Travellers and volunteering

Australians volunteering abroad

If you want to volunteer overseas there are plenty of 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 in 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 is incidental to this
  • the work involved would not otherwise be done 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 of out-of-pocket living expenses in return for voluntary work.

Police checks for volunteers from overseas

Currently there is 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 get a police check from your country of origin.

Related information

On this site

How to search for volunteering opportunities

Other websites

Working holiday visa – Department of Home Affairs

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Page last updated 22 March 2019

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Department of Human Services
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