Community Engagement

Community Engagement in Leadership Program

The program involves a short community engagement (CE) placement within a not-for-profit organisation, or university volunteering activity of your choise. Many students find this to be the most rewarding aspect of the program, and continue volunteering with the organisation after they have finished the program.

The CE is an opportunity for you to put the tools you have learnt in the workshops into practice, challenge yourself to learn new ones, and to explore where your strengths and passions lie.

NB: Prior to semester 2, 2018 the policy had been that you must complete the minumum 4 workshops before moving into the community engagement component.

As UNSW transitions toward 3+, the Leadership Program is committed to evolving its structure to ensure ongoing flexibility. Therefore, after registration and completion of the online introductory module, you must complete at least 2 face to face workshops, before beginning your community engagement. In order to complete the program, you must complete the remaining 2 workshops before the program will be listed on your AHEGS. 

These changes have been introduced to both accommodate the new study calendar for 2019 and ensure accessibility for all students as we transition toward the new model.

We encourage you to seek out the causes that interest you the most, and think about where you wish to have greatest impact and the kind of skills you want to develop.

What types of opportunities are eligible for the program?

Students in the past have volunteered in a very wide variety of contexts including youth work and mentoring, disability support, environmental work, care for the elderly, education, fundraising and event planning. The program is very flexible, but the opportunity must meet the following criteria:

  • Involve at least 20 hours experience within the one organisation
  • Be supervised by a staff member within the organisation who is willing to account for your hours and evaluate your performance
  • Be located within Australia
  • Be unpaid
  • Demonstrate a positive impact on others or the community
  • Provide public liability insurance cover for volunteers

Please note that Arc activities are not eligible for the Leadership Program. Arc activities are recognised independently on a candidate’s AHEGS and will not be counted towards the community engagement component of the Leadership Program.

*Not all university co-curricular activities are suitable for the Leadership Program due to the supervision requirements. If an activity isn't on the list please contact The Student Development office to discuss before commencing. 

How do I find a volunteering opportunity?

  • The Community Engagement Action Plan is a step by step guide to finding a great volunteering opportunity that suits your interests and skills. We recommend you print it out and work through it step by step. 
  • Use and careers online to search for advertised opportunities.
  • Read the newsletter we send out to all program students to hear about upcoming opportunities.
  • Explore on campus volunteering opportunities through UNSW Advantage and check eligibility with the Student Development office.
  • Use the Community Directory to research over 200 organisations that students of the program have volunteered with in the past.
  • Contact for the relevant contact person and their email if you would like to be in touch with them to express interest.

Should I talk about the Leadership Program with my organisation?

Yes, absolutely. We strongly recommend talking with the organisation about the program, and discussing the requirements on your supervisor, before commencing your placement. It would be advisable to email or print out the following Information for Community Partners and take it along to your first meeting, by way of introduction to the program. 

Here are some specific questions you should also ask in your meeting with them:

  • Do they have Public Liability Insurance cover for their volunteers?
  • Will there be a supervisor who can help account for a volunteer's hours and provide feedback at the end of the placement?
  • Are they happy to provide the university with some details at the beginning and end of your placement?