Buddies Days are one day recreational or educational activities for children aged 5 to 12 years whose families are supported by the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Buddies Days are well planned activities that rely on young adult volunteers engaging with and mentoring children·who are experiencing hardship or disadvantage. The program provides opportunities for children to develop friendships and self-confidence and, most importantly, to have fun. 

The program offers a range of experiences including bowling, visits to the movies, wildlife parks, museums etc. or fun- filled days hosted at local Colleges which may include craft and sporting activities. Children are referred to the program by our Conference Members and other Society services, in particular our homelessness services. There is no cost to families for the activities and we also provide the transport.

The Buddies Day program aims to:

  • provide outreach to the children of families supported by the St Vincent de Paul Society who are doing it tough and may not otherwise have access to the range of experiences we can offer;
  • promote friendship, compassion, dignity and community;
  • provide respite to parents or carers while engaging their children in a range of activities in a safe, supportive environment;
  • promote the children’s independence, confidence and social skills through new social experiences enabling them to explore their talents and interests; and
  • provide an opportunity for volunteers to make a difference to the lives of others. 

The role

Students will have the opportunity to work with our team of experienced Buddies Day volunteers to:

  • participate in activities alongside the children to ensure their day is both safe and lots of fun; 
  • develop a greater understanding of the needs of the children we support;
  • enhance their own skills and capacity to be a positive role model to children, making a real difference to their lives; and
  • engage with other like-minded young adults to share ideas, create awareness of social justice issues and enact change in the local and broader community.

Requirements

All students will be required to:

  • Participate in a phone interview;
  • Complete a Volunteer Application, providing the contact details of two referees;
  • Provide a Working with Children Check Clearance;
  • Consent to a National Criminal History Check through the St Vincent de Paul Society; and
  • Undertake mandatory training.

When and where

Volunteers meet at and return to Maria Gordon House at Lewisham. Transport to activities will be provided.

Buddies Days are rostered – usually 8.15am – 4.00pm on a Saturday or Sunday

There will be two intakes for Semester 1:

  • The first intake will close on Wednesday 8 January. Any student who wishes to apply for this intake must be available to attend the mandatory training session on Monday, 13 January from 6-9pm at Maria Gordon House, 1D Thomas Street, Lewisham.
  • The dates for the second intake and training will be confirmed.

For the first intake, applications will not be received after Wednesday 8 January.

Applications

Please email your expression of interest to acuengagement@acu.edu.au by Wednesday 8 January for the first intake.

In your email please indicate:

  • your student number;
  • your community engagement unit;
  • your availability to participate in this program;
  • your availability to attend the mandatory training session on 13 January at 6-9pm for the first intake;
  • the number of placement hours you would like to complete with the St Vincent de Paul Society;
  • the final date that you must complete your placement by (as per your Unit Outline and/or advice from your lecturer);
  • whether you have a current and valid Working With Children Check Clearance; and
  • whether you have previously volunteered, or are already volunteering, with the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Apply now

 

What you need to know

What is community engagement? Why do we do it and how do you get started? ACU Engagement answer your frequently asked questions and help you get the most out of your community engagement experience.

Community-engagement

Policy and procedure

ACU's policies and procedures aim to keep both you and the communities you interact with legally, physically and ethically safe. It is a requirement of all community engagement placements that you read these policies prior to commencement.

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Before you begin

Before you undertake your community engagement experience there are often a number of pre-requisites that need to be completed. Make sure you are ready to go with our handy checklist.

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