Discover your impact: something for everyone

The strength and power of the ASRC is found in our people, and volunteers are the lifeblood of our organisation. Without them, the ASRC would cease to exist.

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering and is held on 20-26 May 2024. This special event provides an opportunity to highlight the important role of volunteers in our community and invites people not currently volunteering to give it a go.

This week we say a massive THANK YOU to the incredible volunteers who have helped build the ASRC into the organisation it is today.

The ASRC began as a small food bank in 2001, run mostly by volunteers. As the needs of the people we support grew, so did the ASRC services and often it was volunteers who mobilised to meet the new demand.

“One person would turn up out of the blue and say ‘I can teach English’ and so that’s how English classes came about,”
says Joan, the ASRC’s longest-serving volunteer. “Then another volunteer came on board who could cook, so then we had the community foods program. The local community just showed up and provided.”

The ASRC started with just four volunteers and today we have over 470. Since opening our doors in 2001, more than 7,500 volunteers have given their time, skills, and resources to make Australia a more welcoming place for refugees and people seeking asylum.

Our volunteers come from all walks of life and all age groups from university students to retirees, adding richness of knowledge and providing experience that has expanded our services over the years.

We offer a diverse range of volunteer opportunities across all our programs, from working in our Foodbank or education program to utilising your skills as a qualified tradesperson or health professional – to name just a few. Each role requires a different set of skills, experience and availability.

“There are so many positions at the ASRC that no matter what someone’s skill set is, there would be something for them,”
says Cleo, who has been volunteering as an admin assistant with ASRC Cleaning for just over two months. “And even if their skills don’t align perfectly at the moment, they can just learn. It’s a completely supportive environment. I didn’t have all the skills that I need to do what I do at the ASRC when I started, but I was taught really well and if I have any problems with what I’m doing I’m completely free to ask for help.”

In becoming a volunteer, you are joining a movement of supporters and advocates who strengthen the organisation while creating positive change for people seeking asylum.

“Volunteers are the heartbeat of ASRC, igniting hope and transforming lives through their selfless dedication and unwavering support,” says Sana Haider Naqvi, Volunteer Engagement Lead.

Volunteering is one of the most powerful ways to make a real difference. You’ll make new friends, gain career and life experience and see the impact of your work on a daily basis.

“I want to say a huge happy volunteer week, and thank all of our incredible volunteers at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre,” says Kon Karapanagiotidis, Founder and CEO of the ASRC. “The only reason we’re still standing twenty-two-and-a half years later without the support of the Australian Government is because of the heart of our movement, and at the heart of our organisation are volunteers. You allow us to do things that people think are impossible, and you create a culture of welcome, love, hope and empowerment for people seeking asylum and refugees.

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