Volunteer Australia

Australia has one of the biggest volunteer communities in the world in proportion to its population. According to Volunteering Australia, more than 5 million people—a third of the adult population—do volunteer work, mostly from influence by friends and family and only marginally out of popular media. This means that at their heart, Australians are helpful people—and that makes the country one of the most attractive places to volunteer.

Volunteer Australia opportunities vary widely from area to area. Most major cities have widespread environmental projects that could use an extra hand year-round, and smaller towns are often home to healthcare and education charities offering services that residents could not access otherwise. Australians are also big animal lovers, and there are government and private animal shelters in all capitals and major suburbs.

As the coastal areas are prone to natural disasters, they are usually open to volunteers for emergency preparedness and disaster relief projects. The Queensland floods attracted lots of volunteers to help distribute resources to affected families and provide emergency care to those who were hurt. If you’re in good shape, have a background or interest in healthcare, or just have excellent people skills, this could be a good opportunity for you.

The country also has a strong environmental thrust, being home to some of the greatest land and marine wonders in the world. For most of the year, the government and various non-profits have projects in place to help preserve the country’s natural heritage and spread awareness. There are also more hands-on projects such as tree planting and shore cleanups. Whether you want to do manual work or do research and administrative support, there’s always room for volunteers in the environment circle.

If you’re visiting Australia over your break, see if there are any seasonal events you can participate in. There’s usually one going on any time of the year, and the bigger ones often need people to serve as ushers or be part of the maintenance crew. Music festivals are especially popular. Not only are you helping enhance the experience for locals and fellow visitors; you also get to meet new people.

Volunteering is one of the best ways to spend your time, whether it’s a few days or a few months—and Australia simply has a way of inspiring people to lend a helping hand. Make your next visit matter and find a volunteer project—it can change someone’s life as much as it can change yours.

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