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Community spirit

Australians are a generous people. We love being an active part of our communities and working with our neighbours to improve others’ lives. Community fundraising and volunteering are an essential part of the Australian experience. The enthusiasm to reach out and make a difference powers a culture of caring.

We celebrate our volunteers. A third of adult Australians volunteer regularly through non-profit and charity organisations or community activities. Thanks to the people who give their time every week, half of our 55,000 charities run without any paid staff.

Local sport would not exist without the energy of volunteers, and the fundraising BBQ is an integral part of many weekend activities.

Australia is the highest rated developed country on the Charities and Aid Foundations’ World Giving Index, 2020. 

The Australian community spirit has led the way for global movements, such as the purely volunteer surf lifesaving service, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the State Emergency Service that helps communities respond to natural disasters.


Australians donated more than $500 million to bushfire appeals in 2019–20. Communities came together to protect homes and businesses, rescue wildlife, and to provide food and shelter for those whose homes were damaged.

Royal Flying Doctor Service

We are connected and engaged, with a strong sense of community. Around 95% of Australians say they know someone they could rely on in times of need. When it comes to participation in our open, democratic society, 87% of Australians say they were involved in at least one political activity in the past year, such as voting, contacting a member of parliament, or getting together to tackle a local problem.

Surf life saver

And as one of the most successful, diverse and cohesive societies in the world, we embrace our recent arrivals who have chosen Australia as their new home. We welcome their enthusiasm to get involved and reach out in their new communities to help others.

How you can get involved

Volunteering opportunities are listed by

You can get more information about volunteering and charities through:

84% of Australians say they have a sense of belonging and 84% say that in their local area people from different national or ethnic groups get on well together.

Source: Scanlon Foundation, Mapping Social Cohesion 2021 

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