Volunteer programs

Support the Australian Museum by joining our volunteer program and help contribute to science research, the environment and culture.

Lend a hand in supporting front-of-house staff with visitors at the museum, or join us behind-the-scenes if you are interested in contributing to scientific research and investigation.

You can also volunteer online or in the DigiVol lab digitising our vast collections of specimens and objects.



Behind-the-scenes volunteers

This volunteering involves helping scientists and staff in most departments of the Museum at the College Street site. It may include assisting on Australian Museum field trips.

Behind-the-scenes volunteers help staff in many ways such as sorting, data entry, cataloguing, labelling, cross-checking, shelving, specimen identification or researching Education programs.

Behind-the-scenes volunteering is offered Monday to Friday. You will volunteer regularly one day a week or fortnight for at least 12 months.

No weekend behind-the-scenes volunteering is available.

You will have good communication skills and want to listen and learn. Attention to detail, patience and physical dexterity are also required. Some science knowledge or computing skills may be an advantage but not essential.

Behind-the-scenes volunteers are recruited and offered positions as staff need them. Volunteering positions are limited and it may take time for a volunteering position to be offered.

Register your interest by completing our online application form, tick Behind the Scenes and choose up to three areas of interest.

Once registered, information on any position relating to your skills and interests will be sent to you. You decide if you would like to volunteer. You will be interviewed and receive an induction and training.

All volunteers are required to support the Australian Museum's vision and adhere to all policies, guidelines and procedures.


Front-of-house volunteers

This volunteering involves meeting and greeting visitors and introducing them to the displays in the public galleries of the museum.

Front-of-house volunteers assist on any day of the week, and are expected to make a commitment to volunteer one day a week or fortnight on a regular basis.

We need good communication skills and fluency in English as you will be required to follow instructions and assist visitors if there is an emergency evacuation.

You will be required to apply for a NSW Working With Children Check. This is free for volunteers.

Front-of-house volunteers are recruited every 12-18 months. When applications open you will receive an information package with a short application form to complete. There are limited spaces in each intake, applications are assessed and interviews held. If your application is successful you will be expected to attend a comprehensive 2 or 3 day Induction program.

All volunteers are required to support the Australian Museum's vision and adhere to all policies, guidelines and procedures.

You can register your interest by completing our online application form and ticking front-of-house volunteering.


Event volunteering

This is volunteering in the public galleries helping Museum guests at events organised by staff in the Programming Unit.

You will be setting up and packing down displays, meeting, greeting and directing guests, organising food and if you have your RSA, serving drinks. You’ll also have the chance to be involved with fun activities.

The events are mostly in the evening, some are one-off, or some are in a series such as an early evening program of talks by experts. Some are science based such as the Sydney Science Festival and some are science and fun, but mostly fun, such as Jurassic Lounge or Murder at the Museum.

We are looking for tertiary students, full time workers or others who are willing to volunteer mostly in the evenings.

You will need good communication skills and fluency in English as you will be required to follow instructions and assist guests if there is an emergency evacuation.

All volunteers are required to support the Australian Museum’s vision and adhere to all policies, guidelines and procedures.

You can register your interest at any time by completing our online application form and tick Event volunteering.


DigiVol lab and online volunteering

DigiVol volunteers complement the work of Museum Collections staff and research scientists by capturing images of specimens, objects and archival materials and then recording label data into digital form. This data is then transcribed and validated by online volunteers before being imported to the Museum data base and made available on some scientific websites. This work helps us to better understand, manage and conserve our precious biodiversity.

There are two types of volunteers in the DigiVol project: onsite lab volunteers and online volunteers.




Apply online to join our volunteers

Fill out the online application form to register your interest in volunteering with the Australian Museum.

Register now

Other ways to volunteer

Are interested in contributing to scientific research and investigation?



Frequently asked questions

What do volunteers do at the Australian Museum?

At the main site of the Australian Museum at 1 William St, Sydney front-of-house volunteers help Museum visitors while behind-the-scenes volunteers help scientists and other Museum staff in most departments of the Museum. Very occasionally volunteers may assist on Australian Museum field trips too.

There are also special projects including volunteers working from home on line as virtual volunteers using email or other web based programs.

Volunteers with specific skills also volunteer at the Australian Museum Lizard Island Research Station on the northern Great Barrier Reef in Queensland.


How can I become a volunteer?

Firstly read about the various types of volunteering on offer listed on this webpage and decide what you would like to do.

If you would like to be a front-of-house or behind-the scenes volunteer helping at the main Australian Museum site at 1 William St, Sydney then contact us via the online registration form.

To volunteer at the Lizard Island Research Station you must contact Lizard Island directly.


Is there any age limit to start volunteering?

You must be 18 years of age to participate in the volunteer program.


Are there any specific qualifications and experience that I need to be a volunteer?

Our volunteers come from all backgrounds and age groups, but are united by a love of Australia's nature and culture.

The most important skills required are an ability to communicate and a willingness to listen and learn. Attention to detail, patience, physical dexterity and some computing skills could be helpful too.

Some science knowledge or skill may be an advantage but is certainly not essential.


How much time do I need to commit?

Front-of-house volunteers can volunteer on any day of the week and are expected to commit to volunteer one day a week or fortnight on a regular basis. A typical day begins at 9.30am and runs through to 3.00pm.

Behind-the-scenes volunteer commitments varies with the type of task to be performed. Most behind-the-scenes volunteering is offered Monday to Friday between the hours to 9am to 5pm.

Volunteers are expected to make a commitment to volunteer one day a week or fortnight on a regular basis. Please note that there is no weekend behind-the-scenes volunteering available.

Special volunteering projects and at Lizard Island Research Station have their own time requirements.


What training is provided?

All volunteers are trained either by going to an intensive training course or 'on the job' by their staff supervisors.The Museum is committed to maintaining a safe work environment so this is a very important part of volunteer training.

There are also policies to read and understand as well as skills to learn specific to the type of volunteering task that you will be doing.


Do you advertise for volunteers?

Sometimes new types of volunteering opportunities are advertised in this section of this website. Please check back regularly for new opportunities.


Is there anything else I should know about being an Australian Museum volunteer?

All volunteers are required to support the Australian Museum's mission and purpose and adhere to all policies, guidelines and procedures.


Are there any fossil dig expeditions I can volunteer for?

The Australian Museum has a very popular Dinosaurs gallery and a fossil collection of more than 125,000 specimens. There are no fossil dig expeditions organised by the Museum that volunteers can join.

However there are many like-minded people in Australia, we suggest searching for other websites as starting points for you to explore. In Queensland for example, search for the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum near Winton: there is a website for tourists who would like to dig for fossils in the tropics. Search for 'Mineral Collector' to find other websites that lists mineral and fossil associations in Australia that may be looking for volunteers to dig for fossils.


Work experience for school students

The Australian Museum offers Work Experience opportunities to students in Years 10, 11 and 12

Recognising the mutually beneficial value for students and the Australian Museum, we will provide inspiring and exciting experiences for students.

Australian Museum departments focussed on scientific exploration and discovery will offer students real opportunities to engage with their work. Other participants will have valuable opportunities to experience ‘behind-the-scenes’ departments whose work relates to the running of the Museum.

Whichever Department hosts your time at the Australian Museum, the experience will provide practical learning opportunities to consolidate classroom teaching. In turn, this will support your personal development and professional skills as you prepare to enter the workforce and develop your career potential.

Places will be available in Term 2, 3 and 4. Each placement is limited to 5 days (Monday to Friday) working 10am to 4pm each day.

Contact the Work experience program for more information.



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