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Volunteering with AMRRIC

Volunteering with AMRRIC is a unique opportunity to use your skills to truly benefit both animals and people where there is a great need. AMRRIC staff work in many diverse areas of animal management - veterinary dog health programs, education, developing education resources, policy making, fundraising, administration, communication and media, advocacy and more. There are often opportunities to assist our organisation in these areas. 

If you would like to volunteer for AMRRIC please read the position description for each area. For Vet and Vet Nurse volunteers please fill in the Dog Health Program Volunteer Application. For volunteers in other areas please email the contact person included in the position description.

Veterinary and Vet Nurse Volunteers

Each year a small number of veterinary volunteers have the opportunity to work with Indigenous communities in some of the remotest areas of Australia. In these surroundings the volunteer’s experience is full of challenges, physical, mental and sometimes emotional, but the work provides a unique insight, and can bring great satisfaction.

Our veterinary and vet nurse volunteers fulfil an important role by increasing the impact of the program with their skills. In particular we are looking for:

  • Flexibility, adaptability, willingness to cope with different environments
  • Cultural sensitivity and respect
  • Ability to work with a team under difficult conditions - flies, dust, heat – and often with an audience!
  • For vets, experience in flank speying
  • Experience in community development programs in remote communities or international context
  • Experience in Indigenous communities

Programs have a principal veterinarian who has been engaged usually by the local regional council or Aboriginal Corporation. This veterinarian is an AMRRIC member who will have had many years’ experience in remote work and will have an established relationship with that community. AMRRIC volunteers will work under the guidance of that professional. The number of volunteer opportunities is controlled by many factors, including the availability of transport and accommodation within the community, the principal veterinarian, the attitude and history of the community, weather, access, ceremonies, etc. Access to many communities is limited to the Northern Territory’s Dry Season (April – October) as many remote areas become isolated by flooding.

Veterinary dog health programs are usually for a week plus travel but can vary from 3 -10 working days. Volunteer opportunities are erratic and can be at short notice, so planning ahead to fit into student schedules is not often possible. Even a well planned program can be cancelled at the last minute because of sorry business - a death in the community.

What makes a successful veterinary or vet nurse volunteer?
The communities where AMRRIC works are often in the remotest areas of Australia with very different weather conditions. The surgery suite will not always be ideal. Volunteers will need the attributes mentioned above and be happy to travel (including flying in small planes), be patient, professional and enthusiastic.

Where does AMRRIC take veterinary or vet nurse volunteers?
Many volunteer opportunities are in the Northern Territory. Locations are typically very remote – Kintore, Nyirripi (near the central Western Australian border); islands off Arnhem Land (Elcho, Croker, Goulburn, Groote); large communities such as Yuendumu and Maningrida; a collection of many small outstations (Utopia); and the Pilbara in Western Australia.

Who pays the expenses?
AMRRIC volunteers pay for their transport to the community and share in the grocery costs for the period. Often the volunteer will need to reach the nearest large town centre (e.g. Alice Springs, Port Hedland) and transport from there is provided. Accommodation in the community is usually organised but can be anything from bring your own swag and sleep on the crèche floor to mud brick hotel rooms.

Am I covered by AMRRIC's insurance?
AMRRIC’s insurance is limited:

  • Limited Personal Accident - the amounts of insurance are only supplementary amounts and a long distance from covering a vet's loss of income.
  • Public Liability - but NOT for professional malpractice, ie NOT covering veterinary acts.

Where possible, professionals are best covered by their own work insurance for a more comprehensive and satisfactory insurance. Students are best covered by the insurance of their university.

Does AMRRIC take students?
AMRRIC does take student vets and vet nurses. This is at the discretion of the principal veterinarian and in accordance with the state veterinary board and the university in question. As mentioned previously, volunteer opportunities are erratic and can be at short notice, so planning ahead to fit into student schedules is not often possible.

Communications Volunteers

AMRRIC produces a range of online communications, including enews, our Facebook page, the AMRRIC website and other audio and video media. AMRRIC communication volunteers can contribute media production skills or critical analysis for any of our media areas.

Volunteering in this area can be organised as a discrete project or as a long term agreement. We prefer volunteers to have at least five years experience in communications for the not for profit sector, and preferably some background in animal welfare organisations. Volunteers who contribute to AMRRIC communications can work from anywhere and will be able to join in meetings using Skype.

Contact Gabrielle Smith for more information about volunteering your communication skills.


Last modified: 
Monday, February 29, 2016 - 11:59

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Email: info@amrric.org

Ph: 08 8948 1768
Fax: 08 8985 3454              

Mail address
P.O. Box 4829
Darwin NT 0801
Australia