Volunteers are an integral part of the work we do in most areas of our multicultural programs. They provide support to humanitarian entrants and asylum seekers, they help run the ‘Stitch’ group work craft and sewing program, and they act as study mentors for our homework and English conversation group activities.
The most active area of MSP volunteering is within Humanitarian Settlement Services where volunteers work under the guidance of caseworkers to help new humanitarian entrants become independent in their new home. Our volunteers also add great warmth to our program in helping our entrants feel welcome and cared for.
Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) volunteers engage in a wide range of diverse activities that include;
- meeting families at the airport
- setting up arrival houses
- shopping for food
- assisting with transport to appointments
- teaching new arrivals how to catch buses
- using ATMs
- supporting families in life skills such as finding employment, shopping, budgeting, housekeeping, cooking etc.
- orientation around Hobart
- assisting with learning English
- contacting other community members of similar backgrounds
- finding a suitable place of worship
- social outings
- seeking permanent accommodation
Steps involved in becoming a volunteeR
- initial contact with our volunteer coordinator; with the nature of our volunteering explained to make sure this is the program for you
- interviewed and assessed as to your suitability
- application forms submitted including a criminal history check and referee checks
- invitation to attend training and commence as a probationary volunteer
- partnered with an experienced volunteer as a mentor
How we support our volunteers
- initial day and a half of orientation training for new volunteers
- monthly volunteers’ meetings
- appreciation functions to thank our volunteers
- monthly volunteers’ newsletter
- ongoing training in areas of recognised need
- reimbursement of approved expenses
- access to and support from our volunteer coordinator and HSS staff
Volunteering with CatholicCare Multicultural Services
Small groups of volunteers are formed; a team leader is appointed and linked with a caseworker to assist in the settlement process of an entrant family or individual. The caseworker will channel requests through the team leader. After each visit to their family the volunteers are asked to briefly email their caseworker to keep them up to date with the welfare of the family.
Whilst the first few weeks after a family arrives is the busiest period for the volunteer group, we ask volunteers to be willing to help out with their family for up to 12 months. Both caseworkers and volunteers work towards their own redundancy, becoming less essential as their humanitarian entrant gains independence in their new country.
Volunteer Appreciation Event
Volunteers from Catholiccare (formerly Cenatcare) Tasmania’s Humanitarian Settlement Services program were treated to lunch and a friendly game of lawn bowls, in recognition of their selfless volunteerism, and their contribution to the community.
CatholicCare (formerly Centacare) Tasmania Staff organised a ‘barefoot lawn bowls’ event during National Volunteer Week to say thank you to the many volunteers who provide their time and expertise to help settle humanitarian entrants in Hobart. The volunteers work under the guidance of caseworkers to help the entrants live independently in their new home.
Humanitarian Settlement Services volunteers engage in a wide range of diverse activities that include:
- Meeting families at the airport
- Setting up arrival houses
- Shopping for food
- Assisting with transport to appointments
- Teaching new arrivals how to catch buses and use ATMs, and
- Supporting families in life skills such as finding employment, shopping, budgeting, housekeeping and cooking.
- Around 41% of Tasmanian adults aged 18 and over were engaged in formal volunteering in 2010, which translates to 155,600 Tasmanians who freely give their time and skills to assist
In 2010, 41% of Tasmanian adults aged 18 and over were engaged in formal volunteering. This translates to 155, 600 Tasmanians who freely give their time and expertise to the delivery of vital services and support to communities.