Conservation Volunteers Australia

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Conservation Volunteers Australia


Conservation Volunteers Australia

Ever wanted to volunteer on an environmental project, but not sure what you'd like or where to go? 

The wonderful team from Conservation Volunteers Australia gives us a bit of insight into their organisation and invites you to get in touch with them to find the ideal volunteering opportunity for you!

Conservation Volunteers Australia Team

Tell us a bit about the aims and purpose of Conservation Volunteers.

Conservation Volunteers Australia has partnered with individuals, businesses and governments in the conservation of our unique environment since 1982. In that time we have welcomed hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around Australia and across the world and supported their participation in a diversity of important projects to protect and enhance our environment.

Conservation Volunteers’ strength is our ability to mobilise the community through well managed and effective programs. Our volunteers come from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences and give their time freely to help. Our expertise as an organisation in training and managing community volunteers turns their efforts into a major force for environmental good. We also contribute to the overall health and well-being of volunteers and people that participate in our programs.

Our Vision – Inspiring change by connecting people with nature.

Our Mission – To attract and manage volunteers to participate in projects that protect or enhance our environment and heritage.

Our Goals

  1. Conserve To increase resilience through the protection, maintenance and restoration of the environment – Landscapes, habitats, species and heritage
  2.  Volunteer Experiences To inspire and empower everyone to make a positive contribution to conservation, through the provision of practical nature based experiences and skill development

iii.     Partnerships To maximise effectiveness of partnerships for mutual benefit – government, corporate, indigenous, not for profit, community

  1. Sustainability To be a safe and sustainable organisation through effective management, striving for continuous improvement – people, finances, marketing and communication

Our Values

  1. Empowerment We empower people to lead and make a difference
  2.  Safety Together, we strive for an injury and illness free workplace where everyone goes home safe and healthy

iii.     Trust and respect We operate in an ethical and professional manner and hold ourselves accountable to our vision, partners, volunteers and community

  1. Passion Our strength and vitality lie in being one organisation, passionate about working together with communities to conserve nature
  2. Care Our success depends on the active involvement of people and partners whose lives and livelihoods are intrinsically linked to nature
Conservation Volunteers Australia Working Together

What are the organisations origins… how did it all come about?

Conservation Volunteers was founded when discussion of environmental issues was fresh, vibrant and a touch radical. It was also a ‘different world’ from today’s: more Australians had a connection to the land; young people anticipated a career for life; private transport was less available; inbound tourism was in its infancy.  Since our foundation in 1982 in Ballarat Victoria, we have grown into Australasia’s leading practical conservation organisation with offices across Australia and New Zealand.

Please share with us some of the most memorable or significant volunteering projects you have done in the past.

In 2015, Conservation Volunteers lunched the One Reef program in collaboration with Greening Australia, BirdLife Australia and Wetland Care Australia, focusing on mobilising community to make a tangible and practicable on ground difference.

In 2015, Conservation Volunteers merged with WetlandCare Australia; a powerful union that brings together expertise, knowledge, capacity and resources to make a demonstrable difference to conservation of wetlands and the broader environment

In 2016, Conservation Volunteers launched the Rewilding the Desert program in collaboration with FAUNA Research Alliance to rewild Australia’s deserts, starting with our properties in the Wimmera region of Western Victoria.

Conservation Volunteers Australia Rewilding

What projects are currently available for volunteers to take part in?

Each regional office undertakes projects that volunteers can join each week. The number of projects being run depends on the location and also the season. More information about the projects can be found on the website. Select Get Involved, Volunteer, and then choose your state of interest. Any one that is interested can also get in contact with their local CVA office for further information.

Do you have any long term ongoing projects that people could be involved with for a significant length of time, if they wished?

Many of our project sites are visited by teams of volunteers on a regular basis, volunteers can choose to book onto these projects via our website.

What future projects do you have planned?

Our projects are designed through local environmental need and are therefore changing all of the time. The best way to stay updated on all upcoming projects is to contact your local office and ask to be added to their eNews mailing list so you will receive our monthly newsletter to let you know about any new projects.

How do people become involved as volunteers on your projects?

Conservation Volunteers welcomes people with a love of the outdoors and interest in the environment to get involved. Our volunteers include students, professionals, international visitors, retirees, in fact almost anybody can get involved. You don’t need any prior skills or experience, just a reasonable level of health and fitness.  People can book online, or call into one of our many offices around the country.

What type of tasks might they be doing?

When you participate in one of our conservation projects, you are placed in teams of up to 10 volunteers on projects in urban, regional and remote locations. Team Leaders provide training on-site. Activities include:  Tree planting;  Walking trail construction;  Wildlife surveys; Seed collection;  Weed control;  Conservation fencing; Heritage restoration.

What about transport to projects… do volunteers get themselves there, or is there any transport organised?

Project related transport is included.  Volunteers need to make their way to either the meeting point or the office. Details are included on the website regarding where the meeting location is for each project.

Conservation Volunteers Australia Transport

I believe some of your projects do have costs for volunteers… can you explain what these are for?

Daily projects are free of charge, but for residential programs involving an overnight stay there are some small costs involved to cover transport, accommodation and meals. 

I understand you offer various educational courses… tell us a bit about those.

Conservation Skills Centre is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO code 4624) that delivers training in conservation skills and knowledge and community capacity building, only open to group bookings, not individuals.  We are committed to training people and organisations to be stronger in individual capacity and collectively in communities. 

Conservation Skills Centre trains both in accredited courses:

AHC10116 Certificate I Conservation and Land Management and  CHC14015 Certificate I in Active Volunteering

Conservation Volunteers Australia Training

How do people become a member of Conservation Volunteers Australia, what does it cost, and what does this entitle members to?

Our mission is urgent. The environment needs our support and help now, more than ever. There’s no time to waste and there’s plenty to do!  Membership is important. Members bring strength in numbers. The support is part of a growing group of members, and proves that you care about our environment. Every new member helps Conservation Volunteers Australia attract more support to protect our landscapes, wildlife and heritage.

Membership benefits

  1. Conservation Volunteer News, full of informative stories and eco-tips, sent to you three times a year
  2. eNews email newsletter with the latest in volunteer projects, competitions and events
  3. A sticker to show the world your support for conservation
  4. Discounted conservation gifts and merchandise from our online store
  5. Opportunities to join our regular conservation training programs and social activities

Membership categories

  1. Individual $75 non-voting / $125 voting
  2. Young member $35 non-voting (only available to those age 23 and under)
  3. International member $100 non-voting (only available to members outside Australia)
  4. Corporate member $2,000 non-voting


A non-voting member is a person who has paid the membership fee and is provided with all the benefits of membership in return. A voting member pays the fee and also is provided with these benefits, but in addition has rights and obligations according to Conservation Volunteers Australia’s constitution. To become a voting member, you have to agree to be bound by the constitution. If you do not specifically agree to be bound by the constitution, you are a non-voting member. A copy of the constitution is available on request by phoning 1800 032 501. Voting membership carries with it legal obligations and rights as defined by the constitution.

Anything else you would like to share? 

The safety of our volunteers is paramount to CVA. It is therefore important that volunteers pay careful attention to what they should wear and bring with them on the day. This is summarised in this short YouTube video, along with a general introduction to CVA.

About Conservation Volunteers Australia itself? 

Conservation Volunteers is a gateway organisation that allow members from the community to become involved in on-ground conservation initiatives in a fun and safe environment. Our experienced Team Leaders mean that you do not need to have any prior knowledge or experience as all training is provided on the day. The number of projects also means that a regular time commitment is not required, you can just join us whenever you have a free day. Registrations are essential though as we can cater to only a certain number of volunteers each day.

About your own passions for the environment and conservation and how that influenced you getting involved with it? 

Everyone that works at CVA believes that together we can make a difference to the environment and we love engaging with people from across the community and providing the opportunity for them to connect with nature.

What is the best way for people to find out more or get in contact with your organisation?

All the information about CVA can be found at www.cva.org.au or each local office can be contacted for further information about each specific region.


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