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A person who willingly gives unpaid help in the form of time, service or skills through an organisation or group.


Voluntary work is an important contribution to national life. It meets needs within the community at the same time as it develops and reinforces social networks and cohesion.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2000 Voluntary Work, Australia Cat No. 4441.0. Canberra: ABS


The reimbursement of expenses in full or part (for example, token payments) or small gifts (for example, sports club T-shirts or caps) is not regarded as payment of salary, and people who receive these are still considered to be voluntary workers.

People who receive payment in kind for the work they do (for example, receiving farm produce as payment for work done on a farm, rather than cash) are not considered to be volunteers.

An organisation or group is any body with a formal structure. It may be as large as a national charity or as small as a local book club. Purely ad hoc, informal and temporary gatherings of people do not constitute an organisation.

Persons on Community Service Orders and other similar work programs are not considered volunteers.


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