Each August National Student Volunteer Week acknowledges and celebrates student volunteers, and promotes volunteering to students and young people across Australia.
We invite all students, education providers, and volunteer involving organisations across the country to participate in National Student Volunteer Week. Participants will have access to resources to assist with planning and executing volunteering activities as well as promoting volunteer events and campaigns.
National Student Volunteer Week gives students the opportunity to lead others in connecting to their community and offering kindness. Students are provided with the chance to explore the personal and professional benefits of volunteering, which include valuable work experience, enhanced feelings of self-worth, refinement of values, increased understanding of people, local and global issues, and reduced social isolation. NSVW also recognises the significant skills, ideas, enthusiasm, creativity, and time that young people contribute through volunteering.
Ways to get involved
There are thousands of ways you can support, encourage and enhance volunteering within your school. We have put together a comprehensive list of ideas for you to browse and get inspired, and we are always looking for more. If you have an idea we haven’t thought of, share it with us! Better yet, share it on your socials and tag us!
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @AusNSVW
Here are just a few thoughts we’ve had:
Organise for students to collaborate on meaningful activities that support the work of a volunteer organisation, such as coast or bush conservation, caring for injured animals, cooking meals for sick children and their families, or supporting the well-being of people experiencing homelessness.
Hold micro-volunteering sessions where busy students can pop in and lend a hand for a short amount of time on easy tasks, such as card making for refugees, logistic packing for charity events, preparing care parcels, or arts and craftwork. These small actions can have a big impact on the larger community.
Work together with other education providers in your locality to organise a group volunteering activity where students can make new friends while they make a difference.
Tokens of appreciation
A heartfelt thank you, thoughtful gift, memorabilia to cherish, or versatile vouchers. A simple act of kindness is a great way to show student volunteers your gratitude.
Be an ambassador
Share student volunteering messages online. You could profile an inspiring student, create a video about your volunteer program, give a shout-out to available opportunities, or blog about the personal and professional benefits of volunteering.
Host a workshop or panel
Arrange for inspiring speakers to talk to students about applying for volunteer positions, making an impact, learning from the experience, boosting employability, or exploring the current needs of the volunteering sector. You may like to invite your State or Territory’s Peak Volunteering Body to be involved.
Promote social justice
Facilitate important conversations that empower students to delve into the issues that face our world, such as climate change, combating racism, women’s advancement, or LGBTQIA+ rights. Offer avenues for how students can take action to advance these causes.
Encourage student led initiatives
Build the capacity of students to effectively manage student led initiatives that create change on and off campus. This could involve developing their volunteer management and leadership skills.
Bring students together formally
Recognise, honour and reward the achievements of student volunteers at a formal event, such as an awards ceremony.
Connect students with volunteer organisations
A volunteer expo, networking session, presentation, or information stand. Whether it’s a short pitch or an in-depth dive, help students to learn about the array of volunteer programs available to join.
Help students search
Provide students with ‘drop-in’ sessions where they can access one-to-one support to find a volunteer role that matches their strengths, values, interests, and career aspirations. You could also promote govolunteer.com.au where students can view and apply for available volunteering opportunities.
Bring students together informally
Provide a space for student volunteers to connect with one another. It could be over morning tea, a barbeque, pizza lunch or a picnic. You may like to incorporate some games, icebreakers or team building activities.
Learn more about volunteering
Visit our volunteer page to read about the benefits of volunteering, including how it can boost your employability, as well as choosing the right role for you.
Find a cause to contribute to
Search online with govolunteer.com.au to find a volunteer role where you can make a difference. You could also speak with your education provider’s careers and employment or community engagement teams. They can connect you with initiatives, clubs, and societies on campus or with nonprofit organisations.
Create your own project
Do you have a solution to a problem that society is facing? Be a trailblazer and plan a social impact project that you can implement in your own community.
Reflect on what you’ve learned
Has volunteering sharpened your skills? Has it expanded your understanding of the complex issues that affect our world? Take some time to consider how volunteering has shaped you.
Share your ideas for improvement
Do you have feedback that could enhance the experience of volunteers? Let your volunteer organisation know your thoughts and help them make volunteering more rewarding and impactful.
Participate in the social media campaign
Has volunteering changed your life? Share your experience online and inspire your fellow students to give volunteering a go.
Thanks to technology you can hold an online event for student volunteers. We have listed some ideas below to help get you started:
- Virtual volunteering expo or fair
- Virtual volunteer panel
- Live or recorded workshops
- Online social event (coffee or lunch, an awards ceremony, fun games, competition)
- Thank you video
- Social media posts (promoting the benefits of volunteering, available opportunities, or quotes/ advice from student volunteers, outcomes of your volunteer program)
- Virtual volunteering activity or micro-volunteering activity
- Online resources, training, or skills development
- Online one-to-one consultation sessions
Online event tips
- Incorporate videos and photos of your student volunteers
- Build visually interesting slides/ presentation
- Invite dignitaries and diverse guest speakers to present
- Develop techniques to ensure participants feel involved including the ability to submit questions, polls or quizzes
- Make it inclusive with clear language, captions, large fonts, high colour contrast.
Platforms you could use
- Google Hangouts
- Facebook Live
- Instagram – Live, IGTV or Stories
- YouTube Livestream
Say thanks informally
A handwritten letter, a personal phone call, a social media shout out, or a newsletter feature. These are all great ways to show your appreciation of student volunteers.
Say thanks formally
Hold an awards ceremony or a recognition event where student volunteers are publicly acknowledged for their significant contribution.
Facilitate personal and professional development
Reflect on opportunities you can offer to student volunteers to help them reach their potential and grow into responsible and skilled young leaders.
Hold meaningful conversations
Ask student volunteers for their feedback on how you can enhance the experience of volunteers and make your volunteer program more creative and fulfilling.
Diversify your volunteer program
Hold a brainstorming session on the types of student volunteers you would like to attract to your organisation. Identify relevant education providers and faculties that you can reach out to.
Unite over purpose
Motivate student volunteers by demonstrating the outcomes and the positive change that results from their work.
Bring students together
Organise a social event where student volunteers can share a meal or a coffee, or have fun collaborating on a morale-boosting activity.
Durning National Student Volunteer Week, schools, unis, youth organisations and volunteer involving organisations nation wide host events to celebrate, appreciate and reward their volunteers.
We invite you to register your National Student Volunteer Week events on our website.
It’s easy, just jump on and complete the form and we will showcase your event on our website and our social media platforms.
Start volunteering today!
Volunteering has many benefits; benefits for the individuals who volunteer, benefits for the recipients of the support, the community, the environment, the economy….the benefits are endless.
Here, you can learn about volunteering, its benefits, and how to choose the right role for you
Each state or territory peak body for volunteering has a volunteer role search tool
Thousands of volunteer roles are available nation wide! Use the advanced search section to help narrow things down to the causes you find meaningful or roles you can easily travel to.
Start your search here
About student volunteering
Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.
It is a choice made by you to make a difference. Volunteering is about supporting non-profits or community groups by willingly giving your time, skills and enthusiasm to become involved and take action on issues that are important to you.
Benefits of volunteering
- Gain valuable work experience
- Learn new skills and develop employable skills for your career
- Attain references for your resume
- Build industry connections and networks
- Bring your own insights and ideas into the community
- Help non-profits enhance and extend their cause
- Build your confidence
- Act on your values, passions and interests
- Enjoy new social and cultural experiences
- Improve your physical and mental health
- Have fun and make a difference!
Volunteering and employability
Up to 85% of employers believe volunteering to be just as credible as paid work.
If you’re having trouble finding the right role in your industry, volunteering could be an easier way to reinforce your resume and your skill set.
92% of employers said that relevant volunteering experience gives candidates an edge in job interviews. It’s a great talking point that can help you make a connection with a potential employer.
If you’re working towards a paid position in a socially responsible organisation, volunteering experience will be a strong indication of your integrity. Regardless of the field, employers see volunteers as trustworthy, proactive and motivated.
How to choose a role
Volunteering sharpens your talents and gives you a taste of working in your preferred industry.
It can also help broaden your horizons. You can work outside of the box by adapting to fields that are not directly related to your course.
Here are a few questions for you to consider:
- What are my motivations for volunteering?
- Is there a cause that is close to my heart?
- Are there particular skills I want to contribute or learn?
- How much time can I commit?
- A useful resource is the Volunteering to Learn Good Practice Guide for Students. This covers how to find out about volunteering opportunities, insights about volunteer organisations and identifies common challenges and solutions.
How to make the most impact
Volunteer for a cause that you believe in
Find a cause, group or organisation that resonates deeply with you. There are many things that demand our attention and pull us in different directions, however, finding a space that you are particularly passionate about will enable you to give more of yourself to excelling in that field.
Challenge yourself and go beyond ticking boxes
It is outside of your comfort zone where the magic happens. Sometimes we have to be uncomfortable and really test our limits in order for great things to happen. Some of the greatest life lessons and most cherished memories come from stepping out of your sphere of comfort and into a realm of the unknown. Volunteering is an opportunity to go beyond ticking boxes and challenge yourself – it is a chance for you to contribute to meaningful change, connect with like-minded people and to grow as an individual.
Trust yourself and have fun
The most important thing you can do as a volunteer is to trust yourself. Be the change you want to see – all change starts with you. In challenging yourself there may be times when you question your strengths and capabilities. You are strong and you are capable. When you hold back you obstruct the change you could be making and the experiences you could be having.