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What is volunteering?
Volunteering is the contribution of your time and energy for the benefit of the community. It is an excellent way to address human, environmental and social needs and to get involved in your community.
Volunteer work is always unpaid and it does not replace paid workers. Rather, it is an excellent way to give back to a cause you care about.
Anyone can volunteer, whether you are employed, not working or retired.
Every voluntary role makes a difference. When you volunteer, you get to:
- Meet new people
- Stay active
- Make a positive difference in people’s lives
- Get work experience and learn new skills
Read on below to find out about volunteering opportunities in Merri-bek.
Volunteering at a Neighbourhood House
Neighbourhood Houses provide social, educational and recreational activities for their communities. They are managed by volunteer committees and paid staff. Volunteers are an extremely important part of neighbourhood houses.
See our neighbourhood houses section to find out how you can get involved.
Helping young people get their drivers licence
The TAC L2P learner driver mentor program assists learners under 21 years of age, who do not have access to a supervising driver or vehicle, to gain the driving experience required to apply for a probationary licence.
Young people are matched with fully licensed volunteer mentors and have access to a sponsored vehicle to gain supervised driving experience.
L2P is free for eligible young people and is funded by the TAC. The Merri-bek L2P program is run by the Inner Northern Local Learning and Employment Network in partnership with Merri-bek City Council.
The program is not a substitute for professional driving lessons, and does not pay for the probationary driving test itself.
To join the L2P program, you need to:
- be between 16 and 20 years of age
- hold a current learner's permit, and
- not have access to either a vehicle, a supervising driver, or both.
To become a volunteer mentor in an L2P program, you need to:
- be over 21 years of age
- hold a current full Victorian driver's licence, and
- meet requirements of your local L2P program.
Volunteers need to allocate 1 -2 hours per week to mentor learner drivers.
For more information or to volunteer, contact Inner Northern Local Learning and Employment Network on 0457 791 480 or email Inner Northern LLEN.
Other opportunities for volunteers
Find opportunities for volunteers, short training courses and workshops run by neighbourhood houses, free short online training course for your group.
- Online Community Directory is a great way to find volunteering opportunities. it lists community organisations across Merri-bek that you can contact to see if they need volunteers.
- Hume Volunteer Gateway lists volunteer positions in the Hume and Merri-bek region.
- You can phone Volunteering Victoria on 8327 8500.
- Go Volunteer lists volunteer opportunities and provides support to volunteers.
- Victorian Volunteering Portal matches volunteers with appropriate organisations.
- Vollie connects skilled people to not for profits, charities and social enterprises for skills-based online volunteering.
- EdConnect Australia seeks volunteers to help young people in primary and secondary schools across Merri-bek. You can provide help with reading, writing, kitchen garden, library and maths, Phone 1800 668 550 or email to find out more.
- Volunteer as a vocational mentor through the Vocational Mentoring Exchange. Help strengthen community and prepare a young person for their working life. No need to have mentored before as free training, resources and ongoing support are provided. Hugely rewarding and also a great opportunity to expand your professional networks and strengthen all-important skill sets. Phone 0498 016 337 or apply now via http://inllen.org.au/vme/
We offer free training to volunteer-led Merri-bek community groups. The aim of the training is to educate and support groups to become sustainable. The training is for volunteers to gain knowledge and skills they can then use to grow their community group.
We’ve partnered with Our Community's Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA) to provide three free online Compact Courses. Compact Courses are a new style of training – it’s online training, but it’s not a webinar. Compact training allows the learner to interact with the material through clicks and quizzes.
We know every dollar counts so we're delivering these free online Compact Courses to help you get more grants, find more money, and improve your governance and management.
We have three courses available that will help you in your volunteer role.
- Win More Grants – How to find and apply for grants
Is perfect for people who want to find out where to find grants and how to win them. With just a bit of know-how and some newfound confidence, you'll go from a grants novice to a grants go-getter!
- WTF - Where's the Funding? – How to put more sustainable fundraising strategies in place.
Is a course for grassroots fundraisers who need help getting started with fundraising or want to tap new sources of funds for their group
- Step In, Step Up: Everything a New Community Board Member Needs to Know – How to make the best contribution you can to their community boards and committees.
Is designed for people who have recently joined a board or who are about to join a board, or those who missed their induction the first time around.
Visit the Our Community - Merri-bek page to register and get started with these free Compact Courses. For more information, email Our Community or call 9320 6800.
- Win More Grants – How to find and apply for grants
The Merri-bek Volunteer Training program is a series of short training courses and workshops run by neighbourhood houses in Merri-bek.
The courses aim to grow the skills of staff, volunteers and committee members of clubs, community groups and non-profit organisations in Merri-bek. The training suits different levels of ability and interest. Programs are flexible and can be changed to suit individual groups.
The courses are offered at low cost for committee members of community groups, local volunteers, and staff from clubs, community groups and non for profit organisations.
Popular training among volunteers, clubs and community groups include general administration, communication skills, occupational health and safety, committees of management training courses.
Accredited training is also available, in safe food handling, first aid, and computer training.
To arrange training for your organisation or to find out more, contact Sussex Neighbourhood House on 9354 2210.
The Hume-Merri-bek Volunteer Coordinator’s Network is a forum that happens every two months. It is for volunteer coordinators and managers for organisations within the Cities of Hume and Merri-bek.
The forum covers a range of topics that are relevant to not-for-profit organisations, including those that are run by volunteers.
Membership is free and open to anyone who works with volunteers in Merri-bek and Hume. Contact us to find out more.