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.
All current vacancies are shown below. If there’s something that you think might suit you, simply click on the orange button and complete an online application form. Once we receive your application, we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.
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: Our program participants often 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. Some 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 applications from men who are free to give their time on Wednesdays in our Gardening Team, Maintenance Team or Sponsorships Team.
- Commitment: It’s crucial for prospective volunteers to choose roles that align with both their interests and their availability. A long-term, regular commitment may not be feasible for everyone due to personal or professional constraints. We’re not looking for short-term volunteers, we’re looking to grow our team of dedicated, caring and committed volunteers who see the sanctuary as an important part of their lives now and into the future.
We rely on our team to carry out essential tasks that enable us to fulfill our mission. When volunteers commit to a longer period, it ensures consistency and reliability in the delivery of services – ensuring that we can have a more profound impact on the women and children that we support.
Many volunteer roles require specific skills training. Recruiting, on-boarding and training new volunteers is extremely time-consuming and resource-intensive for us. Unexpected turnover of volunteers enormously disrupts operations and creates significant additional work for the rest of the team.
Please think carefully about your current and foreseeable future circumstances, and only apply to join the team if you are confident that you can stay with us long-term. If you are planning on moving, changing jobs, increasing your current work hours or have any other life circumstances that could lead to you having to leave within six months, please don’t apply.
- 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. This year the entire team were offered Mental Health First Aid Training valued at $325 per person.
- 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.
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. For safety reasons, this role is not suitable for those who have a disability that compromises their safety in any way.
Shifts are available throughout the day and include a Morning Shift (8am-10am), Mid Shift (11am – 1:30pm) and Afternoon Shift (4pm – 5:30pm)
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 or mid shift and afternoon shift ) 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.
lending a hand
Our Lending-A-Hand Team helps with organising ad-hoc activities including:
- working bees
- Gratitude Day lunches
- annual Mega Market (held at the sanctuary)
- Seeing The Soul Art Prize & Exhibition.
Commitment required: No set days or hours – just a flexible schedule with some availability on weekends to help with the occasional weekend event.
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.
The Sponsorships Manager is responsible for finding and managing business sponsors to support the sanctuary. You’ll need to be super-confident, have an understanding of the importance of community-based mental health programs and have exceptional written and verbal communications skills.
Commitment required: Flexible – but a minimum of 3-4 hours would be required most weeks.
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 2-3 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 (or currently be studying) an EAL/EAP qualification through the Equine Psychotherapy Institute.
Please note: It is a non-negotiable requirement that potential facilitators spend a period of time on our 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.
Well-being 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. If you are qualified to deliver evidence-based, trauma-informed classes or workshops such as yoga, art therapy, music therapy, meditation and mindfulness etc., we’d love to hear from you.
Commitment required: Varies depending on the program.
Our Maintenance Team keeps on top of all the regular maintenance work at the sanctuary each Wednesday morning. Jobs might include fence repairs, minor construction jobs, whipper-snippering, clearing paddocks of fallen branches and debris, mulching, mowing, clearing gutters and general yard maintenance etc. All tools and equipment are provided.
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.