We are so grateful to have thousands of volunteers across the country supporting our cause. We couldn’t operate, or achieve the impact we do, without the countless hours they donate!
Meet some of our OzHarvest volunteers
Meet Kateeja, not only does she volunteer at our Lakemba hamper hub, she also cooks breakfast for the other 13 volunteers each week! These delicious, nourishing meals are just what the team needs before spending the next few hours feeding the community.
OzHarvest Sydney volunteer
I have a life-long passion for cooking and sharing food so, five years ago when I was looking to volunteer, I was drawn to OzHarvest with its goal of eradicating waste and sharing food with those who need it. For me it’s a perfect fit!
OzHarvest Sydney volunteer
Martin joined OzHarvest because he wanted to help other people. His favourite day of the week is Wednesday when he helps out at the OzHarvest Market, unloading food from the delivery van with his favourite driver Jack and sorting out large bulk foods into smaller portions.
OzHarvest Sydney Volunteer
I love being able to support the OzHarvest operation, by utilising skills and experience I’ve gathered throughout my professional work life. It is necessary and purposeful volunteer engagement. I’m fortunate to be a part of a meaningful work environment.
OzHarvest Melbourne volunteer
I first started volunteering in 2009 – my wife signed me up! I’ve done everything from tub washing, fundraising, van assistant, events, market stalls and now hamper packing (which is a great workout!). I loved every minute! Above all I love meeting people from all walks of life.
OzHarvest Sydney volunteer
Jim Miles is our most senior volunteer in the yellow army! Jim has volunteered with OzHarvest’s Victor Harbor chapter since its beginning! “Well, I heard good food was going to the landfill. A friend of mine in Victor Harbor suggested that I join OzHarvest and I haven’t looked back.”
OzHarvest Victor Harbour volunteer
Volunteer at OzHarvest
Before becoming a part of our volunteer team, all new volunteers will need to attend an Information & Induction Session. This is your opportunity to learn more about the work we do in your community, the various volunteer roles available, and next steps (more on that in our FAQs, below).
Once you’ve submitted your details via the form below, your local Volunteer Coordinator will be in touch as soon as the next Information Session date is confirmed – sessions are held monthly or quarterly, depending on your location.
To learn more about your local team, the types of volunteer roles available, shift times and locations, or to get in touch with the OzHarvest team in your area, you can click HERE to find your local chapter. Please also check out our FAQ’s below!
If you’d like to register your interest in volunteering with us, please submit your details via the form below.
OzHarvest is committed to Nourishing Our Community – and never has this been more needed than now. To ensure that we’re able to continue delivering vital food relief to the most vulnerable among us, OzHarvest requires all staff and volunteers be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. We respect that vaccination is an individual choice, and this may impact your decision to volunteer with us.
OzHarvest utilises the invaluable time, skills and experience of many of volunteers every day. Volunteers can participate as often or as little as they wish – if you can join us for one or two shifts per week, or one shift every few months, we welcome your valuable help!
The large majority of our roles occur during business and school hours, Monday through Friday. Shift length can vary from a couple of hours to a full day, depending on the role. We do have limited weekend and weeknight volunteer roles in some locations, and more info on the timing of shifts in your location will be given at our information session.
We use a digital shift calendar, so our volunteers have flexibility and can sign up to roles at their convenience. Many of our roles do not require a regular commitment, for example, of the same day per week, or for a specific length of time. However, some roles will ask volunteers to commit to a regular and set schedule, and this will be made clear when recruiting for the roles.
For the wellbeing of our volunteers, some frontline roles may have limits on how often a volunteer can complete a shift (for example, a maximum of two shifts per week is in place at our OzHarvest Market Waterloo and Refettorio).
Before becoming a part of our volunteer team, all new volunteers will need to attend an Information & Induction Session. This is your opportunity to learn more about the work we do in your community, the various volunteer roles available, and next steps.
2023 Sydney OzHarvest Volunteer Induction sessions for Sydney – Wednesday – 15 March, 14 June, 13 September & 22 November – 4.00 pm (duration 1 hour). Please sign up to volunteer in your Sydney Chapter via https://www.ozharvest.org/volunteer/ and the NSW/ACT Volunteer Team Coordinators will be in contact prior to the next induction date with the online session details.
2023 Regional OzHarvest Volunteer Induction sessions for Canberra, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Southern Highlands, Sapphire Coast & Wagga – Wednesday – 26 April, 21 June, 16 August, 01 November at 4.00pm (duration 45 minutes). Please sign up to volunteer in your Regional Chapter via https://www.ozharvest.org/volunteer/ and the NSW/ACT Volunteer Team Coordinators will be in contact prior to the next induction date with the online session details.
Each OzHarvest location has unique approval requirements for volunteers, and these will be discussed in the Information Session. However, volunteers in all locations must show proof of Covid Vaccination, complete online Manual Handling training (provided free of charge), and most locations also require a Police Check (issued within the last 12 months).
Depending on the nature of the volunteer activity, some roles may have further requirements – for example, Working With Children Checks, or completion of free, online Food Safety training.
If you have any questions regarding the approval requirements, you can contact your local volunteer coordinator, or email [email protected]
Please note: a record on a police check does not automatically disqualify someone from volunteering. The result may mean volunteers are more suited to some roles over others, and this will be discussed in confidence as the need arises.
There are a few costs associated with volunteer registration, which can include:
- Volunteers to provide a police check issued within the last 12 months, at their own cost. OzHarvest has partnered with ‘Intercheck Australia’ to offer volunteers their checks for a discounted price of $19.95 (incl GST), though volunteers are welcome to obtain their check through any means they prefer. We will give you more info on the discounted rate in our information session.
- Volunteers who already hold existing police checks issued within the past 12 months can submit this and may not be required to obtain a new check.
- An administration contribution to OzHarvest to cover costs in providing volunteers with the required uniform may be applicable. This cost varies depending on location, but is never more than $20.
If these costs would present a financial challenge, please contact your local volunteer coordinator, or email [email protected].
All volunteers are required to wear a yellow OzHarvest T-shirt, black/dark bottoms, and closed toed shoes (except for those who are volunteering at an OzHarvest office, in which case we ask volunteers to please wear business or smart casual clothing). Volunteers helping with food prep are also asked to ensure their hair is tied back.
The cost for our OzHarvest Volunteer T-Shirt is included in the above administration fee.
Depending on the role, yes. OzHarvest offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, so volunteers are asked to supply a reference in the volunteer application form. The Volunteer Coordinator will conduct and/or oversee the reference process for any role that requires it (and you’ll be told if a role you’d like to help with does).
Volunteers must also consent to a Police and Criminal History Check, and those who will be volunteering in an education program will also need to have a Working With Children Check (WWCC). Once complete, volunteers will receive a copy of their police report/WWCC, which may be helpful for future use. An adverse outcome revealed in the police check does not automatically disqualify someone from volunteering. The result may mean volunteers are more suited to some activities over others, and this will be discussed with volunteers as the need arises.
Yes, all OzHarvest education programs, OzHarvest Market Waterloo, Refettorio roles, and some other roles require volunteers to undergo specialised role-specific training, which is conducted on an as-needed basis a few times a year. Additionally, some volunteer programs may require you to shadow an existing volunteer or complete a trial shift before you can register for future shifts.
At a minimum, all volunteers will receive on the job training from the shift or program lead when they participate in a role for the first time.
Thank you! Please click HERE to find out more about our workplace volunteering & engagement options, and to contact our Workplace Engagement team.
We love to see young people around the country looking to get involved and make a positive impact in their community.
Unfortunately, we do not have any opportunities for Youth Volunteering currently. After successfully piloting a Youth Volunteering program in some of our locations pre-Covid, we are committed to getting the program up and running nationally in the future.
The good news is that you don’t have to volunteer with OzHarvest to start fighting food waste. Half of all food waste in Australia comes from our homes, and we need dedicated individuals to become food waste warriors. You can learn more about food waste and what you can do in the fight against it here. If you are interested in food waste and sustainability, you may also want to check out our FEAST program here to see if your school might be interested in bringing the program to life!
If you are over the age of 18, yes! You can help with any of our general volunteering roles that meet the requirements for your DofE award. Please get in touch with your local OzHarvest Volunteer Coordinator for more information or to check if your location can offer a role that meets your Duke of Ed requirements.
If you have accessibility requirements, we’d love to have a chat to understand your needs and explore volunteer roles that might suit your needs and interests. Get in touch with your local OzHarvest Volunteer Coordinator to start the conversation!
To learn more about your local team, the types of volunteer roles available, shift times and locations, or to get in touch with our OzHarvest team in your area, you can click HERE and find your local team.
If we haven’t been able to answer your question in our FAQs, please send us an email to [email protected] with your question and your location, and we can help you with your specific query.