there’s something to suit everyone…
How do you make your valuable time even more valuable? By volunteering with us to help transform lives.
We’re always in need of committed and reliable volunteers – they are the lifeblood of the Sanctuary, which simply couldn’t operate without them.
Between caring for our horses and our beautiful facility and managing the day-to-day operations of the Sanctuary, there are so many ways to help there’s sure to be something just perfect for you.
We have an online application form. Once you’ve completed your form we will arrange a time for you to visit the Sanctuary to have a look around, meet with some of the team (and the horses) before deciding if this is the right place for you.
Please note: visits to the sanctuary are strictly by appointment only – please do not unexpectedly drop in to chat about volunteering. There are program sessions running at various times of the day throughout the week and it is critical that we provide clients with the utmost privacy during their sessions.
Things to consider before applying:
- Psychological Safety of our existing team: Many of our program participants join our volunteer team after their program finishes. It’s the perfect way for them to stay connected to the people and horses that have played an important part of their healing journey. Most have experienced physical or sexual violence in some form and, often, the sanctuary is the only place outside of their own home that they feel safe. To protect their psychological safety, the sanctuary is a space for women and children only from Thursday-Tuesday each week. We welcome volunteer applications from men who are free to volunteer on Wednesdays in our Gardening Team, Maintenance Team or Sponsorships Team.
- Commitment: We invest a significant amount of time, effort and resources into training our volunteers. Because of that, we ask that you don’t apply unless you are confident that you can commit to the Sanctuary for at least 6 months.
- Travel Time: We’re located in Fellowship Drive, Doonan. Please think carefully about how long it will take you to travel to and from the Sanctuary to volunteer. If you will need to travel more than 20 minutes each way, please seriously consider if you are able to make that commitment – in time and in petrol.
- Membership: We ask that each Volunteer be a current member of the Sanctuary. The cost of an annual membership is $50 per person per year. Membership is free for Volunteers that have been volunteering with us for 5 years or longer. We provide many benefits to our volunteers that far outweigh the cost of the membership fee. Apart from the obvious but intangible value of developing friendships, being able to spend time with the herd, giving back to the community etc., there are also many tangible benefits that we provide.
- Blue Cards: All volunteers must hold a current Blue Card issued by the Queensland Government. Blue Cards are free for volunteers. If you already have a Blue Card that’s terrific, if you don’t, the application process is easy and we can do that together when we meet.
- Age Restrictions: All volunteers must be 17yo or over.
- Your Own Stage of Healing: we often find that a new volunteer is wanting to be in the healing environment of the sanctuary as part of their own healing journey. If you are on a journey of healing or self-discovery and are hoping to find some support through volunteering, we ask you to apply for one of our programs first. This will start your relationship with the sanctuary in a more suitable and beneficial way for all. We can give you the support you are seeking, while you are still supporting us by being a part of our space. All clients are invited to join the volunteer team after their program ends. Financial difficulty is never a barrier at the sanctuary – all programs are available free of charge to those who need them to be.
All our current vacancies are listed below. Once you’ve found something you may like to help with – simply complete an online application form by clicking on the purple button.
The Sponsorships Manager is responsible for finding a sponsor for each of the horses in our herd. They are also responsible for keeping in regular contact with sponsors including:
- inviting them to Open Days and events
- sending them regular updates on their horse’s welfare
- scheduling and organising a day where each sponsor can come and visit their horse, take photos for their own social media campaigns etc.
Commitment required: 4-6 hours each week – working from the Sanctuary or from home – whichever suits you best.
Our biggest team! We have everything from 7hh ponies to 17hh Thoroughbreds and you need to be comfortable in working within the same space as a herd of ten horses. You’ll also need a good level of health and fitness. This is not the role for you if you have any musculoskeletal issues that will either prevent you from lifting relatively heavy weights safely (wheelbarrows full of manure etc.) or which may be exacerbated by those activities. You need to be nimble enough to hop out of the way if a horse moves suddenly.
Shifts are available throughout the day and include:
- Morning Shift (times vary – weekends are typically 8am, weekdays are later to accommodate school drop-off times)
- Mid Shift (11:00 – 1:30pm)
- Afternoon Shift (4:30 – 6:00pm)
- checking/cleaning water troughs
- checking for signs of illness or injury
- checking fence-lines are intact
- manure pick-up
- stick and fallen branch pick-up from around the paddocks
- pruning of low-hanging twigs and branches on trees in the paddocks
- washing gear
- light weeding
- preparing feeds
- feeding the horses
- general stable chores
- helping with vet and farrier visits
Commitment required: The more handlers our horses have, the more confusing life gets for them. Every human they interact with has a different energy level, level of awareness, personal boundary size, confidence level and pace or speed that they do things. The horses have to assess everyone on each shift and change their own approach accordingly – and it’s a lot to ask of them. Horses thrive with a set routine and regular faces – people that they know, like and trust. To obtain their trust you need to be spending regular time with them and around them.
For this reason, volunteers on this team need to commit to an absolute minimum of 2 shifts every week – which can be two shifts on the same day (for example a morning shift and mid shift [~9am-1:30pm], or mid shift and afternoon shift [11:00-6pm] whichever works best for you) or it can be one shift on each of two different days. There is no maximum number of shifts – you are welcome to come as often as your schedule allows.
Housekeeper Extraordinaire – Office
As the sanctuary Housekeeper, you will be responsible for keeping our tiny little indoor space clean and tidy. Light cleaning duties are needed – exactly as you would do at home. We have a store-room, a combined office/kitchen area, two tiny bathrooms and a covered verandah area.
Commitment required: 1 day a week for a couple of hours.
Housekeeper Extraordinaire – Stable Block
As the Housekeeper for the Stable Block, you will be responsible for keeping our tack and feeds rooms clean and tidy, checking stocks of horse feeds, hay and supplements, washing halters, lead ropes and rugs etc. and generally just making sure that everything is in good order and where it is meant to be. This is the perfect role for someone who would like to be near the horses but perhaps isn’t physically able to be on the stable team.
Commitment required: 2-3 hours on a Wednesday morning.
Online Sales Helpers
We have lots of items donated to us on a regular basis that we sell on Facebook Marketplace, on eBay or on our Facebook Auctions Group. We are always looking for people who can help with this task, whether it’s listing the items for sale, packing and posting them or meeting buyers who choose to pick-up their purchases from the sanctuary. You’ll ideally already be familiar with Facebook and eBay but as long as you are confident with using a computer, we can train you if not.
Commitment required: 3-4 hours on a Wednesday morning.
Market Stall Helpers
We’re looking to put a team together who are happy to take our donated merchandise to local markets to sell. We have lots of brand new women and girls clothing and accessories, and so many books and toys (all new). You’ll need your own car and availability on weekends. We’re looking for four people to join this team and one to be a coordinator.
Commitment required: As per market hours – as often as you can manage.
Equine Program Facilitators
All mentors must have an EAL/EAP qualification through the Equine Psychotherapy Institute.
Please note: It is essential that Facilitators spend a period of time on the Stable Team first to get to know each of our horses and ponies and to develop an understanding of the methods we use when working with the herd. If you are interested in joining our Mentor Team – please apply for a Stable Hand position first.
Commitment required: A weekly commitment is essential.
Pilates, Creative Arts, Gardening Program or other Program Facilitators
We are always looking for people who are interested in volunteering their time to support clients in a wide range of programs that enhance physical and psychological well-being.
Commitment required: Varies depending on the program.
Our Maintenance Team keeps on top of any maintenance work which could include, painting, fencing, making pathways, minor construction jobs, hanging gates, building compost bays etc., using a quad bike and manure vacuum to pick up and transport manure, bagging up manure for us to sell, clearing paddocks of fallen branches and debris, mulching, mowing etc.
Commitment required: Minimum of 2 hours each week on a Wednesday morning.
The Gardening Team keeps on top of the weeding tasks as well as creating some colour in the garden beds and basically just making the whole space feel more welcoming, relaxing and productive (we are currently preparing beds to grow beneficial herbs for the horses). We need keen gardeners who are able to give a couple of hours each week.
Commitment required: A minimum of 2 hours each week on a Wednesday morning.