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Frequently asked questions - Volunteering for Parks

Does Volunteering for Parks cost me anything?

Volunteers should plan to be fully self-sufficient and will normally need to meet their own expenses for food, clothing, travel, accommodation, etc. Reimbursement for any out-of-pocket expenses must have the prior approval of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) officer in charge of the volunteering program.

QPWS will provide any necessary training, tools and equipment, including personal protective equipment. There may be occasions, outside the metropolitan areas, that accommodation is available for a volunteer to use should overnight stays be required. You should discuss this with the volunteer coordinator or ranger-in-charge.

Are volunteers covered by insurance?

Volunteers, who are registered QPWS volunteers, are insured by QPWS for personal injury, public liability and certain other insurance cover, subject to conditions, through the Queensland Government Insurance Fund.

Volunteers who are volunteering with another government department or an independent organisation should request advice about the insurance arrangements.

Students performing work experience or industry placement must be insured by their educational institution prior to commencing work with QPWS.

Do I have to do volunteer work to gain employment with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service?

No, positions with QPWS are filled through an open, merit-based selection process. The selection criteria do not require you to have performed any volunteer work. However, you may wish to perform volunteer work in an area related to your vocational expertise in order to hone and demonstrate your work-related skills.

What is the difference between volunteering, work experience and industry placements?

Most people can volunteer. Volunteers donate their time and labour, of their own free will and without payment, for the benefit of Queensland’s wildlife and environment.

Work experience applies to students of  secondary schools, TAFE colleges or universities, who undertake unpaid work to gain vocational experience in the discipline in which they are currently studying or plan to study.

Where university and TAFE students, seek an engagement to meet curriculum requirements, then it is called an industry placement.

Work experience and industry placement arrangements are negotiated between the student, institution and department.

What if I am obliged to perform 'volunteer' work to receive a social benefit?

QPWS volunteers must be acting of their own free will. So, if a person is obliged to perform work to receive a social benefit (e.g. Centrelink) payment, then QPWS does not regard you as a volunteer.

Are there any age limits to be a Volunteer for Parks?

There is no maximum age limit for QPWS volunteers. However, there is a minimum age limit of 13 years. Certain conditions may need to be met for volunteers under 18 years of age.

What level of commitment is required to be a volunteer for Parks?

This varies. Some programs have rosters with scheduled commitments, others are more one-off opportunities. Many programs are highly flexible and a volunteer is free to enjoy activities at their discretion.  However certain programs require their trained volunteers to commit themselves on a fairly regular basis in order to maintain skills and expertise.

You should discuss this matter with the volunteer coordinator for any program that interests you.

Do I need any special skills to be a Volunteer for Parks?

In most cases the volunteer coordinator will ensure you are provided with orientation, induction, skills and any other training necessary to perform your volunteer role. You rarely have to bring the necessary skills and abilities with you. However, some specialised programs or roles may require a particular set of skills or experience.

This is also a matter you should discuss with the coordinator for any program that interests you.

Do I need to complete any paperwork to be a volunteer for Parks?

Yes, you will need to be registered as a volunteer and attend/complete any induction and skills training required. Some duties may also require particular licenses or qualifications. The volunteer coordinator will guide you through these tasks.

Do I need a Blue Card for working with children?

Each volunteer role is assessed with regard to the need for volunteers to hold a Blue Card for working with children. If a Blue Card is required the Responsible Officer will assist with your application and there is no cost for volunteers. If you already have a Blue Card it can be amended to also apply to your volunteer work with QPWS.

You should discuss this matter with the volunteer coordinator for any program that interests you.

Where can I find out about what sort of volunteering programs are available?

Please see Find a volunteer project, or email ParkEnquiries@des.qld.gov.au

Does the department offer internships or work integrated learning for volunteers from overseas?

There are very few opportunities to perform continuous (daily) volunteer work at one place for long periods (e.g. 3–6 months). However, it may be possible to arrange engagements at a number of different places. Visa conditions must permit this type of arrangement.

QPWS is obliged to give preference to Australian students seeking work experience and industry placement places.

See Find a volunteer project for further information.

Is financial assistance available for volunteers from overseas?

No dedicated financial assistance is available to overseas volunteers. Volunteers should plan to be fully self-sufficient and will need to meet their own expenses for food, clothing, travel, accommodation, etc. Reimbursement for any out-of-pocket expenses must have the prior approval of the officer responsible for the program.

In some circumstances on-park accommodation may be available, but that is at the discretion and operational convenience of the ranger-in-charge.