Hey everyone, my name is Jackson Ward, I’m the Volunteers Director of the Notre Dame Social Justice Society (NDSJS) and I’m in the second year of my Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Politics and International Relations. This post is going to be about how to get into volunteering both inside and outside the university.
Volunteering while you’re in university is so exciting. It’s a really great way to get involved in the life and culture of not only the campus but society in general. It makes you feel so good about yourself knowing that your selfless acts and unpaid labour can really make a difference, and has the ability to pay off in the future in experience with volunteering.
There is a multitude of stuff you can get to doing both in and out of Notre Dame.
As the Volunteers Director at NDSJS, I want to have my ear to the ground, knowing who is motivated to volunteer in the Notre Dame community and what individual’s strengths are so we can call upon people to get involved, keeping lines of communication open between both the Society and volunteers. Important attributes to have are adaptability to situations and problems paired with delivery, effective collaboration & communication, and self-motivated, efficient individual work ethic.
At Notre Dame, we have avenues to find volunteering work, such as the volunteer’s board found on Blackboard under Sydney Campus Life. It displays a number of volunteering opportunities at the campus such as R U OK Day, Mental Health Week, Open Day etc. and also shows you how to initiate some original and fresh volunteering opportunities. It also shows ways to get involved outside of the university which leads into the next section.
Outside of Notre Dame, there are even more ways of looking for and stumbling across volunteering. On the volunteer’s board in Blackboard it shows some examples of external organisations for opportunities to volunteer. As well as this, going to volunteering search engines such as the NSW Volunteers website or Seek.com Volunteering site is a good way to see what is out there and how you may be able to contribute in one-off or regular circumstances. Another way to come across volunteering opportunities and opportunities in general especially in the time of COVID-19 is to get into some networking. Attend online lectures and discussions about issues you are passionate about – race, ethnicity, gender, disability, LGBTQIA+ politics, religion etc. – and put your best foot forward, and opportunities may just jump out at you.
This is not by any means a secret guide to finding volunteering success, but if you are committed enough and you get right into it, the world is your oyster, eat it up! It is waiting for you to get involved and make a difference in; your life; and society as a whole!