Volunteers

Volunteers can provide invaluable assistance in the coordination and running of your event.

Some of the event-related roles suggested by The Centre for Volunteering include:

  • spectator services
  • marshalling
  • attending drink stations
  • logistics
  • pre-event office assistance
  • registration
  • driving
  • fundraising.

How to find volunteers

Join the Centre for Volunteering (home of Volunteering NSW)  to get help to find and recruit volunteers, as well as access networking events, resources, industry updates and more.

Other ways to find volunteers include:

  • through local service clubs such as Lions AustraliaRotary in AustraliaScouts and Guides
  • through educational and training institutions that offer event courses (although such volunteers may not be covered by insurance unless they are classed as interns)
  • via a page on your event website that outlines roles available, capabilities needed and benefits.

The Centre for Volunteering is the peak body in NSW, promoting and supporting volunteering and community participation. Volunteering Australia is the national peak body, which works to advance volunteering in Australia, and publishes best practice guidelines for volunteer management.

Rights and responsibilities

As an event organiser, you need to be aware of your rights and responsibilities in relation to volunteers. These include:

  • insurance — seek professional advice about types of insurance that you will need to cover your volunteers, such as personal accident, public liability, motor vehicle, property, contents and professional indemnity insurance policies
  • work health and safety — volunteers are entitled to the same safe conditions that are provided to paid employees
  • appropriate orientation and training — to ensure volunteers are able to do their assigned job effectively
  • reference, police or other checks — advise volunteers what checks are required and seek their permission before performing any checks, including Working With Children Checks for child-safe and child-friendly events
  • licences – volunteers serving alcohol at a licensed event must be trained in the responsible service of alcohol
  • coordination of volunteers – if your event involves a large number of volunteers, consider appointing a volunteer coordinator as a general point of contact.