Learning and development

The Australian Volunteers Program supports professional and personal development.

A key objective of the Australian Volunteers Program is to ensure volunteers gain cultural awareness and build stronger connections across countries. There are opportunities available for learning and development across all stages of the volunteer journey to make sure volunteers can gain professionally and personally.

Before you start your assignment

All program participants are required to complete mandatory learning prior to their assignment commencing. 

Online learning - The interactive online learning course covers a range of topics that will prepare you for your time volunteering. Completion of the foundation course is a requirement for participation in the pre-assignment briefing, where concepts will be further explored and applied to interactive scenarios.

Pre-assignment workshops – All volunteers are required to participate in a briefing before starting their assignment. In-country participants attend a face-to-face three-day pre-departure briefing in Melbourne. Remote volunteers participate in a separate and shorter online briefing that is tailored to the online volunteering experience. 

Failure to attend mandatory briefing sessions, or participate fully in the activities, may result in your assignment being delayed or cancelled. Briefings cover a range of topics relevant to program participants and it is essential that all sessions are attended.

10 people around in a large kitchen around a long wooden table. All are eating and talking to each other.
Lunch at pre-departure briefings are a great chance to speak with other new volunteers and program staff.
13 people are standing in smaller groups in a large room. All have their hands up in various ways and are laughing mid-activity.
Volunteers take part in a team building activity.

While on assignment

While you’re on assignment, there are many resources available to improve the outcomes of your assignment, as well as extend your own learning experience.

  • Country orientation program - Once you’ve started your assignment, you may be invited to attend an orientation with your in-country team. This can be in-person or online, and is an opportunity to conduct basic language training and build upon your pre-assignment workshop. For in-country volunteers, this orientation is designed to help volunteers settle in and  includes important safety and security information.
  • Online resources – You will have ongoing access to online learning modules and an extensive catalogue of resources. These cover a broad range of topics, designed to provide you with additional learning opportunities and support throughout your volunteer experience.
  • Global Webinar Series – These monthly events are an opportunity to connect, share and learn with other volunteers and partners. Each month has a theme and shines the spotlight on partner organisations or practices. 
  • Communities of Practice – A recent initiative, these online communities are a shared learning space where program participants, partner organisations and staff can connect around a thematic area. The community environment provides all members with an opportunity to discuss, share and explore best practice and innovation in their area of work or interest. 

After your assignment

Once you’ve completed your assignment, you will have access to further professional development opportunities through the Alumni program. This can include opportunities for returned volunteers to stay connected with each other, the program and your volunteer experience.