Why should you volunteer?
Volunteering in Australia is a great way to make a difference. When you volunteer not only do you get a chance to make a difference to the world, you also get a chance to make a real difference to your job prospects.
If you don't have a lot of work experience, then becoming proactive about volunteering jobs will really help to build your profile to potential employers.
By this, we mean that, if you are trying it find to get work experience in the environmental sector, taking part in some unpaid work could really enhance your resume and ultimately your employment prospects.
If you can show that you actively 'put yourself out there' and get out of your comfort zone, this will only be received very positively by potential environmental employers.
This, combined with the fact that you are prepared to give up some of your time to work for free, will definitely help to build your 'personal brand' or 'profile'.
Demonstrating this invaluable work experience on your CV are really important steps in the right direction of getting more employment opportunities.
Being a volunteer is a 'win-win' situation, you get benefits for yourself whilst also providing benefit to the world. Awesome!
How can you volunteer?
On this page, we list some great organisations that offer actual work opportunities in Australia.
If you want to make a difference and also grow as a person then get hired by a volunteer organisation!
Volunteering throughout Australia
If you are interested in looking at volunteering opportunities across Australia the following organisations are a good place to start:
- Volunteering Australia is the national leading organisation for volunteering. They have an initiative called Go Volunteer and they have, on their website, a list of volunteering jobs that are available nationally.
If you need a link to their national database that is focused solely on environmental jobs then click here. This database focuses on general unpaid jobs rather than work that is focused on the environmental industry.
For organisations that have unpaid positions focused on just environmental sustainability and conservation, the list below is a great place to start
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) is a national environmental organisation. The ACF has 500,000+ members who 'show up, speak out and act' to protect our planet. They have ACF Community Groups throughout Australia and, if there isn't a group near you, they offer you the opportunity to create one!
The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is the only not-for-profit in Australia dedicated solely to protecting our oceans. The AMCS has office based unpaid (and also paid) employment opportunities and also host events throughout Australia where volunteers can help with their campaigns and educating the community.
The Australian Youth Climate Coalition is Australia’s largest youth-run organisation! Their aim is to build a movement of young people leading solutions to the climate crisis. With respect to unpaid positions, they have a broad range of opportunities available to young people.
Landcare Australia is a major organisation representing community-based environmental protection in Australia. They have over 6000 Landcare and Coastcare groups nationwide! They also have more than 11,000 Junior Landcare groups and schools throughout Australia.
If you want to narrow your search down to specific areas in Australia, we list below, some of the leading environmental volunteer organisations in some of the major capital cities in Australia.
Volunteering in Sydney
The Nature Conservation Council of NSW started fighting for nature in 1955. They had to because the EPA didn't even exist then! These guys often have paid and unpaid opportunities in their Sydney office.
The Environment Defenders Office NSW (EDO NSW) is a community legal centre which assists with public interest environmental law. EDO NSW provides free legal advice to and community groups across NSW. The EDO sometimes has unpaid jobs for lawyers and scientists and also some work opportunities for help with office administration. Click here to find out more.
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) manages more than 870 NSW national parks and reserves which cover over 7 million hectares of land! They run volunteer programs run throughout the NSW.
Volunteering in Melbourne
The Sustainable Living Foundation organises The National Sustainable Living Festival every year. It's held in Melbourne and they recruit volunteers every year to assist with this amazing event. To learn more about helping them in the lead up (from September 2018 - February 2019) to The National Sustainable Living Festival 2019 and on the actual weekend then click here for information.
Parks Victoria is responsible for managing land which covers more than 4 million hectares! This is equivalent to about 18 per cent of Victoria. These guys always have masses of great volunteering opportunities throughout Victoria
Volunteering in Perth
The Orangutan Project is based in Perth, Western Australia. From there, they lead and sponsor projects on the ground that help to protect orangutans and their forest homes throughout the world. Click here to learn more about offering some of your time to this organisation.
The Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions cover a massive range of Landcare and Flora and Fauna protection projects. This means, there's an enormous range in the type of unpaid work experience you can do. Projects range from the Wildcare Helpline to campground hosting and opportunities at the herbarium to name just a couple! Click through for more information.
Volunteering in Adelaide
The Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources has a partnership with the eight natural resources management boards which cover South Australia. They are responsible for managing South Australia's natural resources and have a range of work opportunities for the unpaid community. These opportunities are available in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges (AMLR). Click here for further information.
Looking for paid environmental jobs?
- Access the job advertisements on our website by going to this page
- Are you unsure about what types of environmental jobs there are? Our Publications Page has heaps of free research on positions in the environmental sector. These publications include interviews and feedback about the work with people actually in the sector.
- Want to know what roles there are based in the conservation / sustainability sector but don't have a degree? Our Environmental Sustainability Careers Page covers a wide range of job opportunities across the green economy that don't need a degree for you to apply.