What is volunteering and why do it?
What is volunteering?
Volunteering is unpaid work, where you share your skills and time to help others in the community. According to Volunteers Australia, volunteering is a form civic participation which enriches the wellbeing of the overall community and the lives of the volunteers participating.
Volunteering at RMIT (LEAD accredited)
RMIT provides recognition for those students who participate in a LEAD accredited volunteering program while studying. By participating in a LEAD accredited volunteering program you receive specialised training, a LEAD Certificate signed by the Vice-Chancellor and recognition of your contribution on your academic transcript if you complete the training and volunteer hours required.
The benefits of joining a LEAD program include:
- developing skills and experiences
- making a contribution to the university / society
- building your confidence
- developing networks and making new friends
- demonstrating your commitment to your chosen field
- exploring new career opportunities
- developing a greater understanding of people whose life is different to yours
- gaining a reference.
In some fields of work such as social work, youth work and counselling, participating in volunteer work may be a prerequisite to gaining employment. In others, such as environmental work, volunteering will demonstrate your commitment to the field.
Participation in a LEAD accredited volunteering program can also be counted towards Future Edge, a university wide employability program. Visit the Future Edge website to find out more.
Understanding your rights and responsibilities when volunteering
As a volunteer you have the right to:
- information about the group in which you want to volunteer
- training and guidance
- adequate support in your role
- do meaningful work
- volunteer in a safe and healthy environment
- ask questions and receive timely answers.
As a volunteer, you also have responsibilities.
You need to:
- be reliable and committed
- be available for and undertake appropriate training
- ask for support when you need it
- value and support other team members
- behave responsibly and ethically.