Australia is much more than a country: on top of owning the dual title of “continent,” it is a biodiverse region with everything from coastlines to enormous expanses of arid Outback. The nation’s varied landscapes are home to a wide array of flora and fauna, many of which are in need of protection from encroaching development and pollution. Volunteerism in Australia is popular because of the country’s sites and landscape. When you’re planning your trip Down Under, it’s worth considering if you want to be in a well-populated area or spend your time in the quiet respite of one of the nation’s forests or desert spaces. Wherever you choose to go, there’s a rich culture waiting for you. If you want to volunteer in Australia, here are some things to know in advance, plus a few excellent programs that will connect you with the work you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Know Before You Go
Australia is sometimes called “The Lucky Country” because of its wealth of natural resources, from mineral ores to natural gas. However, many of the industries that tap into the country’s earthly wealth are posing problems to the natural environment. In fact, Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions per capita are among the highest of any nation.
Because some of the biodiverse environments in this country are becoming depleted, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities in Australia to contribute to environmental protection and animal rescue Down Under as an international volunteer. For all the industries that fish, log, and mine, there are plenty of organizations aiming to keep Australia clean and safe for the native creatures. Volunteers can contribute to the conservation of Australia through coastal cleanups, animal rescue, and release, and supporting local ranches.
Before you depart for your volunteering in Australia, you should also keep in mind that the seasons are reversed from the Northern Hemisphere. If you volunteer over your summer break, you will be arriving during Australia’s winter. In most communities, especially in the state of Queensland, temperatures remain mild during this time. And while the country speaks English, you should also get a phrasebook or brush up on local vernacular before you go.