What is volunteering?

Swan Community Care – Winners of the Swan Volunteer Resource Centre promotion for National Volunteer Week 2017

Volunteering is contribution of time, effort and talent to a need, cause or mission without financial gain.

Volunteering is all about you being able to contribute some of your own time to help people in our communities. Volunteers support our communities and add to them in their own unique way using a wide variety of skills, knowledge and experience.

Definition of formal volunteering

Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain (Volunteering Australia 2016)

  • It differs from the previous definition as some volunteering now is done in for profit organisations, hospitals, events etc
  • Although it is time given willingly,  some Centerlink recipients are required to do volunteering, but the assumption is that they are doing this willingly.  They may not have a choice, but they are willing to contribute and learn new skills whilst they receive their Centrelink entitlements

Why volunteer?

Volunteering has many benefits. It gives people self-confidence and satisfaction, social contact, the ability to use previously established skills or develop new ones, a chance to follow your passion and a possible start to paid employment.

Volunteering or community service is fast becoming an essential part of a stand-out resume. Employers are looking for evidence of commitment, loyalty and a strong desire to contribute to the success of society all of which volunteering demonstrates.

Volunteering is flexible and will fit around your existing commitments. The Swan Volunteer Resource Centre has volunteering opportunities that range from five minutes per day to several hours per week or just one day per year – the opportunities are endless!

New Volunteer Booklet(PDF, 1MB)

What can volunteering do for you?

Volunteering can make a positive difference in your life and the life of those around you.  As a volunteer you will have the opportunity to:-

  • Meet new people and make new friends
  • Have fun whilst giving back to the community
  • Learn new skills that look great on your resume
  • Do something you have always wanted to do
  • Make a difference

Principles of volunteering

  • Volunteering benefits the community and the volunteer
  • Volunteer work is unpaid
  • Volunteering is always a matter of choice
  • Volunteering is not compulsorily undertaken to receive pensions or government allowances (this definition is currently under review as Government policy currently requires certain job seekers to look at volunteering as an opportunity)
  • Volunteering is a legitimate way in which citizens can participate in the activities of their community
  • Volunteering is an activity performed in the not for profit sector only. Volunteering is not a substitute for paid work
  • Volunteers do not replace paid workers nor constitute a threat to the job security of paid workers
  • Volunteering respects the rights, dignity and culture of others
  • Volunteering promotes human rights and equality.

Have you been thinking of volunteering?

To make sure that volunteering is a great experience for you, it is important to understand what you want from volunteering or your ‘motivation’ to get involved.

Understanding your motivation will help you to find the best place to volunteer and the most satisfying role for you.

Things to consider:

  • What do I want to get out of volunteer work?
  • What type of voluntary work would I like to do?
  • Can someone benefit from my experience?
  • What time do I have available – weekdays or weekends? What about evenings?
  • What interests/hobbies do I have that I would like to engage in more?
  • Is there a career/industry that I can gain knowledge about through volunteering?

To find out more, download our brochure(PDF, 6MB).