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Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What Types of tasks do volunteers perform?

Question 2: Why Volunteer?

Question 3: What are the Principles of Volunteering?

Question 4: What are Volunteer Rights & Responsibilities?

Question 5: As a volunteer, what is expected of you?

Question 6: What if I am not satisfied with my volunteer opportunity?

Question 7: What are the benefits of volunteering?

Question 8: Are volunteers covered by Work Health & Safety legislation and Insurance?

 

Question 1: What Types of tasks do volunteers perform?
Answer:

  • Advocacy

  • Befriending

  • Coaching/Mentoring

  • Tutoring

  • Tree Planting

  • Clerical/Administrative Work

  • Committee Work

  • Fundraising

  • Fire-fighting

  • Animal Husbandry

  • Emergency Rescue/First Aid

  • Retail Work/Customer Service

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Question 2: Why Volunteer?
Answer:

  • Skills Improvement

  • Social Contacts/Networks

  • References

  • Bridge to Paid Work

  • Personal Fulfillment

  • Therapeutic Reasons

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Question 3: What are the Principles of Volunteering?
Answer: ©2001 Volunteering Australia. All rights reserved.

  • Volunteering benefits the community and the volunteer
  • Volunteer work is unpaid
  • Volunteering is always a matter of choice
  • Volunteering is not compulsorily undertaken to receive pensions or government allowances
  • Volunteering is a legitimate way in which citizens can participate in the activities of their community
  • Volunteering is a vehicle for individuals or groups to address human, environmental and social needs Volunteering is an activity performed in the not-for-profit sector only
  • Volunteering is not a substitute for paid work
  • Volunteers do not replace paid workers nor constitute a threat to the job security of paid workers
  • Volunteering respects the rights, dignity and culture of others.
  • Volunteering promotes human rights and equality
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Question 4: What are Volunteer Rights & Responsibilities?

Answer: Unlike paid staff, volunteer staff is not covered by award conditions or workplace agreements. Volunteers, however, do have rights, some of which are enshrined in legislation and some of which are the moral obligations of an organisation involving volunteers. The following list is the basis of your rights as a volunteer.

As a volunteer you have the right:

  • To a healthy and safe workplace

  • To be interviewed and employed in accordance with equal opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation

  • To be adequately covered by insurance

  • To accurate and truthful information about the organisation for which you are working

  • To reimbursement for out of pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation for which you are working

  • To be given a copy of the organisation's volunteer policy and any other policy that affects your work

  • Not to fill a position previously held by a paid worker

  • Not to do the work of paid staff during industrial disputes

  • To have a job description and agreed working hours
  • To have access to a grievance procedure
  • To be provided with orientation to the organisation

  • To have your confidential and personal information dealt with in accordance with the principles of relevant acts

  • To be provided with sufficient training to do your job

  • To say NO!

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Question 5: As a volunteer, what is expected of you?

Answer: Organisations employing volunteers have certain obligations to the community and to the customers/users of their programs. To ensure these obligations are met appropriately, the organisation may expect certain things from volunteers.

The organisation may expect that that volunteers:

  • Work within health and safety regulations.

  • Work to the job description stated.

  • Notify the organisation if unable to attend.

  • Observe all the rules particularly in relation to safety, confidentiality, behaviour, extent of authority and be non judgemental and respect the dignity of others.

  • Attend orientation and training as offered.

  • Represent the organisation in an ethical, appropriate manner.

  • Observe all the cultural 'norms' - such as team spirit, sharing knowledge and information, avoiding waste.

  • Learn about the key functions or core business of the organisation and act appropriately.

  • Willingly accept constructive evaluation of volunteer performance

  • To conform to a reasonable dress code

  • To respect confidentiality of the group and its clients

  • To be reliable and dependable

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Question 6: What if I am not satisfied with my volunteer opportunity?

Answer: We are happy to refer you to another agency if you are unhappy with your current volunteer position.
We can provide guidance as to volunteer placements and activities that match your skills and/ or your aspirations.

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Question 7: What are the benefits of volunteering?

Answer: The benefits of Volunteering are many and varied. Below are just some of the benefits people gain from the volunteering experience.

  • Become actively involved in the community

  • Help someone else

  • Build your confidence

  • Meet people and develop social skills

  • Feel needed by the community

  • Develop personal skills

  • Develop work skills

  • Learn new skills

  • Share in community life

  • Gain valuable job experience

  • Make a difference

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Question 8: Are volunteers covered by Work Health & Safety legislation and Insurance

Answer: WH&S - Volunteers are covered by a number of legislative acts to ensure their rights and safety are taken care off.

On 1 January 2012 new work health and safety laws commenced in New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory.

The new work health and safety laws aim to protect the health and safety of all workers nationwide, including volunteers.

Protecting the health and safety of volunteers demonstrates that their commitment is valued and recognises the vital role they play in the community.

More information and frequently asked question can be found here:

http://volunteeringwa.org.au/news/occupational-health-and-safety-proposed-changes-volunteering.aspx

Answer: Insurance - Volunteering Australia recommends that volunteers are appropriately insured in order to undertake the work required of them by the not-for-profit organisation where they volunteer.

The most common types of insurance cover are:

Public Liability Insurance

To cover an organisation for its legal liability to third parties for personal injury or property damage caused by an occurrence in connection with the insured organisations business activities.

Personal Accident Insurance

To cover volunteers for any out-of-pocket expenses following accidental injury, disability or death while carrying out their work on behalf of the organisation. This type of insurance would normally cover loss of income.

For more insurance information please contact us - 9754 2047

 

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manWant to place an event on our calendar? - Contact us at: volunteers@westnet.com.au - Phone: 9754 2047

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