Backpackers, we need you! Top 3 ideas for voluntary work in Melbourne

Volunteering can be a great way to gain skills and meet new people. Whether you’re into music, wine, or wildlife, there are heaps of great voluntary projects in Melbourne and Victoria. Here’s three of the best…

Best for… festival lovers and all that jazz

Melbourne International Jazz Festival Lovers of smooth jazz should volunteer at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival this June, where festival staff, musicians and crew are always on the look out for helpful volunteers to hand out programmes, look after artists, transport props and take care of the admin. The line-up already includes some world class jazz stars, with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dr Lonnie Smith Trio and Future Now all taking to the stage. Casual, part-time and full-time volunteer positions are available throughout the Festival period (1-10 June), with some positions starting in the weeks leading up to the festival. No cost to volunteers.

Visit melbournejazz.com

Best for… conservationists (and penguin lovers)!

Penguins at Phillip Island Nature Park

Spotted! Penguins at Phillip Island Nature Park

Fancy adding ‘penguin protector’ to your CV? Part wildlife conservation project, part small group eco-tour, STA Travel offers a five day group adventure that’s perfect if you’re short on time and want to make a difference to the habitat of wildlife in Victoria. You’ll be picked up from your base in Melbourne and contribute to local conservation projects in the Southern Otway Ranges. Before heading to Phillip Island Nature Park where you’ll join the local rangers and help protect the local penguin population and habitat, tree planting, habitat restoration, seed collection and weed control.  All meals and accommodation are included. Cost £600.

Best for… a real taste of the Outback

Grape picking in Victoria Australia

Wine making is just one of the jobs you can do with WWOOF

 If you’re prepared to roll up your sleeves and get your fingers dirty, WWOOF-ing might be just the ticket.  WWOOF or Willing Workers on Organic Farms offers volunteers free accommodation and board on local farms in exchange for 4-6 hours work each day. You only need to pay AUD $65 to join for a year and with over 2,100 host farms to choose from, you could be doing anything from making wine in the Yarra Valley to picking berries in Gippsland. Perfect if you need to save those Aussie dollars as you travel across Australia. Cost AUD $65 (one year WWOOF membership)

Top tip: You can extend your Working Holiday Visa by a full 12 months by volunteering in rural Australia for a minimum of three months.

Need more ideas?

For more information on voluntary opportunities in Victoria, including a list of websites for volunteers, visit visitmelbourne.com/Information/Volunteer

Share your stories!

Think there’s an amazing voluntary experience we’ve missed out? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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