Larapinta Trail, Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park, Northern Territory © Trek Larapinta
Best places to volunteer in Australia in your gap year
Make a meaningful difference on your Australian working holiday by volunteering.
Volunteering while in Australia on a Working Holiday Maker visa means you can contribute to meaningful change and give something back all while you travel and explore. As a working holiday maker, your visa enables you to stay and work in Australia in many types of full-time, part-time, casual, shift and voluntary work, and some volunteering may even count towards your specified work.
Bushfire recovery volunteering in Australia
Following the bushfires of the 2019/20 summer season, the Department of Home Affairs announced that bushfire recovery work can be counted toward specified work for working holiday visas (subclass 417 and 462). Volunteering for bushfire recovery is all about getting Aussies back on their feet, and the opportunity offers you a meaningful way to spend your time while getting to know the locals. Find the most up-to-date information on bushfire recovery work on the Home Affairs Website, then explore organisations like Volunteering Australia for ways you can get involved.
Wildlife volunteering in Australia
Australia is known for its unique animals, and there are many volunteer options available to animal lovers who want to get involved in the rescue, care, rehabilitation and release of wildlife. You can expect to be doing anything from bottle-feeding kangaroo joeys and scrubbing sea turtles’ shells, to assisting in animal rescues and rebuilding endangered habitats. There are a number of organisations that offer select programs aimed at animal welfare. Oceans 2 Earth and GoVolunteer are great places to start your search.
Environmental conservation volunteering in Australia
Environmental conservation work is perfect for anyone with a passion for protecting Australia’s beautiful oceans and ecosystems. As part of a conservation volunteering program, you will be helping with tasks like heritage restoration, tree planting, endangered species protection and habitat preservation. Conservation Volunteers is a great place to start your search. Other great organisations include the Australian Marine Conservation Society, dedicated solely to protecting our oceans, and Landcare Australia, representing community-based environmental protection.
Community volunteering in Australia
There’s no better way to get to know a place than through its locals, and community volunteering is a great way to get to know them while lending a hand. If the outback is calling, try organisations like Outback Links to get hands on with general farm support. Volunteering for charity organisations like Mission Australia and Oxfam Australia will see you tutoring refugee families or working in family, aged care or youth support. Distribute food for the homeless with Food Bank or help Aboriginal communities turn their dreams and ideas into reality with Indigenous Community Volunteers.