voluntary and you receive no remuneration for the activities.
It's acceptable under the conditions of a tourist visa for you to receive meals, accommodation, and reimbursement for out-of-pocket living expenses in return for voluntary work.
Police checks for volunteers from overseas
Currently, there are no formal means of obtaining a police check for volunteers from outside Australia. If you think you might take part in volunteer activities while in Australia, please plan ahead and obtain a police check from your country of origin.
Search for available positions in your area:
- Volunteering SA&NT has a large database of volunteering opportunities to choose from in SA and NT
- GoVolunteer - a national database of Australia-wide opportunities
- Do Something Near You - a national website inviting individuals to get involved with community groups and initiatives in their local area - organisations looking for volunteers can also list themselves.
- SEEK Volunteer - a non-profit initiative designed to make volunteering easier, bringing volunteers and volunteer organisations together.