Volunteer policy


Volunteer means an individual who offers their services, skills and experiences of their own free will to perform agreed tasks, outside of those designated for paid staff, for no financial reimbursement for the benefit to Alex Read Theatre Performances Inc (ARTP), Community and the Volunteer.

Volunteering means time willingly given for the common good and of the volunteer’s own free will and without coercion; for no financial payment; and in designated volunteer positions only.

Principles of Volunteering

ARTP recognises and upholds the following principles of volunteering as set out by the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement (2015). We are committed to the following principles and these form part of our definition of volunteering with ARTP:

  • Volunteering benefits the community and the volunteer
  • Volunteer work is unpaid
  • Volunteering is always a matter of choice
  • Volunteering is not compulsorily undertaken to receive pensions or government allowances
  • Volunteering is a legitimate way in which citizens can participate in the activities of their community
  • Volunteering is a vehicle for individuals or groups to address human, environmental and social needs
  • Volunteering is an activity performed in the not-for-profit sector
  • Volunteering is not a substitute for paid work
  • Volunteers do not replace paid workers nor constitute a threat to the job security of paid workers
  • Volunteering respects the rights, dignity and culture of others; and
  • Volunteering promotes human rights and equality.

Alex Read Theatre Performances Inc (ARTP) is the organisation that volunteers work through to support activities through the Alex Theatre project and the art community within the City of Port Phillip.

Roles & responsibilities

Volunteer Services

Responsible for:

  • development and administration of volunteering through ARTP
  • advising staff within supported business on appropriate deployment and supervision of volunteers in line with this policy
  • supporting volunteer recruitment and volunteer on-boarding.
  • Volunteer supervisor
  • Staff within ARTP activities who coordinate programs that utilise volunteers and supervise volunteers on a day-to-day basis.

ARTP head

Responsible for the appropriate assignment and management of volunteers within their area of ARTP, in accordance with this policy.


For the purposes of this policy, includes Executive and non-Executive employees, as well as contractors and consultants as defined in the Code of Conduct for Alex Theatre Project Employees and supported businesses within the community of the City of Port Phillip.

Head of People

Responsible for overseeing the function of volunteering at ARTP.

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to articulate the framework that ensures volunteering at Alex Read Theatre Performances Inc (ARTP) is guided by fair and consistent principles and procedures that provide a positive experience and outcomes for volunteers, visitors and staff within the operations of ARTP.

This has been designed to:

  • Ensure that volunteers are protected not exploited
  • Provide healthy and safe working environments for volunteers
  • Ensure volunteers know what their roles are
  • Encourage other organisations to develop and maintain a comprehensive ‘program’ for managing volunteers in the City of Port Phillip; and
  • Help organisations involve and retain volunteers

2. Scope

This policy applies to all volunteers taking part in ARTP volunteer roles and staff supervising and/or working with volunteers at activities through ARTP. This policy encompasses but is not limited to:

  • legal and regulatory responsibilities
  • volunteer roles in ARTP
  • recruitment, supervision, management and termination/resignation of volunteers.

3. Policy

3.1 Statement

Volunteering Australia defines volunteering as ‘time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain’. Volunteers at ARTP make a significant contribution to ARTP and its community. We recognise and value the unique skills, experiences, insights and energy that volunteers bring to ARTP.

ARTP incorporates planning for volunteer involvement into our Strategic Plan, aligned with our organisational goals. Volunteers complement the role of paid staff by enhancing visitor experience and help ARTP to deliver value to its audiences and the community. Volunteers do not replace or reduce the number of paid staff required to maintain high-quality services in our community and are not used in a manner that undermines staffing.

Volunteering at ARTP provides a wide range of benefits to volunteers, including the opportunity to give back to the community, meet new people, be part of a team in a highly regarded local organisation and gain valuable knowledge, experience and skills. ARTP will utilise volunteers in ways that enhances their experiences, and complies with legislation and duty of care.

Volunteers have rights and responsibilities, including the right to perform their role in a safe and supportive environment with effective management practices.

The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement (2015) were developed by Volunteering Australia to guide and assist organisations when involving volunteers in unpaid but meaningful, relevant and useful activities. ARTP is committed to continuous improvement of its volunteer management practices, aligned with the Standards.

3.2 Volunteer roles

Volunteers and staff are considered partners in implementing the vision, values, programs and services of ARTP, with each having a complementary role to play. It is essential that volunteers and paid staff understand and respect the needs and responsibilities of one another.

Volunteer hours and attendance times will be negotiated between the volunteer and their supervisor based on the requirements of the role and the availability of the volunteer. The maximum regular commitment by a volunteer will be capped in line with Volunteering Australia guidelines.

Volunteers at the Alex Theatre participate in a structured volunteering program that may include front-of-house (public-facing) or back-of-house roles. Volunteer roles and opportunities are reviewed and varied in line with ARTP’s strategic direction.

All core work at ARTP is carried out by Volunteers or paid staff from supporting businesses. Volunteers make a valuable contribution to ARTP by undertaking value-added tasks that would not be delivered by ARTP if not carried out by volunteers. Volunteers do not replace staff or carry out the work of paid staff from supporting businesses.

Proposed volunteer roles are assessed by Volunteer Services for alignment with this policy, considering the following role characteristics:

  1. Is the role clearly defined, with a specific list of tasks and an agreed project scope if applicable?
  2. Is this a core role required for ARTP operations? (i.e. Would the work need to be done by staff from a supporting business if not carried out by a volunteer?)
  3. Was the work previously performed entirely or predominantly by a supporting business staff member?
  4. Would non-attendance or poor performance of this role have any significant risk the activities supported by ARTP?
  5. Will ARTP, visitors and the volunteer all benefit from the role being performed?

3.3 Recruitment and selection

Volunteering opportunities are available to people aged 18 years and over. Applicants must be permitted to volunteer in Australia under relevant visa conditions if applicable.

Recruitment of volunteers is coordinated by Volunteer Services in discussion with the engaging volunteer supervisor and ARTP head. The volunteer supervisor is responsible for interviewing and selecting candidates to meet the requirements of the volunteer role.

In accordance with its policies and legislation, ARTP embraces diversity and values the unique contributions of all people regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, age, religion, sexual preference, marital status, pregnancy, disability or carer responsibility. We are committed to providing an environment free of harassment and discrimination.

Volunteer roles may be promoted via ARTP’s website and through a range of volunteering recruitment and community organisations.

All volunteer applications are considered on a merit basis. Assessment of suitability include relevant experience and competencies that demonstrate the ability to achieve agreed outcomes, and capacity to attend at agreed times. Reference checks may be conducted as part of the assessment process.

Any possible conflict of interest a volunteer may have will be openly declared and satisfactorily resolved as soon as possible between the volunteer and ARTP.

ARTP has the right to offer or withhold an offer of a volunteer placement to any applicant based upon the availability of a suitable volunteer role for that applicant at that time. The offer of a volunteer role at the Alex Theatre is in no way a commitment to an offer of a future paid role at ARTP.

3.4 Responsibilities of volunteer

As part of the recruitment process and prior to commencing as a volunteer, volunteers must:

  • obtain a valid Working with Children Check if requested by ARTP for the role. ARTP also reserves the right to conduct police checks. Continued engagement as an ARTP volunteer will be subject to a satisfactory police check in accordance with role requirements, laws and ARTP policies applicable at that time.
  • participate in any requested interviews and training
  • acknowledge and agree to a ARTP Volunteer Agreement, ARTP’s Vision and Values, and all relevant policies and procedures, including but not limited to: Child Safe Code of Conduct, Visitor Services Standards and Code of Conduct for ARTP Employees
  • agree to ARTP’s Intellectual property policy in carrying out duties for ARTP. Copyright in all works produced by volunteers as part of their voluntary services will be assigned to ARTP in accordance with ARTP’s Intellectual property policy. ARTP will make all reasonable efforts to acknowledge and protect the moral rights of authors of copyright works. If ARTP intends to modify or adapt a work in any way, all reasonable steps will be taken to consult with the author and obtain a written agreement to approve such actions through a waiver of their moral rights.
  • cooperate with ARTP in any action it considers necessary to maintain a safe working environment
  • ensure the privacy and confidentiality of any information to which they have access is maintained as per ARTP policies
  • abide by ARTP media and online information dissemination policy and procedures

3.5 Supervision, support, and development

ARTP’s volunteer program is endorsed and supported by the ARTP’s Leadership Team and the ARTP Committee & Board.

ARTP heads are responsible for the appropriate request to engage, project assignment and management of volunteers within their activities, in accordance with this policy and associated procedures.

Volunteer supervisors assigned by ARTP heads to supervise and coordinate volunteers on a day-to-day basis will ensure that volunteers are supported in their role, in accordance with this policy and related procedures.

3.6 Recognition

ARTP acknowledges and appreciates the time and efforts volunteers provide. We are committed to acknowledging the contribution of volunteers and offer opportunities to attend special events, which may include professional development sessions, behind the scenes tours, an annual recognition function and social events throughout the year.

3.7 Grievances and complaints

Volunteers have the right to express grievances, concerns or dissatisfaction with the volunteer program or ARTP operations without adverse consequences. If a volunteer wishes to express their dissatisfaction they are encouraged to do so through ARTP’s Complaints and Grievance Policy and Procedure.

In accordance with ARTP’s Integrity Framework, complaints or grievances will be dealt with efficiently and in a manner that is equitable and fair to all involved. Wherever possible, all attempts will be made to informally resolve grievances at a local level through the volunteer’s supervisor (with support from Volunteer Services if required), prior to escalating grievances to a formal stage.

3.8 Performance and conduct

ARTP’s Code of Conduct for Volunteers and Employees provides a guiding framework of positive expectations within which everyday roles are conducted. The Code of Conduct shall apply to all volunteers and staff involved with ARTP supported activities.

If there are concerns with a volunteer’s performance or behaviour, these will be addressed by their supervisor (with support from Volunteer Services if required) according to ARTP’s policies and procedures, including the Managing Performance and Conduct Policy and Procedure.

3.9 Termination and resignation

Termination of volunteers may be necessary where it is determined a volunteer:

  • fails to adhere to the Volunteer Agreement and all relevant policies and procedures, including but not limited to: Child Safe Code of Conduct, Visitor Services Standards and Code of Conduct for volunteers and staff involved with ARTP supported activities
  • does not have the necessary skills for the role
  • breaches safety, privacy or confidentiality obligations specified by ARTP
  • breaks the law.

Volunteers are entitled to end their volunteering activities at any time. In order to assist with planning, two weeks’ written notice to their supervisor is requested. Volunteers may be asked to complete a Volunteer Exit Interview Questionnaire to provide feedback on their experience as a volunteer at ARTP. Upon request, volunteers may be given an appropriate reference detailing their contribution to ARTP, such as length of hours, range of activities and achievements.

3.10 Privacy and confidentiality

In accordance with its Privacy policy, ARTP respects the privacy and confidentiality of personal information supplied by volunteers.

3.12 Health and safety

ARTP is committed to providing volunteers with a safe workplace, as supported by ARTP’s Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) policy and procedures.

  • On commencement, volunteers will be provided with relevant information and guidelines to ensure the maintenance of a safe and healthy workplace along with training and information regarding emergency procedures.
  • On signing a Volunteer Agreement, volunteers are covered under ARTP General Volunteer Insurance Policy.
  • Volunteers are required to report all incidents to their supervisor and/or a member of Volunteer Services as soon as possible, as outlined in any relevant ARTP Incident reporting procedures.
  • Volunteers are expected to comply with the relevant ARTP OH&S policies and procedures.

Related policies, procedures, legislation and forms

  • ARTP policies, procedures and forms
  • Privacy policy
  • Volunteer Agreement
  • Child Safe Policy and Procedures
  • Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Procedures
  • Workplace Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying Policy and Procedures
  • Complaints and Grievance Policy and Procedures
  • Managing Performance and Conduct Policy and Procedures
  • Fraud, Corruption Control and Other Losses Policy
  • Internal Control Framework
  • Intellectual Property Policy
  • Integrity Framework
  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Visitor Service Standards
  • Volunteer role descriptions
  • Volunteer Exit Interview Questionnaire


  • Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
  • Child Wellbeing and Safety Act (2005) (incorporates Child Safety Standards)
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth)
  • Fair Work Act 2009 (Commonwealth)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic)
  • Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (Vic)
  • The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)
  • Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Commonwealth)
  • Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic)