The SSI Volunteer Program provides friendship and practical support for recently arrived refugees, humanitarian entrants and asylum seekers. Regular induction courses provide volunteers with a detailed introduction to the organisation and its services. Volunteers have a choice of several programs which they can support, from assisting new arrivals to do their shopping to facilitating recreational activities.

three women volunteers preparing a meal
Some of the volunteers who help at Community Kitchen.

How can you help?

Volunteers can get involved in a number of activities to help newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers, such as:

  • Taking individuals and families food shopping
  • Helping newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers to become more familiar with the Sydney region
  • Assisting with transport education
  • Assisting with excursions and social activities designed to help individuals and families in the early stages of resettlement
  • Accompanying individuals to essential appointments
  • Linking individuals with relevant community organisations and events
  • Assisting with the preparation and serving of a fortnightly community meal for refugees and asylum seekers living in the community
  • Interacting with individuals at regular community initiatives such as the community garden
  • Engaging with mothers and children in a playgroup setting and helping to coordinate children’s activities

A soccer team of players from Afghan backgrounds
Volunteers can support SSI clients to pursue sports and other activities. 

During the past year the program has:

  • linked newly arrived asylum seekers to various community groups and organisations including Tamil, Sikh, and Hazara youth community organisations
  • provided language support, including with learning English
  • helped run SSI Community Kitchens
  • recruited newly arrived refugees to the program
  • participated in community cultural events
  • supported events for asylum seekers and refugees

How to become a volunteer

Joining our Volunteer Program is easy. Apply to become a volunteer by visiting the Volunteer Opportunities page, at the link below:

Volunteer Opportunities

Alternatively, call: 1800 912 823

Success stories

SSI Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Vile

Courtesy The Australian: Ethiopian refugee Adi Tefera, left, with volunteer chef Kate Spina at Four Brave WomenSue Vile was among the first to be inducted into the SSI’s Armidale volunteer program, bringing with her a wealth of experience and existing training gathered from her time in aid work, in Australia and abroad.

A retired school teacher and nurse, Sue has dedicated an enormous amount of her time in recent years on the front line of humanitarian services, helping refugees at many stages of their journey to safety.


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