After your arrival at the respective airport, you are responsible for your transfer to the office. We are happy to help you with the organization. Before you depart, you will get a file with detailed directions to your local office and a voucher with further information. Each project starts on a Friday at 11 o’clock and ends on a Friday at 16 o’clock. After your arrival, there will be a first orientation, after which you will be brought to a local volunteer shelter or regional housing with the other volunteers. Accommodation and meals are provided for you from then on. Dinner will be the first joint meal. The first weekend is free, so you can recover from your trip and get to know the other volunteers. Depending on the project, it may also be that you will have to travel to a remote location on Sunday. A team consists of six to ten international and national volunteers and the professional team coordinator.
The experienced team coordinator explains all the tasks and objectives of the projects and is responsible for the safe implementation on-site. He is your contact throughout the project period. Your first project will start on Monday at 8 o’clock in the morning. You and the other volunteers will be picked up by the team coordinator. Basically, you will work five days a week from 8 o’clock until 16 o’clock, however, depending on the project, the working hours may vary. The weekends are free. There are sometimes also projects that last ten days, followed by several days off. The project locations are changed weekly or after two weeks to offer you as much variety as possible during the program. So if you, for example, plan to attend six weeks, you take part in at least three different projects in the proximity of your chosen location. The projects start every week, so your minimal participation is one week. However, we recommend that you participate for at least four weeks in order to experience different projects and places.
It is also possible to choose different locations to explore as much of Australia as possible. You could, for example, start with a four-week project in Melbourne and then attend a two-week project in Adelaide. Your work may include planting trees, weeding, building fences and roads, protection of endangered species, surveys of flora and fauna, various conservation works, collecting seeds and environmental monitoring. During some weeks, you have projects with specific objectives, which means that you may have to do the same tasks every day. In other project weeks, it may be that you have many different tasks daily.
At the end of your project period, you will get a certificate of your participation.
After your orientation, you will be transferred either to a local volunteer shelter or to a regional accommodation, which can either be a volunteer house, a caravan, a hostel, a bungalow or a tent, depending on the project and location. Because of the different possibilities, it is very important that you bring a sleeping bag. You will share the bedrooms and bathrooms with the other volunteers. Since you will live together with them, you will quickly get to know various people from all over the world and spend your free time together. The meals are usually divided into breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast consists of cereal, bread or toast, tea and coffee, lunch mostly of homemade sandwiches and fruit, and dinner is a hot meal. There are also vegetarian options. For very special nutrition requirements, you may have to pay on your own. The meals are prepared together and afterwards it is cleaned up together. The volunteers are responsible for order and tidiness.
Everybody interested in volunteering abroad should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, we would like to point out the importance of being flexible and adaptable regarding the accommodation and sanitary facilities provided by the project. Those are very basic and – depending on the project – cannot be compared to European standards. The equipment and furnishings are limited to a minimum; air conditioning is not available. Depending on your host country occasional power blackouts or water outages are quite common. Please contact us if you have further questions about your accommodation. We are pleased to provide you with comprehensive information since we would like you to feel entirely prepared for your time abroad.
After your work and during your free weekends, you have time to get to know the other volunteers, to take walks and explore the area, to educate yourself or simply to relax in order to start the next day with full enthusiasm. The most project locations are not in close proximity to the city in which your orientation was. Therefore, we recommend that you schedule some time before or after your project to visit them. We are happy to help you in your planning.
Australia’s natural environment is one of the most biodiverse on the planet. A large number of endemic (i.e. species which only exist in one region) animal and plant species have developed here over millions of years. You don’t need to look far in the outback or the tropical rainforest to find lifeforms which are perfectly adapted to their environment. But Australia’s sensitive natural environment is under threat from anthropogenic (human) pollution, intensive agriculture, invasive species, which threaten native fauna by destroying their habitat and competing with them for food, as well as climate change, which is leading to the loss of more and more native species. Wide-ranging environmental monitoring and nature and species conservation measures are therefore essential in order to maintain the natural biodiversity of Australia.