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Find your calling this National Volunteer Week

2 May 2018
Discover a cause you can get behind
The University offers a range of volunteering opportunities that anyone can get involved in. There's a lot to choose from, so we've created a brief guide to help you find the right 'fit'.

‘Give a little, change a lot’ is the theme of this year’s National Volunteer Week on 21–27 May. By giving just a little of your time, you can help make a huge difference in our community, be it helping new students settle in to Sydney life, helping to raise money for a vital cause or participating in our research studies.

Whether you’re a student, staff member, parent, alumni or friend of the University (or all of the above!), there’s a program or event out there in need of assistance from passionate volunteers.

Check out these eight volunteering opportunities you can get involved in at the University.

1. Welcome our new students to Sydney

Settling into a new city can be tough. You can give our first-year international and regional students a friendly start by hosting a small, group event through the Welcome to Sydney program.

You can host a barbeque, picnic, outdoor activities, or even a formal dinner. The choice is yours – we’ll organise the guests. It’s a great opportunity for our students to make new friends from Australia and all around the world, and gives you the chance to do the same.

2. Share your knowledge and experience

Feel like you have wisdom and experience you need to share? Or just looking to help out your fellow students? If so, you may have what it takes to be a mentor.

The University has a number of faculty and peer mentoring programs, designed so students and graduates can share their knowledge, experience and advice. If you think you can make a difference, check out the list of mentoring programs available. Alumni can also become student mentors, find out more here.

3. Help new arrivals settle in Australia

Arriving in Australia with no support network or accommodation, little financial income and limited knowledge of the language and culture is a daunting prospect for refugees.

Which is why the Refugee Language Program at the University of Sydney provides free language classes, mentoring and social activities.

We are always in need of volunteers who are keen to get involved and help those in need. If this sounds like your fit, head here for more information.

4. Reach out to the community

Widening Participation and Outreach is the University’s flagship schools outreach program. We work with school students who are under-represented in higher education and who may not be aware of the opportunities available to them. As a volunteer you will have a positive impact on students’ academic preparedness, awareness of higher education, confidence and motivation to attend university.

You’ll also play an important role in helping young people to access higher education and develop the qualities required to be future leaders.

Students, academics and alumni of the University are welcome to apply. Applications to volunteer open online in February each year.

5. Get involved with fundraising

Every year the University community comes together for our annual 24-hour fundraising day, Pave the Way. There are a range of ways you can get involved – hosting a staff morning tea, becoming an ambassador or donating to a cause close to your heart.

To help make Pave the Way an even bigger success this year, contact the Sydney Development Fund team and find out how you can get involved.

6. Get involved with world-changing research

We are one of the top research-intensive universities in the world, and that takes a lot of effort and a lot of volunteers. Every year, hundreds of students, staff, alumni and friends of the university volunteer to be part of our world-class research programs. These programs span across a diverse range of areas - everything from mental health, cancer research, the impacts of technology, animal behaviour and more.

If you would like to be part of the important research happening at the University, be sure to look over the current list of research studies looking for volunteers.

7. Volunteer for one of our clubs and societies

Looking to get involved with the fun and exciting events that happen on campus all year round? The University of Sydney Union is always looking for volunteers to help out with their major events, such as OWeek or International Festival.

To have a look at what volunteering opportunities the USU has on offer, as well as the community volunteering opportunities on offer, click here.

8. Sydney University sporting teams 

Speaking of the right ‘fit’, if you love sports then the university has a number of volunteer opportunities to help out with our sports teams. Volunteers can help with everything from checking tickets, organising raffles and making sure what happens off the field runs smoothly, so the players can focus on winning on the field.

If you are interested, check out the Sydney University Soccer Club, or the Sydney University Football Club websites.

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