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In many countries, health, rescue and construction resources exist to cope with the immediate consequences of a disaster, as a result foreign volunteers may not be needed. In fact, well-intentioned foreigners lacking familiarity with the local language and customs may complicate the process of recovery. Highly skilled specialists whose help has been specifically requested by the affected government or by aid and development agencies are exceptions.

To find out what specific skills Australian non-government organisations are seeking in volunteers for overseas work, contact the volunteer sending organisations directly. Many agencies are seeking volunteers to work in non-emergency situations to help communities in the developing world. While assignments are referred to as 'volunteer', in most cases travel expenses and a basic living allowance are paid. In most instances, to apply for these volunteer programs, you are required to be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency status.

Most aid and development agencies also welcome volunteers to undertake fundraising, education and advocacy work in Australia.

ACFID member agencies specialising in recruiting volunteers:

Australian Business Volunteers

Australian Doctors International

Australian Red Cross

Australian Volunteers International

International Nepal Fellowship

RedR Australia

Engineers Without Borders

Other useful links:

ACFID - Internships in the aid and development sector
Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID)
Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD)
Oxfam Australia Volunteer Database
Palms Australia
World Youth International Australia (WYI)
Youth Challenge Australia (YCA)

Volunteer matching organisations


ACFID Casual Register

Are you interested in working with ACFID? From time to time we have a requirement for casual staff for short-term administrative work in our Secretariat in Canberra. If you would like to be contacted about future opportunities, please complete the ACFID Employment Application Formand send it with your resume to

We're for Australian Aid

Contact ACFID


Phone: 02 6285 1816

Secretariat contact details

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Information about ACFID's member agencies, including contact details and the countries where they work.