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 600 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. Note: teaching qualifications/experience not necessary.

Approximate time commitment: one afternoon (2 hours) per week (Mon, Tues, Wed or Thurs)


Volunteers work in the drop in service in which ARA provides financial and material assistance to refugees, referrals to other services, information, advocacy, basic budgeting advice and general assistance for clients to settle into Australia.

Approximate time commitment: one day per week, 9.30am – 4.30pm (or a half day)


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, Warehouse Assistant, Logistics Assistant, Handyperson, Electrical tester.

Approximate time commitment: one day per week


ARA Youth Services run a range of programs and activities for young people. Activities include school holiday activities (sport, dance, arts and crafts etc), Job Preparation – by supporting young people to increase their employment preparation skills to find casual or part-time employment through resume writing, interview skills, applying for jobs etc.


Job Club Support
ARA is looking for Volunteers to assist small groups of clients in our Job Club where clients actively search for jobs and apply for appropriate positions. As a Job Club Support Volunteer you will have the opportunity to assist clients to 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: 11 AM – 2 PM on a Tuesday at Salisbury, 11 AM – 2 PM on a Friday at Underdale.



Similar to the Social Support Program, the youth services supports young people by linking them up with a mentor to provide friendship and general guidance as they settle into the wider Australian community. This may be in the form of catching up for a coffee or a walk in the park, sport or other games.

Approximate time commitment: approx 4-6hrs per month


ARA office volunteers 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 needs volunteers to help promote ARA and our services. We often have requests to hold stands at expos, festivals, schools 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 in groups will attend the given event to run the ARA stall and talk to people, hand out fliers about who ARA is.

Approximate time commitment: as required


The migration team gives advice and assistance to clients in preparing and lodging refugee and other visa applications and reviews; making submissions to the Minister and a variety of other things in relation to migration and refugee process. Volunteers are needed to conduct research, assist in writing submissions and help prepare visa applications. Law students or people with a social science/arts background preferred. We also need volunteers who are willing to help with occasional administrative work (no particular background necessary).

Approximate time commitment: to be negotiated with volunteer



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

Volunteers are required to attend an induction session and an interview (providing contact details for two referees). It is essential that volunteers undergo a National Criminal History Check and attend relevant training (provided by ARA).

Australian Refugee Association
304 Henley Beach Road
SA 5032
Fax : 8354 2951
Email: volunteer@ausref.net