Working with volunteers and interns

Recruitment and selection

All volunteers and interns at Oxfam Australia must be eligible to work in Australia in accordance with the Department of Home Affairs guidelines. For more information visit the Department of Home Affairs website. Volunteers and interns are required to sign the agreements and policies mentioned below. These are done electronically as part of our recruitment process. Appropriate reference and background checks (including police checks and working with children checks) are completed for volunteers and interns as required.

Agreements, policies and code of conduct documents for Oxfam volunteers and interns:

  • Volunteer Agreement
  • Child Safeguarding Code of Conduct
  • Social Media User Policy
  • Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Policy
  • Oxfam’s Joint Code of Conduct”

We advertise volunteer and internship positions on our volunteer management system and these can be applied for by registering online. We also recruit using external volunteer agencies and websites and university volunteer sites. For office-based volunteer and intern positions an interview is usually arranged between the candidate and manager to ensure we find a good fit for both parties.

All Oxfam Australia volunteers are provided with a position description which describes the key tasks to be completed and the skills and attributes required. The position description also outlines the purpose of the position and how it contributes to the wider organisation.

Interns are provided with a Terms of Reference document which outlines the project that they will be working on and the expected timeline and outcome.

Training

Volunteers and interns working in an office will receive an induction on their first day in the office which includes a tour of the office, introductions to staff, a revisit of the position description or Terms of Reference and the completion of an induction checklist.

Volunteers and interns are invited and encouraged to attend relevant in-house training and information sessions whilst on placement. Ongoing on-the-job training and support is also provided.

Oxfam Australia staff are supported whilst managing volunteers and interns to ensure the experience rewarding for both parties.

Recognition

Oxfam Australia could not operate without assistance from volunteers and interns. To show our appreciation, we celebrate our volunteers and interns throughout the year such as during National Volunteer Week and on International Volunteer Day. Managers are also encouraged to celebrate with their volunteer or intern by arranging team lunches, formal recognition of the work completed and of course good old fashioned certificates! A statement of service can also provided upon request.

We also celebrate International Volunteer Managers Day in November each year to acknowledge the dedication, hard work and effort of the managers that support Oxfam volunteers and interns.

Feedback

Throughout their engagement, volunteers and interns are required to register their attendance in our volunteer management system. This not only provides Oxfam with a record of attendance, it also provides volunteers and interns with an opportunity to leave a rating on their experience for that day, allowing the opportunity to manage any issues in a timely manner.

We ask volunteers, interns and their managers to complete online feedback questionnaires at the completion of their assignment so we can improve our management practices and strengthen our volunteer and intern engagement program. The questionnaires cover all stages of engagement from recruitment to exit. The survey can be filled out anonymously if desired.

Reimbursement

Office volunteers and interns are entitled to reimbursement for expenses incurred as a result of their assignment with Oxfam Australia. Office volunteers and interns are entitled to claim up to a maximum of ten dollars ($10) per day as reimbursement for transport, meals and other costs, provided that:

  • A minimum of 4 hours is worked per day of reimbursement claimed;
  • Receipts are provided
  • Attendance has been registered in Better Impact

Reimbursement is not available to volunteers or interns who conduct tasks from home or to event volunteers. The amount of volunteer reimbursement is reviewed annually.

Health and safety

All volunteers and interns are required to complete online Work Health and Safety training during their induction. Volunteers and interns complete the same Work Health and Safety training applicable to Oxfam Australia staff.