The Welcome Dinner Project is a registered charity. The primary purpose of Welcome Dinner Project is to promote a culture of welcome in Australian society by bringing together newly arrived and established Australians over dinner in Australian homes. Our goal is to foster connections, improve understanding between cultures and transform values, generating positive social change.
Role of Volunteers
Thank you for offering to work as a volunteer with the Welcome Dinner Project. As a non-profit organization, volunteers are integral to the dynamic nature of the organisation and crucial for the growth of a social movement. We consider volunteers as part of our staff. Though we are unable to pay you money we aim to make volunteering with us a rewarding and enriching experience that leads to individual fulfilment and enables you to make a genuine contribution to the transformation of communities.
The Welcome Dinner Project has a variety of volunteer and paid roles or positions:
1. Welcome Dinner Facilitator: Prepares and briefs participants for the dinner and ensures the home is suitable. Supports the host during dinners and guides activities to ensure everyone feels included and comfortable.
2. Lead Facilitator: Experienced Welcome Dinner facilitators who coach new facilitators and take on further responsibilities, including some aspects of coordination. “Local leaders” in their area. Lead facilitators often also help with coordination of larger community dinners and other events.
3. Hub Coordinator: Communicates with and organizes hosts, facilitators and participants and resources to bring dinners together. Mentors and shares feedback with facilitators. Builds relationships within the local community and other groups and organisations. Where funding is available, this is a paid role.
4. State Coordinator: Responsible for the overall leadership of the project in their state, including new launches in regional areas. Provides support to Coordinators and Facilitators and is a first contact for issues or grievances. Raises awareness, manages recruitment, media opportunities and evaluations. Oversees a state-wide strategy for the ongoing improvement and growth of the project.
5. National Coordinator: Manages State Coordinators and maintains pathways for communications, team building and sharing of learnings and resources nationally. Guides the “big picture” and creates space for ongoing co-creation with team and others. Mentors Coordinators and ensures the quality, tone and essence of the dinners is always a priority.
6. Data Manager: Manages data collection systems, ensuring activities, including Welcome Dinners, are recorded. Also provides data to Coordinators for the purposes of organising Welcome Dinners.
7. Working group member: Utilises specific knowledge and skills to act individually and also collectively to undertake assigned activities and tasks in order to achieve the objective of the project.
Various other roles needed for the organisation to run smoothly
N.B: Hosts offer their homes for dinners but are not included in our definition of a volunteer.
You are encouraged to use the skills, insights and networks you have and to build new skills through training and experience.
Rights of Volunteers
● You will report to a coordinator who assigns you tasks, provides support and keeps you informed
● You have a right to ask for tasks that suit your skills, interests and time available. If assigned tasks that are not suitable, let your coordinator know
● You are entitled to support when needed
● If you do not understand what is expected of you, ask for clarification
● We want you to feel part of our team. If you would like to be more involved, receive more communications or attend more functions (volunteer get-togethers or welcome dinners), let your coordinator know and we will do our best to involve you more.
Responsibilities of Volunteers
You are expected to:
● Be reliable in performing agreed tasks and provide adequate notice if you are unable to keep a commitment
● Attend training that applies to your position
● Keep your supervisor informed of progress of tasks and report any issues
● Ensure you are able to be contacted within a reasonable timeframe (For example, respond to messages within 24 hours)
● Update contact details if they change
● Provide constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement regarding our processes and resources
The Welcome Dinner Project abides by National Standards for volunteer involvement which can be found at https://www.volunteeringaustralia.org/resources/national-standards-and-supporting-material/#/
You are required to provide details as per the volunteer form on our website. Your details will be kept on a Customer Relationship Management database.
You are contacted when a position arises, interviewed, assessed and offered a position if suitable. The recruitment process includes a national police check. Successful applicants are then inducted and trained.
We provide a general volunteer induction, and guides and/or training for hosts, facilitators and coordinators. For other roles we may rely on you to bring skills you already have.
Overall, our policy is to value all individuals and to treat them with dignity and respect. This includes abiding by Australian laws regarding equal opportunity, bullying and harassment, privacy, and health and safety. You should also be aware that many newcomers to Australia, especially refugees, have been through traumatic experiences and may have different beliefs and cultural practices. We expect you to be sensitive to and considerate towards all people you come into contact with when volunteering with us.
We also expect you to have a constructive approach, a spirit of cooperation, and to show appreciation of other volunteers’ efforts.
Concerns or Disputes
Refer any complaints or disagreements that cannot be resolved directly with the persons involved to your State Coordinator. The State Coordinator is a person designated to be a first point of contact for concerns or grievances., including suspicions of child abuse as per our Safety and Well-Being of Children policy. They can advise on options for resolving disputes or concerns.
Risk and Safety
We acknowledge that there are risks associated with volunteering for the Welcome Dinner Project. We aim to mitigate risks through defined processes, checklists and training. You are expected to abide by our processes, behave in a safe manner, not take unnecessary risks, and notify your coordinator of any incidents or injuries, or potential hazards or risks that you believe are not adequately controlled.
We will provide you with a copy of our Safety and Well-Being of Children policy that you are also expected to abide by. We hold public liability and volunteer accident insurance.
In the course of your work with us, you are likely to have access to personal information, such as contact details of hosts, facilitators, participants, other volunteers and people from organisations associated with the Welcome Dinner Project. You are expected to maintain the privacy of the information as per Australian law. This includes only making use of the information in the way in which it was intended during the collection of the information.
You are also expected to be sensitive to, and to keep confidential, any information you become aware of that people may not wish to be made public (e.g. personal stories).
Likewise, we will use information we collect about you only for the purposes for which it was collected. This will sometimes include providing your contact details to other Welcome Dinner Project volunteers and hosts for the purposes of organizing dinners or other activities.
We aim to reimburse phone and travel costs and other specific volunteer related expenses – we do not wish for any of our volunteers to be out of pocket. Expenses incurred during the course of working with the Welcome Dinner Project will be reimbursed if they are pre-approved, in writing (email or signed letter) by your supervisor. Do not spend money or order goods without prior approval. You will be given information regarding how to claim expenses during your induction.
All brochures, guides, checklists, artwork, photos, documentation, processes and methodology created or acquired through work with Welcome Dinner Project remain the intellectual property of Welcome Dinner Project and may not be used outside of the organisation without permission from the Welcome Dinner Project Board of Directors.
When you cease working for Welcome Dinner Project you are expected to return or delete copies of materials and all personal and contact details you may have acquired through your work with Welcome Dinner Project. Where appropriate, with permission of your supervisor, you may keep copies of your own work when you finish working with Welcome Dinner Project.
End of Volunteering
You are asked to provide a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice to your supervisor if you are no longer able to work with us and to return any materials belonging to Welcome Dinner Project. Likewise, we will provide a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice if we no longer have a role suitable to you.
If we are not satisfied with your behaviour or performance, we provide feedback and guidance to get you back on track. We also have relevant policies relating to this.
You may be required to cease work with us immediately if you do not abide by our volunteer policy.