Go further in Australasia

Background map

Volunteer in Australasia

Discover a region famed for its pristine beaches and friendly people.

Volunteer in Australasia and make a meaningful contribution to locally- lead community and climate projects, while putting your practical skills to the test in the remote volcanic wilderness of some of the world’s most beautiful islands.

Positive<br/>impact

Positive
impact

Build a better world by contributing to vital, locally-led project work that strives for a more just and equitable future.
Ethical<br/>work

Ethical
work

In line with the UN’s SDGs, we are committed to ethical and sustainable engagement with our local partners and communities.
Beautiful<br/>community

Beautiful
community

Learn from the world’s most unique and significant cultures, in breathtaking remote locations.

Australasia volunteer projects

Overview
Location
Programs
FAQs

Our Australasia volunteer programs are based in Fiji.

Volunteers in Australasia can contribute their skills, time and passion to the following projects: 

As a volunteer in Australasia, your work across all our projects will be guided by the following core principles:

  • Positive impact: Build a better world by contributing to vital, locally-led project work that strives for a more just and equitable future. 
  • Ethical work: In line with the UN’s SDGs, we are committed to ethical and sustainable engagement with our local partners and communities.
  • Communities first: We have established and long-term relationships with local community leaders and organisations to ensure all our work is orientated towards sustainable, durable change. 

Volunteer in Australasia – our base 

Our volunteer projects in Australasia are based in rural Fiji

Fiji, a country in the South Pacific, is an archipelago of more than 300 islands. It’s famed for rugged volcanic islands, palm-lined beaches and colourful coral reefs. Most of the population can be found on the country’s two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Our base is located in Dawasamu – pronounced: DA-WA-SAH-MOO – in the east of Viti Levu, which is also home to the capital city, Suva. 

Dawasamu is a district dotted with traditional Fijian settlements that have limited sources of income and remain relatively untouched by the tourist industry. The livelihoods, economies, and ways of life of the people in these villages depend almost exclusively on the environment and natural resources found both on land and at sea – primarily subsistence fishing. The importance of protecting these resources through sustainable management is crucial, especially as the threat of climate change looms. 

Once on base, volunteers’ first few days with us will be spent training. This includes a breakdown of GVI’s rules and regulations, an introduction to Fijian culture, and a tour of the village you will be calling home for the duration of your stay. 

Volunteer in Australasia – adventure and wellness 

Volunteers in Australasia will have a chance to explore the sights, sounds and secrets of this beautiful island nation. Below is a taste of the experiences and adventures on offer in Australasia. 

  • Food: Learn to cook iTaukei food from members of the local women’s group who host weekly traditional cooking lessons in their home. 
  • Culture: Learn how to brew yaqona, a traditional drink made from kava root and used in traditional ceremonies. You’ll visit the local plantation where kava is planted, and learn how to harvest, dry and then pound it.
  • Wellness: Attend a class workshop on traditional plants and their medicinal uses, hosted by the Silana Women’s Group.
  • Adventure: Hike to the top of Tova Peak, a 646m high, challenging climb, but well with it – the view from the top is astounding. The South Pacific Ocean stretches out before you, with other islands, including Vanua Levu, Nangani, Motoriki and Ovalau, on show.
  • Coral: Visit Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park, a small, uninhabited island laced with coral reefs, masses of colourful reef fish and sea turtles, while the adjoining landscape of coastal forests is alive with crested iguanas and tree frogs. The park boasts some of the most spectacular diving and snorkelling in Fiji.

Volunteers in Australasia have the opportunity to focus on any of the following crucial community development projects:

Public Health Volunteering in Australasia

Our community partner in Fiji is the District Nurse’s office. Public health volunteers in Fiji will work closely with local community health workers on the following health, nutrition and sanitation priorities: 

  • Create interactive workshops on hygiene and sanitation best practice, including Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) awareness workshops.
  • Conduct supplementary research to assist the district nurse to collate information about individual villages, particularly with a focus to assist in diagnosis of problem areas, and monitoring recurring ailments.
  • Promote the importance of a healthy eating through better understanding of nutrition and the benefits of a balanced diet.
  • Promote the importance of controlling the disposal of non-recyclable waste.
  • Promote the importance of preventive health measures.

 

Volunteer teaching and working with children in Australasia 

We have several opportunities for volunteers in Australasia who want to work in and research early childhood development, or focus more generally on teaching. The projects may vary depending on your specific focus, but they are orientated towards the following core goals: 

  • Facilitating workshops for young children aimed at delivering cognitive, emotional, social and physical skills.
  • Teaching concepts such as number sense, number concept, number development, spatial orientation and spatial insight. 
  • Delivering short courses to caregivers communicating the importance of early childhood development and how children can be supported in their development at home.

 

Volunteer with children in Australasia – training and ethics 

Volunteers in Australasia focused on working with children will be provided with special training on the science behind early childhood development. All training and support is provided by our own local field staff. Additionally, volunteers will always be accompanied by local community members and project partners to facilitate these sessions.

Safety is our number one priority. We take several steps to ensure children remain safe, healthy and protected across all our programs. This is part of our broader mission 

to ensure that ethical best practices are upheld to protect all youth involved while empowering local communities.

At GVI:

  • Our early childhood development programs don’t allow volunteers to work with children in residential care. We don’t support orphanage volunteering and you can read more about our stance and policy here. 
  • All our staff and participants are required to complete a police background check before arrival on the program. 
  • We regularly review our comprehensive Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy and on-site child protection training is provided once volunteers arrive in their host country. 
  • We also protect children from cyber and real-world threats by ensuring that our marketing follows child protection best practices. 

 

Volunteer in Australasia – international development internship in Fiji

This international development internship offers you the opportunity to get involved in a host of sustainable development initiatives, the goals and priorities of which are discussed and determined in collaboration with the local community of the Dawasamu District. Each project is also aligned to one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

The core focuses of our sustainable development project in Fiji include:

  • health awareness
  • education enrichment
  • gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • water conservation, sanitation and waste management
  • environmental management and protection.

 

Volunteer in Australasia – rainwater harvesting and water security in Fiji 

Working with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and local community leaders, volunteers in Australasia will focus on a range of sustainable measures to protect the most valuable of natural resources – water. Your work will include:

  • Installing sustainable waste management systems.
  • Installing rainwater harvesting systems, as a long term solution to water shortages in the region.
  • Installing hand washing stations to promote healthy sanitation practices.

Who can join a community development program in Australasia? 

Anyone over 18 (including college students and gap year students), people on a career break, and older adults can join our Australasia community development volunteering or internship programs at just about any time throughout the year. 

If you’re under 18 and want to join a community development volunteering program, we offer a wide selection of opportunities all over the world. You can find more information on our teens volunteering page.

Is volunteering in Australasia safe?

Extremely safe. We take every precaution to make sure our participants live and work safely, no matter where they are in the world. We have trained support staff on hand 24 hours a day to ensure that all participants across all our programs are well taken care of.

You can speak directly to one of our enrolment officers or alumni, who can answer any and all questions you might have about life in Fiji or life on the GVI base. 

Is volunteering in Australasia ethical? 

GVI’s programs are compliant with rigorous ethical guidelines. We employ on the ground ethics officers to ensure that our projects follow rigorous and current best practices and standards. We are governed by our ten ethical principles and five human empowerment principles. We also hold a badge of ethics – our dedication to continuously reflect on and improve our policies and practices. 

Each of our programs is aligned to one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). 

You can read about the work we’ve done with the help of volunteers and interns like you in our Impact and Ethics Report

GVI is a British Standards 8848 compliant provider

Tell me more about life as a volunteer in Australasia! 

Our volunteers in Australasia live in shared bures (traditional huts). You’ll live and work with other volunteers, interns and GVI staff from all over the world. Living in an international community such as this with like-minded individuals is why many of our participants leave our programs with life-long friends. 

I’m interested. What are the next steps? 

Welcome! Click here to enquire or apply. One of our trusty enrolment officers will take it from there. 

Join a community internship and get an exclusive offer

Book by 31 October 2022
Share

New and Exclusive: GVI Experiences

A locally curated selection of extra activities are now included across our programs.

Learn to cook iTaukei food

Learn to cook iTaukei food

Make a traditional drink from kava root

Make a traditional drink from kava root

Learn indigenous plant medicine

Learn indigenous plant medicine

Hike to the top of Tova Peak

Hike to the top of Tova Peak

Fish with iTaukei women

Fish with iTaukei women

Weave a traditional mat

Weave a traditional mat

Visit Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park

Visit Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park

Boat to Leleuvia Island

Boat to Leleuvia Island