Every week hundreds of people from all walks of life donate their time, knowledge and energy to help Mission Australia create a fairer Australia. Donating around 120,000 hours a year, our 1,750 our volunteers are as varied as the services we offer.
Among them are students, retirees, people wishing to make friends and gain skills, as well as professionals who want to share their talents and experience. They offer administrative support, give legal advice, mentor, tutor and work in our op shops.
While our volunteers vary in backgrounds and beliefs, they share the desire to make a difference.
When volunteering opportunities arise – and the frequency depends on the service and local demand – the roles are advertised in local newspapers and through community networks. We also occasionally call for volunteers via Facebook and Twitter.
- Current opportunities are posted on our volunteering page
- Find out more about our corporate volunteering opportunities.
Find out more
For the latest volunteering news as well as research and policy updates, visit the Volunteering Australia website. It’s a great resource for anyone who wants to give back to their community.
Find out other ways you can support Mission Australia to create a fairer Australia.
Volunteering in NSW
Three of our services in New South Wales in particular - Big Heart Enterprises, the Mission Australia Centre (MAC) and the Home Tutor Service - rely on volunteers to operate. Together these generous individuals account for 80 per cent of Mission Australia’s volunteer workforce.
If you live in Sydney, the Illawarra, Nowra or Goulburn and want to make a difference while building your self-esteem, skills and circle of friends, keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities with Big Heart, the MAC or the Home Tutor Scheme - see below for more information and contact details:
Home Tutor Scheme (Sydney)
The Home Tutor Scheme is aimed at migrants who want to learn English but are unable to attend formal classes. With 500 tutors in Sydney, it has the largest volunteer base of any Mission Australia service.
Volunteers like Rachel give up their time once a week to visit students in their homes. For young mums like Sharooq, who Rachel has tutored since 2009, it’s an ideal way to improve their spoken English and gain an insight into Australian society.
Each week Rachel visits Sharooq in her western Sydney home and spends an hour talking, reading and offering advice.
“I became a tutor to use my skills in a useful way,” said Rachel. “Initially, it was hard to meet regularly, with me travelling for work and Shorooq feeling tired and unwell due to her pregnancy. But after her daughter was born, Shorooq started studying English with a vengeance! Being a mother made her more determined to master the language.
“During the following months we covered topics such as shopping, household objects, clothing, health and how to read medicine labels and call the Transport Info line.”
Rachel has also helped Shorooq, who is originally from Iraq, to study for her driving test and become more involved with the local community.
To volunteer with the Home Tutor Scheme in Sydney visit the Volunteering Opportunities page or contact:
Big Heart Enterprises
Each year Big Heart diverts hundreds of tonnes of clothing and appliances from landfill through its eight op shops in the Illawarra, Campbelltown and Goulburn, while also providing training opportunities. None of this would be possible without volunteers like Andrew:
“I started doing volunteer work in the warehouse at Mission Australia Campbelltown in March 2011. I decided to try volunteering to aid in my recovery from mental illness and to help in my local community. Initially I found it a bit daunting but as the other staff got to know me and I became used to my environment, it got better. I started in the clothing section sorting and hanging clothes. Occasionally, I helped with furniture pick-ups and deliveries.
“I’ve since completed an Electrical Test and Tag course at Big Heart, which allowed me to test donated electrical appliances. The responsibility of this job has taught me to focus on what I am doing and not concentrate on everything that is happening around me. I enjoy what I do at Mission Australia and the interaction I have with the other warm and friendly staff, including the ‘shocking’ electrical jokes!”
To volunteer with Big Heart please contact:
P: (02) 4225 9820
Mission Australia Centre (MAC)
The MAC aims to break the cycle of homelessness by providing not just accommodation, but also social and educational support services delivered by specialist staff and volunteers. Among the MAC’s many volunteers is Anne, a former high school teacher who gives literacy lessons to adults who, for many reasons, didn’t gain vital reading and writing skills earlier in life.
Anne takes time to get to know each student before tailoring a course for them. She also facilitates a writing class for people with more advanced literacy skills.
“The one-on-one sessions are effective as everyone has different abilities and needs. Often people just need to build the confidence to get something right,” she said. “When you take the time to talk to people you discover they have specific reasons to work on their literacy, such as getting a driver’s licence, filling in forms or job applications, or they want to write a letter.
In late 2011, Anne was recognised with an Australian Government Education Award, which she received from the Member for Sydney, Tanya Plibersek MP. Despite her growing reputation for helping others, however, Anne insists she gets back as much as she gives.
“I learn a lot from people whose lives have been different to mine,” Anne said. “One man I teach is an artist originally from Vietnam and through him I’ve learned a lot about art history. Volunteering has introduced me to a whole other world.
"So many of the people I work with are incredibly inspiring. For many, their lives have been extremely difficult but they constantly strive to change their lives – and they really appreciate the help.”
To volunteer at the MAC please contact:
P: (02) 9356 0611