Volunteer with ARA

The Australian Refugee Association was established in 1975 by a group of concerned people who volunteered their time to help people arriving in Australia from Vietnam, fleeing the devastation of the war. Volunteers remain at the heart of the ARA community and are an integral part of the work that we do.

We currently have approximately 400 volunteers from all walks of life contributing to our mission to help refugees become settled and participating citizens of Australia.

Volunteering your time with us is a meaningful way to welcome and support the newest members of our community. By creating connections, sharing knowledge and developing mutual understanding, volunteers help to empower new arrivals. There are many ways that you can get involved.


ARA Volunteer Position Descriptors



Volunteers are linked with a family or individual of a refugee background whom they visit in their home in order to offer friendship, information, practical assistance and general guidance with settlement needs. Typical ways that volunteers provide support is by: practicing conversational English, demonstrating how to use public transport, explaining letters and assisting with filling out forms and assisting with orientation to a new area.

Approximate time commitment: 1-2 hours per week


Volunteers work as tutors/mentors to high school students from refugee backgrounds to help and support them with their school work and learning of English. Homework Clubs operate from 4 – 6pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at various locations. Note: teaching qualifications/experience not necessary.

Approximate time commitment: one afternoon (2 hours) per week during school terms


Volunteers work in pairs to collect furniture donations from members of the community and deliver furniture to newly arrived refugees. ARA has a van and trailer for use when collecting and delivering furniture.
Other roles for volunteers with ARA Furniture are: Driver’s Offsider, Logistics Assistant, Handyperson, Electrical tester.

Approximate time commitment: half a day per week. Monday and/ or Thursday


ARA Youth Services run a range of programs and activities for young people, mostly from our Salisbury Office. Activities include school holiday activities (sport, dance, cooking, arts and crafts etc), a Visual Arts Program (Tuesday afternoons) and the Youth Hang-out (Friday afternoons).


Youth mentors will provide a support role for ARA’s youth clients in a group setting (ARA Youth Hangout, at our Salisbury office) by providing friendship to a young person, help the young person to identify their goals, develop life skills, increase support networks and assist them to improve their individual capacity and wellbeing.
Mentors will also support the program facilitator with program activities and if appropriate also run own activities

Approximate time commitment: approx 2 hrs per week on a Friday afternoon (4.30-6.30 pm)


ARA office volunteers at both our Underdale and Salisbury office are often the first contact clients have with ARA as they assist in staffing the reception – their role is vital in the efficient operation of the organisation. Office volunteers may also be involved in a range of administration tasks.

Approximate time commitment: half a day per week (either 9am – 1pm or 1pm – 5pm)


ARA is looking for Volunteers to assist clients to prepare and update their resumes and cover letters, locate employment opportunities, complete applications, and provide basic computer skills assistance. This assistance may also involve explaining what certain employment screening questions mean, and assisting with online employment systems that become too complex for the clients’ level of English or computer skills.

An ideal volunteer is someone who is empathetic, patient and has had experience in applying for jobs online.
Approximate time commitment: 2 hours a week, to be negotiated, at either the Underdale or Salisbury office




ARA needs volunteers to help promote ARA and our services through a range of fundraising and other events and promotions. We hold a range of fundraising and community events ourselves and often have requests to hold stands at various expos, festivals etc. If you are keen to help spread the word of ARA and to help us promote our services, we would love your help! Volunteers will be kept on a register to be contacted whenever an upcoming event is scheduled and then will work in groups to support our staff at various events and promotions.

Approximate time commitment: as required

CULTURAL SUPPORT GROUPS – (Women only – Salisbury)

Women volunteers assist ARA staff to provide a friendly, supportive and safe environment for mothers to practice their English and learn about topics of interest and importance to them, and which are relevant to all the aspects of bringing up a family. The object is to provide a safe place for the women to meet with others who are facing similar challenges, and to open up issues without pressure to perform, participating in conversations and sharing about the broader social networks in the community for example health services, community activities or events, recreational areas and playgroups;

Two groups are held on a weekly basis at different Salisbury primary schools during school terms; one on Thursday mornings for Afghani women and the other for Burmese Chin women on Wednesday lunch-times.

Approximate time commitment: 2 hours a week during school term.

SEWING CIRCLE (Women only – Underdale)

Volunteers assist ARA by providing guidance in various sewing skills, including dress-making and quilting, to the women participants, working alongside other volunteers and clients, sharing skills and encouraging a warm, supportive and culturally inclusive environment. Volunteers do not need to be experts in dressmaking but some experience in sewing is required.

Approximate time commitment: up to 4 hours a week on a Friday from 10 am to 2 pm, during school term.



To register your interest in becoming a volunteer at ARA please download the Volunteer Application Form here  and return it to ARA.

Volunteers must be aged 18 or over, are required to attend a Volunteer induction session and provide contact details for two referees. All volunteers must undergo a National Criminal History/ Working with Children Check and attend relevant training specific to their role (provided by ARA).

Australian Refugee Association
304 Henley Beach Road Underdale SA 5032
1 Brown Tce Salisbury SA 5108
Fax : 8354 2951
Email: volunteer@ausref.net