Frequently asked questions about volunteering

Answers to the most common questions asked about volunteers and how you can become one.


What do volunteers do at the Australian Museum?

At the main site of the Australian Museum at 1 William St, Sydney front-of-house volunteers help Museum visitors while behind-the-scenes volunteers help scientists and other Museum staff in most departments of the Museum. Very occasionally volunteers may assist on Australian Museum field trips too.

There are also special projects including volunteers working from home on line as virtual volunteers using email or other web based programs.

Volunteers with specific skills also volunteer at the Australian Museum Lizard Island Research Station on the northern Great Barrier Reef in Queensland.

How can I become a volunteer?

Firstly read about the various types of volunteering on offer listed in the links on the right hand side of this webpage and decide what you would like to do. Be sure to check if there are any new projects needing volunteers in the 'Current volunteer vacancies' section on this webpage.

If you would like to be a front-of-house or behind-the scenes volunteer helping at the main Australian Museum site at 1 William St, Sydney then contact Isobel Kindley.

To volunteer at the Lizard Island Research Station you must contact Lizard Island directly. Click on the link on the right hand side of this webpage to find out how you can volunteer at Lizard Island.

Other special volunteering projects will tell you how to make contact.

Is there any age limit to start volunteering?

You must be 18 years of age to participate in the volunteer program.

Are there any specific qualifications and experience that I need to be a volunteer?

Our volunteers come from all backgrounds and age groups, but are united by a love of Australia's nature and culture.

The most important skills required are an ability to communicate and a willingness to listen and learn. Attention to detail, patience, physical dexterity and some computing skills could be helpful too.

Some science knowledge or skill may be an advantage but is certainly not essential.

How much time do I need to commit?

Front-of-house volunteers can volunteer on any day of the week and are expected to  commit to volunteer one day a week or fortnight on a regular basis. A typical day begins at 9.30am and runs through to 3.00pm.

Behind-the-scenes volunteer commitments varies with the type of task to be performed. Most behind-the-scenes volunteering is offered Monday to Friday between the hours to 9am to 5pm. Volunteers are expected to make a commitment to volunteer one day a week or fortnight on a regular basis. Please note that there is no weekend behind-the-scenes volunteering available.

Special volunteering projects and at Lizard Island Research Station have their own time requirements.

What training is provided?

All volunteers are trained either by going to an intensive training course or 'on the job' by their staff supervisors.The Museum is committed to mantaining a safe work environment so this is a very important part of volunteer training. There are also policies to read and understand as well as skills to learn specific to the type of volunteering task that you will be doing. 

Do you advertise for volunteers?

Sometimes new types of volunteering opportunities are advertised in this section of this website. Please check back regularly for new opportunities.

Is there anything else I should know about being an Australian Museum volunteer?

All volunteers are required to support the Australian Museum's mission and purpose and adhere to all policies, guidelines and procedures.

Are there any fossil dig expeditions I can volunteer for?

The Australian Museum has a very popular Dinosaurs gallery and a fossil collection of more than 125,000 specimens. There are no fossil dig expeditions organised by the Museum that volunteers can join. However there are many like minded people in Australia and I can suggest three websites as starting points for you to explore. In Queensland search for the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum near Winton and there is a website for tourists who would like to dig for fossils in the tropics. Search for Mineral Collector to find the website that lists mineral and fossil associations in Australia.

I would like to apply for paid work at the Museum. Where are Museum job vacancies advertised?

All current job vacancies are advertised on this Australian Museum website. Click on the link on the right hand side of this webpage called Working at the Australian Museum. They are also advertised on the Jobs NSW website, which has all current NSW Public Service vacancies listed.

Isobel Kindley , Volunteers Coordinator
Last Updated: