Western Health has introduced the Volunteer Meals Assistance Program to address issues raised from research conducted in Victorian Public Hospitals which found that over 40% of inpatients were either malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.

A program to address this concern has operated in The Williamstown and Footscray Hospitals since 2015 and will be introduced into The Sunshine Hospital in August 2016. 

The role

Volunteers are sought for VMAP at Sunshine, Footscray and Williamstown Hospitals to help patients open food and drink containers, butter bread and provide social interaction with a strong emphasis on encouraging patients’ food intake. An in-service training program for volunteers is provided by Nutrition Department staff to prepare them for their role.


Volunteers will be required to complete application, immunisation, and police check forms, attend an interview and be prepared to undergo orientation to Western Health and mandatory training modules. Note a minimum 12 month commitment is required.

When and where

Sunshine, Footscray and Williamstown Hospitals

Two volunteers per ward per day are required from Monday – Friday over the lunchtime period, typically between 11:30am – 1:30pm. Western Health will also be trialing a dinner volunteer support VMAP program and are seeking volunteers to assist between 4:00pm - 6:00pm.


Applications for this extra-curricular community engagement opportunity are processed directly with the organisation.

Remember If you are accessing this opportunity as a volunteer outside of a requirement of your course (i.e. not for a unit or practicum requirement), then you are NOT covered by ACU's insurance policies. If accessing this opportunity as a volunteer, we strongly recommend you confirm with the organisation that they have appropriate insurance for volunteers.

Footscray Hospital

Eve Repo, Coordinator of Volunteers
03 8345 6431

Sunshine Hospital

Kerry Shanahan, Coordinator of Volunteers
03 8395 9091

Williamstown Hospital

Fiona Halse, Coordinator of Volunteers
03 9393 0206

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.


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.

Learn more on Student Portal

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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