Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, develop your skills and get more out of your university experience.
What is volunteering?
Volunteering is unpaid work, where you share your skills and time to help others in the community. According to Volunteering Australia, volunteering is a form of civic participation which enriches the wellbeing of the overall community and the lives of the volunteers participating.
How to volunteer at RMIT
Volunteer through ones of RMIT's programs and you can:
- Develop skills, gain experience and get a reference.
- Contribute to the university and/or society at large.
- Build confidence, networks and make new friends.
- Demonstrate commitment to your chosen field.
- Explore new career paths.
- Help people whose life is different to yours.
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.
Choose a volunteer program
|Student-Staff Consultative Committees (SSCC)||In all schools across RMIT, student representatives provide feedback to staff on their academic programs to ensure high quality teaching and learning. Student representatives are elected by others in their study program and consult with their peers and attend at least four meetings with staff during the yeaar.|
|Peer mentoring||Peer mentoring programs are led by students who have been trained to support other students in their learning. Take advantage of these opportunities to exchange knowledge and experiences with other students in a way that is fun and relaxed.|
|Student Ambassadors Program||Be the student face of RMIT! In this volunteer program students develop their confidence and communication skills through leading campus tours. They also play an interactive and communicative role in major RMIT events such as Orientation and Open Day, as well as at smaller initiatives throughout the year.|
|Global Experience Ambassador Program||Help new inbound and outbound students on their Global Experience journey! Open to students who have returned from a Global Experience Program, this program aims to help new inbound and outbound students get ready for their adventure. Improving their communication and leadership skills Ambassadors fill key roles during events such as Orientation, Information sessions and other events.|
|Mates at RMIT||Connects new students (international, rural/regional and interstate) with current students to assist with settling in Melbourne and RMIT.|
|Student Life Volunteers||Student volunteers undertake roles as sporting club organisers, sports team managers and trainers, and as leaders for student trips and tours.|
|Vollie||Volunteer your skills with Vollie and discover online skilled volunteering opportunities in seconds. Want to be part of something bigger and contribute to making the world a better place, but making it down to the local soup kitchen just isn’t an option? Why not volunteer online? RMIT has partnered with Vollie to bring you remote volunteering opportunities where you can use your skills to make a huge difference to organisations that need you!|
|RMIT Creative Council||Student volunteers undertake roles as arts and culture collectives, members of the RMIT Creative Council and the creative funding assessment panel.|
|RMIT University Student Union||
Student volunteers undertake a communications role to support the work of RUSU in promoting student welfare and life on campus. The Communications Collective develops promotional materials, online and social media content to support RUSU's programs and attend RUSU Activities and Events as photographers and videographers.
The Compass Project
The Compass Project aims to support the welfare needs of RMIT students by providing friendly peer-to-peer assistance. Support is available through a drop-in space, as well as via regular outreach activities across all campuses. Volunteers studying social work, psychology or youth work provide the service and are presented with an opportunity to practise in their field of study.
RASCAL: RUSU Affiliated Student Clubs Accredited Leadership
Every RUSU Student Club is coordinated by a smaller group of dedicated, enthusiastic and highly capable annually elected Executive members. The RASCAL Program offers RUSU Club Executives formal University recognition and access to additional training and development opportunities.
Student Rights Volunteers
Student representatives act as members of appeal hearing panels to ensure the best interests of student appellants are upheld.
|In2science||In2science places RMIT students studying in science, engineering and health into high schools as peer mentors. Over 10 weekly visits per semester mentors build meaningful relationships with secondary students and their teachers in science and mathematics classes. Mentors help to engage students in these disciplines and inspire them to pursue STEM studies at school and beyond.|
|RMIT Regional STEM
|Head out on the road for a week with a team of enthusiastic RMIT science, engineering and health students to visit primary and secondary schools in rural Victoria. Develop your science communication skills by delivering science shows and engaging workshops by day and enjoy (RMIT funded) meals by night. Roadshows runs midyear and after exams.|
|The Science Experience||Community involvement with secondary schools in which final year students in the Discipline of Exercise Sciences give presentations to Year 12 students and involve them in practical activities using the latest technologies.|
|Sustainability Ambassadors Program||Sustainability Ambassadors will raise awareness of sustainability and the role of the Sustainability Committee at RMIT, develop student interest and build capacity for sustainability on campus and enhance skills in teamwork, project planning and implementation, communication and leadership. The program is open to all students and not just those studying sustainability.|
|College of Business Student Ambassadors Program||Become the student face and create a voice for the College of Business! Students will have the opportunity to volunteer by leading small campus tours, helping and supporting students and assisting the Student Enrichment Services team at various student events throughout the year to promote exciting opportunities to students.|
|VCE Physical Education Enhancement||
Community involvement with secondary schools in which final year students in the Discipline of Exercise Sciences give presentations to Year 12 students and involve them in practical activities using the latest technologies.
|Year 7-10 Connections||Final year Discipline of Exercise Sciences students plan and deliver half-day programs (both in-school and at RMIT) providing information to Year 7 to10 secondary students about Physical Education and Exercise and Sport Science studies.|
- Volunteering Australia links you to resources and opportunities around Australia.
- Volunteering Victoria provides opportunities in Victoria.
- SEEK Volunteer Jobs Search advertises over 7000 volunteer positions.
- Idealist.org offers international opportunities.
- GoVolunteer provides local and overseas opportunities.
- Volunteer Match - Pro Bono Australia helps you find the right opportunity for you, and offers industry news and advice.
Why should I volunteer?
Volunteering positions are offered by not-for-profit organisations. Volunteers have specially designated positions which are unpaid and provide benefit to the community.
Employers look for graduates who already have transferable skills, such as team work, leadership, problem solving and communication. In a similar way to paid work, volunteering gives you an opportunity to develop these skills.
Through volunteering, you can:
- gain experience and demonstrate your employability
- show commitment to your chosen field
- explore new career opportunities
- develop networks
- build confidence
- potentially obtain a referee for future job applications.
Some popular areas include:
- education, e.g. mentoring, tutoring, helping with school holiday programs
- welfare and health, e.g. telephone counselling, social support
- environment, e.g. biological research, conservation work
- arts and cultural activities, e.g. performing, helping with exhibitions and festivals
- human rights and social justice, e.g. campaigning, public education, advocacy
- sports, e.g. coaching, committee work, fundraising
- media, e.g. community radio and television, writing educational and promotional materials.
You can usually negotiate your commitment with the organisation where you’re volunteering. But treat the experience like a paid job: be honest about your availability, and always be reliable and punctual.
- Suitable training and support.
- A clear role description.
- A role that doesn’t exploit you.
Rights and responsibilities
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:
- 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.