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Volunteering in Knox

Volunteer for Knox

Established by the five Neighbourhood Houses in Knox to deliver the new volunteer resource centre services for the municipality. The Volunteer Resource Centre is partly funded by Knox City Council and aims to increase volunteering opportunities for organisations and individuals in Knox.

Contact Details

If you're interested in volunteering, or your organisation would like to host volunteers, contact Volunteer For Knox for more information.

Address: Coonara Community House, 22 Willow Road, Upper Ferntree Gully.
Phone: 0429 968 822

Why Volunteer?

Volunteering is a great way to become involved in your community. Being a volunteer can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience that can enhance your life and the well-being of the whole community. Volunteering is generally defined as work that is:

  • To be of benefit to the community and the volunteer;
  • Of the volunteer's own free will;
  • Done without monetary reward; and
  • Usually completed in a not-for-profit organisation.

Apart from the satisfaction of helping out your community, there are a range of reasons why people choose to volunteer, including:

  • To meet new people and make new friends
  • To give back to, or get involved in, your community
  • To experience new challenges
  • Raise awareness and support important community issues
  • Experience different cultures
  • Help people or contribute to social change
  • Develop professional networks
  • Find a pathway to getting a job or into a course or training
  • Learn new skills or gain experience in a variety of roles
  • Explore different career and job opportunities

Rights, Resposibilities and Principles of Volunteering

"Volunteers work for free.... but not for nothing"

Volunteers do have rights. Some of these rights are enshrined in legislation and some are the moral obligations of an organisation involving volunteers. In addition, volunteers have responsibilities and a need to consider these responsibilities prior to volunteering. Below is an idea of a volunteer’s rights and responsibilities.

As a volunteer you have a right to:

  • Be recognised as a valued team member
  • Know to whom you are accountable
  • Information about the organisation for which you are volunteering
  • Be supported and supervised in your role
  • A healthy and safe working environment
  • Be covered by insurance
  • Say ‘no’ if you feel you are being exploited
  • A clearly written job description
  • Be advised of the organisation's travel reimbursement policy
  • Be informed and consulted on matters which directly or indirectly affect you and your work
  • Be made aware of the grievance procedure within the organisation
  • An orientation and induction into the organisation combined with training

When volunteering you have a responsibility to:

  • Be reliable
  • Respect confidentiality
  • Carry out the specified job
  • Be accountable
  • Be committed to the organisation
  • Undertake training as requested
  • Ask for support when you need it
  • Give notice before you leave the organisation
  • Value and support other team members
  • Carry out the work you have agreed to do responsibly and ethically

Principles of Volunteering include:

  • Volunteering benefits the community and the volunteer
  • Volunteer work is unpaid
  • Volunteering is always a matter of choice
  • Volunteering is a legitimate way in which citizens can participate in the activities of their community
  • Volunteering is a vehicle for individuals or groups to address human, environmental and social needs
  • Volunteering is an activity performed in the not-for-profit sector only
  • Volunteering promotes human rights and equality
  • 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

Becoming a Volunteer

You can use the checklist below as a guide to think through what you would like to know about the organisation before committing yourself as a volunteer. Most times an organisation will arrange to have an interview with you to discuss the position and your expectations in more detail.

Volunteer Checklist

  • Is the organisation you wish to volunteer with a 'not for profit' organisation or a community project?
  • Does the mission statement and purpose of the organisation match your own values and beliefs?
  • Does the organisation offer the sort of work that interests you and can you maintain or develop skills there?
  • Will the organisation provide you with a written reference if you need one?
  • Does the organisation have a written volunteer policy explaining your rights and what you can expect from the organisation?
  • Is it available for you to read?
  • Does the organisation have volunteer insurance to cover you for the volunteer work you will be doing?
  • Is there a written job description for the volunteer position you want and does it explain what you will be doing?
  • Is the organisation willing to provide you with written information about itself?
  • Does the organisation have a manager or coordinator of volunteers whose job is to support and supervise the volunteer program?
  • Will you receive adequate training and orientation for you to perform your job?
  • Will you be reimbursed for money spent on behalf of the organisation and for travel?
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