Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need formal qualifications?
No, you do not need formal qualifications. We need people with many different capabilities and backgrounds.
How long is the screening process and why do I have to go through it?
The screening process is like applying for a job. Once we receive your application, police check and medical form, we will call you to arrange a phone interview. Once you have been interviewed we will then call your referees. If you pass these first two steps you will be added to one of our workshops. This will usually be in your home state; ICV will cover costs if you have to travel to the workshop. The whole process can take up to several months.
How long will it take to be assigned a project?
ICV’s projects are driven and led by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that we work with. We work at their invitation and at their pace. All project placements are determined by the community. Our Community Development Officers assist in developing the project and identifying a suitable volunteer for the project, but the final decision on which volunteer will be placed on the project rests with the community. It is difficult to state with any certainty how long it will take until you go on a project. It could be quite quickly or there could be a longer period of time before you are placed on a project, it really depends on the level of demand from community for the skills that you have. ICV’s Community Development Officers are good points of contact for you on this process.
Do I have to get a new police check if I had one done recently?
Yes, ICV conducts a police check on all its volunteers. Some people already have police checks for other positions, but we have checks done to ensure that we protect the communities with whom we work. We pay for the police checks. The results of the police check are, of course, confidential.
Am I too young, too old to be a volunteer?
Anyone from 18 to 90 years of age can be a volunteer. If you have any questions, please contact the National Volunteer Manager for more information on 02 6122 6444.
Can I do a project with my partner?
Yes, people can register as a couple and request to do a project together. We often place teams in communities. You will need to fill out individual application forms but can indicate if you would like to travel together. We would also ask people to indicate if they are willing to do a project on their own as it is not always possible to place two people in a community. It may be more difficult, or take longer, to place couples on a project.
What skills are we looking for?
Demand from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities determines the particular skills that we are looking for. Communities and organisations request many different capabilities. To ensure we have the right volunteers for their needs, we encourage people with any skill to apply.
How long are projects?
The length of our projects is determined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. They can range from a few days to many months. We are increasingly conducting projects of longer-term duration. Also, some of our projects can have a number of stages. The stages can be completed by the same volunteer if they are available, or by different volunteers.
Can I still apply to volunteer if I have limited time?
Yes, you can apply regardless of your availability. Of course the more restrictions or considerations attached to your application, the lower the likelihood of you being placed on a project. Depending on the project and other variables - e.g. seasons, availability of accommodation etc - some communities can be flexible about when a project begins. If you are the volunteer they have chosen, they may adapt the timing of the project to fit in with your schedule. Please note that our screening process can take up to several months and this must done before you go out on a project.
I am self employed, who do I list as a professional referee?
If you own your own business you can list clients with whom you have dealings.
I have a medical condition, can I volunteer?
Yes, as long as it is safe for you to do so. As part of the application process, you are required to complete a medical check. On this form your doctor verifies that your health status is suitable for you to volunteer with ICV. We do not discriminate against people with health or other disabilities. If you do have a medical condition, you may be placed on one of the many projects that we conduct in urban settings where access to medical and health services is available. All volunteers are required to have a new medical check every two years if you wish to continue volunteering with ICV.
Who provides accommodation while I am volunteering?
Accommodation for our volunteers is the responsibility of the community where the project is to be done. Accommodation varies from community to community. ICV checks with communities regarding the suitability of the accommodation and in the majority of cases will have inspected the accommodation prior to placing a volunteer in the community. The volunteer can also speak directly with the community before the beginning of their project in order to confirm suitability of the accommodation.
Is travel to the project organised and paid for by ICV?
Yes. ICV organises and pays for reasonable travel expenses to and from the project.
Is food provided?
ICV provides a small volunteer allowance to help meet your day-to-day expenses, including food. The daily rate varies depending on the location of the community that you will be travelling to. ICV pays your allowance directly into your bank account. Your Community Development Officer will arrange the payment. Many volunteers choose to donate this allowance back to ICV in order to help our programs go further.
What if I have to transit a town or city to get to my project?
Sometimes it is not possible to get you to the community in a single day; you may need to stay overnight somewhere in transit. ICV organises and pays for your accommodation in this case. Occasionally, breakfast may be included as a packaged room rate; if this is not the case the volunteer is responsible for meeting these day-to-day expenses from their volunteer allowance.
What is the ICV Workshop?
The ICV Workshop (ICVW) is a two day workshop that provides volunteers with important cross-cultural awareness and other information to assist you in preparing for your project. The workshop is also an important way for us to explain to what you can expect from ICV and also discuss your responsibilities to us. The many hundreds of volunteers that we assign to projects each year are the face of our organisation, so it is critical ICV volunteers understand and demonstrate our values when they are working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The ICVW is the last part of our screening process, it is chance for staff and volunteers to discuss ICV’s values and operations and decide whether we are a good fit for each other.
Am I insured while I am volunteering?
Yes, while you are volunteering, from the date you leave home to the day you return, you are covered by ICV’s insurance.
Why do I need to provide referees on my volunteer application?
Referee checks are part of our screening procedures that help ensure that the highest quality people are available to support the communities we work with.
How are volunteers chosen for a project?
Once the screening process has been completed, including our ICVW, volunteers are registered on ICV’s volunteer database. Our Community Development Officers may then contact you to see if you are interested and available for a project. If you are, our Community Development Officers will discuss your application - and possibly others - with the community to help them make a decision. Our Community Development Officers stay in touch with our volunteers throughout this whole process.