Refugee Legal depends upon the donation of your skills and time to our volunteer team to provide vital legal help to over 12,300 clients a year. Our volunteer program offers real opportunities to make a direct and practical contribution. Together with our team, your help can change the lives and futures of people seeking asylum or family reunion.
If you are a lawyer or a registered migration agent who is interested in assisting people seeking asylum in Australia, more information is available in the Registered Migration Volunteer Position Description.
For those interested in providing research, administrative or paralegal support to Refugee Legal, we have developed a position description available here.
How to apply
Our volunteer recruitment process involves the following steps:
1. Information Session
2. Selection Interview (by phone)
3. Reference check
4. Training and Induction
If you have read the relevant position description and are interested in proceeding, you can complete, an application form and submit it with your CV here (insert link).
Intakes of volunteers occur every two months or so, depending on gaps in our rosters. Thank you for your patience if we are unable to involve you immediately.
If you would like further information, or if you have other specialist skills you think may be of help to the Refugee Legal team, please call and speak to our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Bianca DeToma, on 03 9413 0160.
I became a research and admin volunteer at Refugee Legal in August 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I initially applied to volunteer because I really admire the amazing work that Refugee Legal does for asylum seekers and I wanted to do something to support their work. I was also keen (insert read more about Kate…link here) to get some legal experience while working in an area of law that I am passionate about.
I found myself working with a team of friendly and passionate lawyers and volunteers. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from people who are incredibly knowledgeable and always willing to help.
I did a range of different work while volunteering and enjoyed the chance to experience a variety of different tasks. A frequent task I really enjoy is filling out visa applications using information from previous applications and entry interviews.
I would have to say that the work I enjoyed most involved country research tasks. I absolutely love learning about the situation, laws, politics and tensions in different countries, and learning more about the world while simultaneously helping asylum seekers has been fantastic. And throughout my volunteering, I had the opportunity to attend Continuing Professional Development sessions.
I believe that the skills that I developed while volunteering at Refugee Legal will be very helpful to me in my future career. Volunteering has allowed me to enhance my research skills, especially while working on some of the more complex research questions. My highly positive experience volunteering at Refugee Legal also confirmed for me that I want to continue to volunteer to help asylum seekers once I am admitted as a lawyer.
Amy Frew is a qualified solicitor and migration agent who began volunteering with Refugee Legal in our Fast Track Clinics. Amy had just completed her graduate program rotating through a number of organizations (insert read more about Amy…link here) from Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre to Melbourne Community Legal Centre and finally, the Human Rights Law Centre. She attends our Monday Night Service and has been an integral part of our volunteer team.
Amy first joined Refugee Legal when the new ‘Fast Track’ processing was implemented early 2015.
She says, reflecting on her time with RILC, that she was really looking for somewhere to volunteer where she would ‘have an impact’. Although Amy has extensive experience in a variety of CLCs she notes ‘migration work is different’ to her usual work and that in particular, the Sunday clinics are a chance to hear a client’s ‘life story, about their struggles and their country’. Amy acknowledges that, while volunteering at clinics is initially ‘daunting’, it comes with the reward of seeing a matter from ‘start to finish’ and that this is a unique volunteering experience that ‘benefits me as a lawyer as well as the client’.