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Volunteering remains an important aspect of hostel life. It provides an opportunity for guests to travel further and longer; practice language skills; gain practical experience and confidence; and to assist them in finding a pathway to paid employment. Volunteers give back to YHA by providing short term help with incidental tasks that would not otherwise be able to be completed.
Volunteers are YHA member guests who volunteer their help at a hostel. In exchange for helping, volunteers gain skills and work experience and may receive discounted or free accommodation and meals (if meals are part of the volunteer duty). You must be over 18 years of age at the time of volunteering.
Volunteers are typically active for no longer than 30 days at one hostel and with a maximum of 60 days across the YHA Australia network. In the event of a volunteer who helps at more than one hostel the limit applies cumulatively up to a maximum of 60 days.
YHA is obliged to exercise the same duty of care to volunteers as to other guests and paid employees. In addition, normal workplace requirements with respect for example, to no bullying or harassment would apply.
Volunteers, as non-employees are not covered by YHA’s workers compensation insurance. Instead YHA has volunteers cover which in the case of personal accident or injury is designed for the extent of the volunteer activities but it should be noted is not as comprehensive as workers compensation cover.
YHA recommends volunteers hold travel insurance which does not exclude cover for an accident while volunteering, however this is not compulsory to become a volunteer for YHA.