Australia is an exceptional destination to embark on a life-changing and meaningful volunteer experience.
Combining volunteering with travel is a fantastic way to have an engaging and fulfilling experience in Australia. It provides an opportunity to see the country in a different light, connect with locals and give back to the community whilst exploring the destination.
Whether interested in nature conservation, wildlife protection or community development projects, Australia presents a broad spectrum of volunteering options to international youth travellers who have resolved to make a difference and seek an extraordinary experience.
Plant trees in bushfire affected areas, clear debris from our beautiful beaches, monitor endangered wildlife species or volunteer time to local charities – there is no shortage of volunteer programs in Australia.
Australia has some of the most intriguing eco-systems in the world which are in constant need of protection and preservation.
The Great Barrier Reef, the largest living structure on the planet stretching 2300 kilometres (1400 miles) is habitat to an amazing array of marine animals and plants. To ensure this world-heritage marine park thrives for generations to come, volunteers from around the world come to Australia to contribute to research and conservation projects that will help sustain the Great Barrier Reef.
If land focused projects are of interest, volunteers can help regenerate vegetation in the Daintree Rainforest, which lies in between the Great Barrier Reef and the coastal mountain range in far-north Queensland.
For the avid animal lover, contributing to wildlife conservation programs is a rewarding chance to get up close and personal with Australia’s wonderful wild creatures. Some of the most exceptional and fascinating animals in the world call Australia home. Many species are native and found nowhere else in the world, which makes conservation even more important.
There are a range of on-going volunteer projects across the country that focus on helping sick, injured or displaced animals to return to their natural environment in a healthy and thriving state.
Monitor and rehabilitate bats, provide care for turtles or work alongside a park ranger to maintain sanctuaries for kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and dingoes. These are just a few of the options on offer, taking in some of the most beautiful areas of Australia.
Community Development Projects
For individuals wanting to connect socially and culturally with Australia, there are a variety of community-based projects operating both in city centres and regional areas. There are roles in health, childcare, education, employment programs and many other fields that welcome help and support from international volunteers.
Also, at times, Australia is subject to extreme weather conditions that cause natural disasters such as floods and bushfires. In the unfortunate event a disaster occurs, volunteers are needed to help rebuild the environment and support affected communities. Typical work may include fencing repairs, track clearing and maintenance, native planting and rubbish removal. Whatever the need is, contributing to the Australian community and environment by volunteering is extremely rewarding.
Volunteering in Australia does usually not require experience or formal skills and there are many volunteer organisations that can help find a role depending on the volunteer’s interest, abilities and availability.
Generally, individuals can work as a volunteer whilst on a Tourist Visa if:
- The 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 that no remuneration is received in return for the activities.
For detailed and up-to-date information on visa requirements, please refer to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website below.