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Volunteer abroad, Gap year in Sydney

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If you are looking for a summer job or a gap year, voluntary work abroad may be the perfect way to gain a valuable experience abroad. With a volunteer project you will get professional and personal experience, and improve your career. But an experience abroad will allow you also to learn about another culture and encourage personal development, co-operation, tolerance and open-mindedness.

There are many organizations that will help place you in the perfect work experience job. We will give a list of different organizations throughout this article, focusing on volunteer organizations.

You will find more information on summer jobs, holiday jobs or internship abroad in our other articles on the left column of this page. You will find also details on visa and health insurance in those sections.

What is a volunteer job

Volunteer service is offered by choice - it is not mandated or coerced. It contributes to the well-being of an individual or the community, and is usually coordinated by a non-profit or public sector organization, and in theory it does not pay any salary or wage.

Volunteer work is often equated with unpaid work, and people who contribute their time and energy freely to build a better community don't necessarily get the support systems and recognition they deserve. However regarding people working as volunteer during their summer holiday, they will get accommodation and often a small amount of money for their personal care.

Volunteering in Australia

The main conservation organization in Australia is the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers ( The organization runs about 2,000 projects around the country including tree planting, erosion control, seed collection, track maintenance, surveying endangered flora and fauna, and habitat and heritage restoration.

Projects which do not include an overnight stay are free - simply bring your lunch and water bottle. Others cost AU$30 per night.

GoVolunteer is an initiative of Volunteering Australia and is Australia's first volunteer recruitment website. It is a not-for-profit site that provides free Internet advertising for not-for-profit community organisations looking for volunteers. GoVolunteer provides you with all you need to find out about volunteer opportunities, and helps you make the best match possible between your personal requirements and choice of volunteer work.

You may search the GoVolunteer database to find volunteer opportunities near where you live or work that match your interests and the time you have available.

Volunteering Western Australia is another organisation that provides hundreds of volunteer opportunities available during the evening, weekend or weekdays in most Australian suburbs.

The Conservation & Land Management Department (CALM) of Western Australia, (, open to anyone aged 16-70, is another volunteer organization.


Wherever you go, it is recommended to subscribe a travel insurance. It will cover any event that might occure when you are abroad. Morever this is mandatory for a lot of work in "exotic" countries.

We have selected below a series of companies to help you in your choice. Of course you might find others on the Internet.

  • Coverworks Worldwide Travel Insurance: Coverworks Travel Insurance was established to specialise in providing dependable and affordable cover, for both the backpacker and for the independent traveller.
  • Insure & Go: Cheap cover online for gap years & backpacking, skiing, adventure travel, single trips & annual travel.
  • Down Under Insurance: Offers travel insurance to residents in the UK, the USA, Australia & New Zealand.
  • Go Travel Insurance: This is a leading provider of online travel insurance for UK & Irish residents (backpackers insurance is about £150 for 1 year in Europe).
  • Travel Insurance Online: It can cover UK or US residents from £40/year, depending on the garanties requested.
You might also look at our other articles on Summer Jobs and Internship abroad on the left column of this page.

Update 5/05/2005


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Volunteer Work Sydney - Where to find volunteering work
Hi I have another couple of links to add to this article.

These are the sites of the Liverpool Volunteer Resource Centre (Sydney).

They are a free service to volunteers and help people find volunteer organisations to work at.

Liverpool Volunteer Resource Centre (Sydney):
I would like to Volunteer in Sydney:
Volunteer Work in Sydney:

Their phone number is on the website.

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