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Making a difference: Volunteering opportunities in Carlton

Steven Tannason

Fri Aug 26 2011

volunteers needed

A WISE man once said, “Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.”

Volunteering can be an important part of an Australian experience for international students. Yes, your studies are important. Yes, your part-time job matters. And so does your social life. But volunteering experiences can be some of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of your university life.

Firstly, you get to meet new people from all walks of life and build life-long friendships. Secondly, you get to gain valuable experiences and skills you can’t get anywhere else. And thirdly, volunteering broadens your horizons and open up your eyes to things you might never otherwise see in Australia.

We’ve handpicked some of the easiest ways to volunteer in Carlton.

Church of All Nations

Church of All Nations, a congregation of the Uniting Church, is host to the Carlton Senior Citizens’ Centre, the Indigenous Hospitality House and the CAN Community Support.

Students can volunteer for the icanITcentre, a service provided by the the church’s Community Support Drop-in Centre. It gives the community members free internet access, one-to-one computer training and technical support. You don’t have to be a computer expert to volunteer.

Another option is the ‘Moms and Kids Club’, where volunteers are there to encourage learning among community members, such as helping a mother who is not proficient in English to read a book to her child.

Alternatively, students can volunteer for Carlton NILS (No Interest Loan Scheme), which offers alternative options to people facing barriers in accessing credit.

Students who are interested can contact:

Rev. Dr John Evans
Steve Dobson
(03) 9347 7077

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is one of the largest and most diverse international social welfare providers. To date, there are 1,650,000 members in more than 118 countries and it gives 100,000 meals to people in need, beds to 5,000 homeless people, rehabilitation to 500 addicted people, refuge to 400 victims of domestic abuse and counseling to several thousands.

Students who enjoy cooking can help make the community dinner, a free dinner between 6.30 and 7 PM every Wednesday night. The Salvation Army relies on donations, so you could also help fundraise sportings matches, over the Christmas period and at the Royal Melbourne Show. Moreover, students who can play piano or guitar can volunteer for the weekly Sunday morning services.

Salvation Army’s Carlton Corps Victoria is located on 324 Drummond Street.

Students who are interested can contact:

Monty Bhardwaj


Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre, located on 20 Princes St, Carlton North, is a community-managed organisation providing various programs, including community development, general interest and IT courses.

They need volunteers for several things. If you’ve got a basic grasp of computers, you could help out as a computer tutor.

Another option is to volunteer for their program for People with Disabilities, which takes places every Thursday at noon. Tasks include helping participants with basic computer use, helping out at the community lunch and joining the music class.

Students can also volunteer for the Social Support, which takes place every Monday from 10 AM to midday. Roles include attending their morning tea for Carlton seniors.

However, it’s worth noting the centre needs at least three months commitment if you’d like to get involved.

Students who are interested can contact:


Carlton Primary School

Carlton Primary School is on the corner of Drummond and Palmerston streets. It is a community-focused school and has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

They need students to help the children practise reading books in class.

For any crafty people out there, they’re also looking for volunteers to teach their Kids Knitting Group, where a group of children meet between 1.30 PM and 2.15 PM on Wednesdays to knit blanket squares to donate to needy people.

The school is also looking for volunteers for their Women’s Sewing Group, where a group of women meet between 11 AM and 3 PM every Friday to learn to sew. The women make clothes for themselves and their children, including uniforms for children of the school. The teacher needs some volunteers who can sew to help her out.

Students who are interested can contact:

Rebecca Harris

North Yarra Community Health

North Yarra Community Health, at 622 Lygon Street, is a community health service in the inner Melbourne suburbs of Collingwood, Carlton and Fitzroy. The centre provides services such as counseling, nutrition and health coaching.

Volunteers at NYCH are involved in many activities, such as leading walking groups, helping in the youth drop-in space, assisting with social activities groups and in administration.

Students who are interested can contact: