Volunteering with CARE Australia
|Laos © Josh Estey/CARE
Volunteering with an NGO, either in Australia or overseas, is an excellent way to begin a career in international development or humanitarian aid – and to put your existing skills and experience to excellent use in helping some of the poorest communities in the world.
Volunteering in Australia
Occasionally we accept volunteers to assist us with administration or specific projects in both our Canberra and Melbourne offices on a needs basis. Volunteering opportunities are normally advertised publicly, and are listed on our vacancies page.
CARE Australia Volunteer Policy ensures we comply with Volunteering Australia's Code of Practice. The Policy outlines that volunteers are covered by our health and safety policy and, where no other organisation's insurance policy applies, they are covered by CARE Australia's personal accident insurance policy for volunteers.
We are a key partner for two significant volunteering programs, AYAD and AVID, both Australian Government initiatives.
Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD)
The AYAD program sends passionate young Australians aged 18-30 on volunteer assignments (3-12 months) throughout Asia, the Pacific and Africa. Past volunteers have been placed with CARE in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and Bangladesh.
Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID)
The AVID program supports skilled Australians to live and work in developing countries as a part of the overseas aid program. Volunteers work with local people in host organisations in Asia, the Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to contribute to sustainable development.
These volunteering assignments provide you with full logistical and living support: airfares, medical checks, insurance, pre-departure training and living expenses overseas.
AYAD and AVID opportunities are advertised as they arise, and we list CARE placements in our vacancies section.
For further information please visit: http://www.dfat.gov.au
VIDA case study – Joanna Tough, Cambodia
‘I came to Cambodia through VIDA to assist the management team on CARE Cambodia's Highland Children's Education Program. This program addresses the problem of low education access for children, especially girls, from highland minority communities. I was primarily concerned with how I would be contributing actively to the development needs of a unique country. However it quickly became apparent that the experience was going to be so much more than that.
‘In my role I am managing the production of text books and supplementary teaching materials for the program as well as contributing to reporting and monitoring. Integral to my role is the management and training of local staff, who come from a variety of backgrounds. Each day presents a new challenge professionally, not least because the staff have very high expectations of me and think I can do anything from write a proposal to being able to fix a satellite dish! I have demonstrated to myself that I have skills I wasn't previously aware of, and I can't think of a job at home that would bring all this to light in such a short period of time.
‘However it has been the personal challenges that have been the most rewarding, and surprising. Part of working on a program that addresses the needs of remote indigenous communities is being based in a remote area. As a result I have experienced drastic changes in my lifestyle and attitudes. I live in a dusty little town in the Cambodian highlands where elephants and tigers roam the surrounding jungle, power and water shortages occur daily, very few people speak English and sharing one's house with a variety of rodents and insects has to be accepted. I am learning more about patience and working and living with imagination.
‘I am truly grateful for the opportunity to contribute in my small way to Cambodia's development needs through volunteering, however I think my biggest role here will be that of student - learning about Cambodia, its language and culture, and also about myself.’