Travellers and volunteering

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.

More information about volunteering overseas is provided on the Volunteering SA & NT 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, first contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to make sure your visa allows this.

Currently, you may be able to work as a volunteer whilst 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 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 obtain a police check from your country of origin.

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Page last updated 30 November 2016

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Department for Communities and Social Inclusion
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