Volunteer in Australasia

Explore beautiful communities, coasts and cultures.

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

Overview

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 SDGs, we are committed to ethical and sustainable engagement with our local partners and communities.
  • Communities first: We have established long-term relationships with local community leaders and organisations to ensure all our work is orientated towards sustainable, durable change.

 

Internships, professional apprenticeships and research fellowships

We also offer a range of internships, professional apprenticeships and cutting-edge research fellowships which are the perfect way to supercharge your career. Through practical hands-on experiences and mentorship from industry experts, you’ll gain career-boosting expertise that will set you apart in the job market. Plus, some of our programs even offer the added advantage of work placements and career guarantees, ensuring your path to success.

Our programs

Volunteering
Early Childhood Development in Fiji
Volunteering
Volunteer Public Health Project in Fiji
Research Fellowship
Early Childhood Development Research Fellowship in Fiji
Professional Apprenticeship
International Development Apprenticeship in Fiji
Internship
Community Development Internship in Fiji
Volunteering
Community Development Expedition in Fiji
Volunteering
Volunteer with Children in Fiji
Internship
Teaching Internship in Fiji
Volunteering
Rainwater Harvesting and Water Security in Fiji
Internship
Global Health Internship in Fiji
Included in your program, at no extra cost

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Offered once a month, expand your adventure with GVI Experiences. These are just some of the activities offered on your program!
Learn to cook iTaukei food
Make a traditional drink from kava root
Learn indigenous plant medicine
Hike to the top of Tova Peak
Fish with iTaukei women
Weave a traditional mat
Visit Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park
Boat to Leleuvia Island
Location

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 its 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, standing at 646 metres tall. Though demanding, the climb is truly rewarding – 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.
Programs

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

Public Health Volunteering

Our community partners in Fiji are the districts of Dawasamu and Bureiwai. Public health volunteers in Fiji work on the following health, nutrition and sanitation initiatives: 

  • Create interactive workshops on hygiene and sanitation best practice, including Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) awareness workshops.
  • Promote the importance of a healthy eating through better understanding of nutrition and the benefits of a balanced diet.
  • Assist in delivering healthcare workshops to the local community in Dawasamu.
  • Promote the importance of preventive health measures.

 

Volunteering with children and early childhood development 

We have several opportunities for volunteers in Australasia who want to work in the area of 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 – 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. 

 

Rainwater harvesting and water security in Fiji 

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. 
FAQs

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.