The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation and the Australian Government is responding to this health crisis on a daily basis. As restrictions across the country continue to change during this COVID-19 pandemic, and with Victoria under the strictest lockdown we have seen in Australia, it is essential to always follow Government guidelines.
In affected areas and where possible, pause or convert your volunteer opportunities to ones that can be completed remotely until it is safe to return to face-to-face volunteering. If you are a volunteer, please remember volunteering is a choice and your safety must be your first priority.
For the most up to date information on COVID-19 please visit the Australian Government Department of Health’s website
For important information about the restrictions in Victoria (as of 6 August) and what it means for organisations and volunteers in Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria, visit Volunteering Victoria’s website.
Volunteering and COVID-19
If you are a current volunteer seeking advice or would like to volunteer please contact the Volunteering Peak Body in your State or Territory.
I am interested in volunteering to support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are a number of ways you can help to support others at this time, including:
- Contact the volunteering peak body in your State or Territory for information about volunteering opportunities including up to date information about registering for emergency volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Visit Go Volunteer for volunteer opportunities that are currently available, both related to COVID-19 and for organisations who may have a shortage of volunteers due to COVID-19
- Please note that many organisations have reduced capacity due to COVID-19. If you apply for a volunteer role we encourage you to be patient about response times.
- Check in on your neighbours and people in your local community, taking into account the guidelines around social distancing, isolating if you are unwell and practicing good hygiene.
- Look after yourself during this time and reach out for help if you need it. Visit the Department of Health’s Head to Health website for advice and information on services available at this time.
Volunteering Australia recommends that individuals consider issues of privacy and self-care and avoid putting themselves and others in the community at risk. This means adhering to recommended social distancing guidelines and other official guidance as it emerges in the coming months.
For a list of resources related to COVID-19 and volunteering visit our COVID-19 Resources page. This page includes Responding to a Pandemic: A Practical Guide for Volunteers and Responding to a Pandemic: A Practical Guide for Volunteer Involving Organisations.
Volunteering Australia and the State and Territory volunteering peak bodies are monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation closely. We are actively providing guidance to the volunteering community during these very challenging times.
We have published two policy position papers, Volunteering and National Policy Settings; and Safeguarding Volunteers and Volunteer Involving Organisations; in order to clearly articulate our position around a number of issues regarding COVID-19 and the volunteering sector.
What are Volunteering Australia doing to respond to COVID-19?
Volunteering Australia is committed to supporting Australia’s volunteers and the volunteering community during these challenging times. As we navigate the difficult days and months ahead we will endeavour to bring you the most accurate information and advice based on collaboration with State and Territory Volunteering Peak Bodies and official guidance from the Australian Government.
Providing information and guidance for volunteers and volunteer involving organisations
Volunteering Australia will continue to update this page with information for both volunteers and volunteer involving organisations. If you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed here please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your relevant State and Territory Volunteering Peak Body.
We have published a policy position paper, Safeguarding Volunteers and Volunteer Involving Organisations; which sets out our shared views on how volunteers can be safeguarded during the COVID-19 emergency and how volunteers can best support the emergency response to COVID-19.
Advocating to Government to ensure volunteers and volunteer involving organisations are safe
Through advocacy we will raise awareness of the impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on volunteers and Volunteering Involving Organisations, and the risks of a reduced volunteer workforce to the wider community. Volunteers are critical to many essential services and volunteering will be a key part of the solution to many of the challenges that communities will face.
We have published a policy position paper, Volunteering and National Policy Settings, in order to clearly articulate our position around a number of issues regarding COVID-19 and the volunteering sector.
Collaborating with State and Territory Volunteering Peak Bodies and other partners
As we navigate through this difficult time, Volunteering Australia will continue to collaborate with our State and Territory Volunteering Peak Bodies and other sector partners to lead, advocate for and inform the volunteering sector in Australia.
Volunteering Australia Office
Volunteering Australia’s staff are transitioning back into the office from July 2020. The best way to contact us is via the following emails:
General Enquiries: email@example.com
Marketing, Merchandise and Sponsorship: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media and Communications: email@example.com
Policy, Advocacy and Research: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a temporary mobile number should you need to speak with someone from Volunteering Australia: 0480 258 723
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause respiratory illness. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, shortness of breath.
If you are sick and think you might have COVID-19, check your symptoms using healthdirect’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker.
For more information check the Government Department of Health website.
Please note that as official COVID-19 guidance is updated, this information will be amended to reflect new information and advice.
This information is by way of general information and is designed for discretionary use. It does not replace the requirement for the reader to obtain specific operational, legal, insurance, or other advice. Volunteering Australia accepts no responsibility for any errors in the information provided, nor the effect of any such errors.