Step 2

Step 2

You may already have a favourite charity or not-for-profit organisation that you would like to volunteer with.  If you do, please ensure they meet the Australian Tax Office's (ATO) intended definition of what a charity organisation is:

  • an entity that is also a trust fund or an institution
  • exists for the public benefit or the relief of poverty
  • its purposes are charitable within the legal sense of that term
  • a non-profit, and
  • its sole purpose is charitable.

Please note, some organisations charge a fee to undertake volunteering with them to cover any associated costs.  As Macquarie University is a not-for-profit itself, it is not possible for the University to pay any sum of money to another charity or not-for-profit.  Instead, you may wish to organise a fund-raiser on behalf of your charity and donate any items or money raised.

Our partners booklet is a great resource for departments to contact organisations who have already, or would love, to host Macquarie University volunteers in the future.

Once you have decided on which organisation you are going to volunteer with, move on to the next step:

If you need help deciding on a charity type, check out our tips page to assist you further.  If you need help selecting a potential charity, here are some organisation suggestions that previous Macquarie volunteers have visited:

Boomerang Bags

Boomerang Bags is a not-for-profit, community initiative aimed at reducing the use of plastic bags by engaging local communities in the development of a free, sustainable alternative.

The initiative involves the installation of Boomerang bag boxes at shops, stocked with reusable bags. Customers borrow the bags if they have forgotten their own and return on subsequent visits, thereby reducing plastic bag consumption in the long term.

Volunteers provide help by hand making the bags, using donated second hand materials. This involves cutting, ironing, stamping and sewing. Basic sewing skills are taught.

LocationAvalon Community Centre
59 Old Barrenjoey Road
Recommended Team Size1-10
Day & TimeHalf day: Tuesdays only, 1pm - 4:30pm
Lead Time1-2 weeks in advance to arrange
ContactLaurel Wood
0410 608 315


Getting outdoors and participating in a bushcare session is a great team building volunteer activity, and is available right here on the campus! Volunteers have turned a bare and degraded riparian zone along Mars Creek into a healthy habitat through their hard work.

Teams of staff volunteers will spend their time removing weeds to regenerate areas of bushland on campus. This volunteering activity is coordinated by John Macris, Macquarie University’s Biodiversity Planner.

LocationOn campus
Recommended Team Size7-15
Day & TimeHalf day:  morning (9:30 - 10:30am) or afternoon (1:30 - 4:30pm), September to mid-November (before it gets too hot)
Lead TimeContact 3 weeks in advance to arrange
ContactJohn Macris
02 9850 4103

Dress For Success

Dress for Success Sydney is a registered charity that improves the employability of women in need in NSW by providing, free of charge, professional clothing, a network of support and the career development tools to help women achieve self-sufficiency.

Volunteers activities include sorting donated clothes, refreshing showroom stock, assisting with mock interviews and various other tasks required.

Location132 Marrickville Road
Recommended Team Size1-6
Day & TimeFull day:  Fridays, 10am - 3:30pm
Lead TimeAt least 4 weeks in advance to arrange
Contact02 9517 9537 
DonationsRelies on donations of professional work clothing.  Clients are provided with suites and other items of apparel for interview and returning to work.  Organising a collection drive in the lead up to the volunteering is a great way to also contribute to this charity.  Details of donation needs are on the website.

Easy Care Gardening

The Easy Care gardening service assists frail, aged and people with a disability to stay in their own home and help create an enjoyable garden space.

Corporate volunteers assist with weeding, pruning, mowing and other garden maintenance. The day is supervised by an experienced team leader who has produced a full scope of works to turn the garden area into an easy care garden. All materials and tools required for the day are provided.

LocationClients' gardens in Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai, Ryde or Hunters Hill local government areas
Recommended Team Size1-15
Day & TimeHalf day: 9am - 12pm, 1pm - 4pm
Full day: 9am - 4pm
Lead TimeContact 6 weeks in advance to arrange for group volunteering (2 weeks in advance for individual)
Contact02 9983 1644 
NOTESBring your own gardening gloves

Motor Neurone Disease Association of New South Wales (MND NSW)

MND NSW is a registered charitable not for-profit organisation providing support and information for people with all types of motor neurone disease, their families and carers.

Corporate volunteers assist with general administration duties, including collating information packs and mail outs. From August there is an opportunity to assist with the collation of Christmas card packs for fund raising.

LocationGladesville Hospital
Building 4
Victoria Road
Recommended Team Size2-8
Day & TimeHalf day: 9:30am - 12:30pm
Full day: 9:30am - 4:30pm
Lead TimeContact 2 weeks in advance
Contact02 8877 0999

North Ryde Community Aid & Information Centre Inc. (NRCA)

NRCA is a not for profit organisation reliant on government funding and community generosity to deliver a range of services and assistance to the socially and financially disadvantaged in our community, particularly the frail aged living independently.

There are various activities for volunteers including organising and serving meals for the three weekly social gatherings, gardening projects or maintenance and domestic spring cleaning tasks or assistance in the clients’ homes. Leading up to Christmas, from mid-November to mid-December, there are opportunities to assist with the Christmas Cheer appeal, through gift-wrapping and sorting/packing hampers from donated gifts for local residents.  There might be an administrative project the team themselves would welcome your help with, such as newsletter writing, grant tendering or even office spring cleaning tasks.

Location4 Cutler Parade
North Ryde

Or clients' homes
Recommended Team Size2-10 (depending on volunteering activity)
Day & TimeHalf and full day options, with times depending on the activity
Lead Time4 weeks in advance for some activities.  Please contact the NRCA as the lead time depends on the activity and the number of volunteers in your team.
Contact02 9888 3380
DonationsNRCA operates an emergency community food aid program for local residents in need, and welcome donations of non-perishable food items.  They also organise an annual Christmas gift and hamper appeal, collecting donations of specialty Christmas food items as well as gifts for senior citizens.  For a list of donation food & gift ideas please contact NRCA or visit their website.

More Information

For further ideas on volunteering opportunities across a variety of interest areas visit the NSW Government's Volunteering website.

The volunteer leave can be taken as a full day or half day but must fall on a workday. In order to ensure organisational demands are met, staff are to discuss the volunteer leave with their Supervisor (especially if it involves a team of staff being out of the office) and a leave application has to be signed off before the volunteering takes place.

Remember to move onto step three once you've made your decision:

Go on, give a hand and make a difference!  Don't forget to take some photos of your volunteer experience and spread the good word amongst your colleagues!

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