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Volunteering around Canberra

By Cletus 2 - 12 May 2009 20

I would like to try to start some volunteer work around Canberra but don’t know quite where to start, so I am turning to you.

This isn’t completely altruistic; I sit alone inside all day for work, so I’d like to be able to work outdoors or with other people, or preferably both! I’m open to most causes, helping people, animals, environment, anything.

I’d try most types of jobs that I’m capable of doing or learning including menial tasks, but obviously more challenging and interesting would be preferable.

I’d love to hear your suggestions and personal experiences.

What’s Your opinion?

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20 Responses to
Volunteering around Canberra
Dark Angel 10:05 pm 12 May 09

There are so many organisations out there, depending on your area of interests: Scouts; Greening Australia, Foster Care, Pegasus, Special Olympics, Barnardos Kids Friend Program – there are a lot of kids out there who need a friend / mentor, my son has been on that waiting list for around 3 yrs or so, finding someone to befriend a child who has a disability is harder to match.

MrsG 9:54 pm 12 May 09

Great topic – I’ve also been looking for a volunteering role recently…

I found very few options on the ‘Volunteer ACT’ site due to working full-time already – most of the positions I checked out were for work during business hours.

An acquaintance mentioned that he volunteers with Starlight Foundation at one of the local hospitals…reading/playing with sick kids etc. You’d have to like kids for that though obviously. He said it can be as little or much time commitment as you like, so quite flexible according to your existing commitments. There seems to all kinds of other volunteer roles with them as well.

peterh 4:06 pm 12 May 09

st john ambulance are always looking for volunteers. or perhaps the YMCA as well. I was a leader for many years, it gave me plenty of outside activities and helped me become a better manager.

McDoctor 1:42 pm 12 May 09

Salvo’s Stores or behind the scenes at Salvos… they have offices/stores all around Canberra, so there should be one close to you.

TP 3000 1:04 pm 12 May 09

If you live in Weston, Rivers Volunteer Bushfire Brigade (out on Cotter Road-west of Mt Stromlo Road) would welcome you. Or maybe Rivers SES (same address) would welcome you. We both meet on Thursday nights, but we (Bushfire Brigade) are having a break at the moment due to it being a tad too cold for bushfire. But go through the ESA & they’ll help you.

Cletus 2 11:49 am 12 May 09

Wow, thanks for the great responses.

I’m in Weston Al, but the GCC looks like a good initiative… just a bit too far away for me though.

trevar 11:13 am 12 May 09

Community theatre and film organisations publish their volunteer opportunities here:

(and it’s not all acting!)

Deano 10:38 am 12 May 09

Volunteering ACT has plenty of opportunities –

Also check out Seek Volunteer –

Thumper 10:20 am 12 May 09

We’ve been putting through heaps of new vollies recently in SES so check out the website.

Thumper 10:13 am 12 May 09

SES or RFS. You’ll be outside plenty.

Feebles 10:12 am 12 May 09

How about the bushfire brigade or the SES? I had a friend who was devoted to the Captains Flat rural fire brigade (but he’s now overseas). My father is heavily involved in the SES on the north coast. Both of those have been deeply fulfilling for them and sound like they would tick your boxes.

Gungahlin Al 10:05 am 12 May 09

Cletus: where are you? That would help.

GCC is always looking for help. The range of things we’d like to dip into is only limited by the lack of hours in the day and people putting their hands up.

For instance, I have an idea to leverage the web to help rebuild local society by taking a form of social networking down local, but I need a talented web designer to help realise this. I talked with the consultants working on the community building project for Franklin (and future) LDA developments and they seemed enthused by the concept. I think we could source government pilot funding for this idea, but it needs more web expertise than the basic Joomla skills I have.

Another need: we have partially established a “FixMyStreet” component to the GCC website (which came out of a RA thread), but it isn’t firing yet due to lack of my time to chase down resolution of the complaints received from residents. It needs a person to coordinate this who is keen to make positive change on the ground. Not much work – just tenatiousness (if that’s a word).

And we need a secretary. Simple job – take notes at each monthly meeting and produce simple minutes. 3-4 hours per month.

More involved: we’d like to put together a concept for a community cooperative to invest into a solar farm, thereby allowing people who couldn’t necessarily afford to kit out their roof with a PV array to invest in the high returns now available through the Feed-in Tariff. Someone with a renewable/greenhous passion to pull this together would be MOST welcome.

And there is more.

blub 9:53 am 12 May 09

They’l match you up with something you’ll enjoy.

sepi 9:43 am 12 May 09

I volunteered at an old folks home, reading aloud to a changi veteran who had poor eyesight. He was a professor, so the books were a bit on the intellectual side. He was a lovely man tho, and my 40 minutes a week were sometimes the highlight of his week he said. But as they eat at about 5.00 for dinner, it had to be during business hours.

There is also a scheme where you drive old people from their homes to medial appointments or shopping.

On the outdoor, social side, Mt Majura land group does monthly activities planting natives or weeding on various spots around Mt Majura – they put up notices at local shops in the inner north, and at the entrances to the reserve.

You can also walk dogs at the rspca.

colourful sydney rac 9:38 am 12 May 09

Well, my lawn could do with a mow,there is a load of last nights dishes in the sink and enough laundry to clothe half of Africa… Alternatively you could have a look here

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