• An iniative of QLD charity Kanyini Connections Ltd


Volunteering Doonan
Hoofbeats Heroes
Volunteering Doonan
Join Our Team
Make a difference in the lives
of those in need
Hoofbeats Heroes
Become a Hoofbeats Hero
From maintenance to marketing, horse care to horticulture,
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 ponies, Mentoring clients 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.

Things to consider before applying:

  • 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. 
  • COVID-19 Requirements:  The Sanctuary is situated on a council-owned facility and we are required to implement all council’s COVID-19 directives. All volunteers must check-in using the QLD COVID app each time they come to the Sanctuary. When mask-wearing mandates are in place, all volunteers must wear face masks at the Sanctuary. We understand that some people may have a valid exemption from wearing a mask. However, when someone is not wearing a mask, they do pose an increased risk to the other members of our team. For that reason, if you are unable to wear a mask, we ask that you defer applying to volunteer until mask-wearing mandates are not in place. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.
  • Membership: We ask that each Volunteer be a current member of the Sanctuary. Membership fees assist us to cover the cost of our Volunteer Insurance cover. The cost of an annual membership is $50 per person per year ($25 for those over 65yo).  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.


Online Application Form:  click here to apply


Current Vacancies

We are currently needing help in the areas listed below.

Facility Manager

As our Facility Manager, you will lead our Maintenance & Gardening Team, managing all aspects of keeping the Sanctuary as safe, clean, tidy and welcoming as possible.  The typical activities of the team are listed below in the Maintenance Team section. The Facility Manager would be responsible for keeping activities on track, ensuring that all work is done well and safely, and being proactive in identifying jobs that need doing. Click here to download a position description.

Commitment required: 2-3 half days per week.

Sponsorships Manager

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.

Stable Hand

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 nine 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 (8 – 10am)
  • Lunch Shift (12 – 2pm)
  • Afternoon Shift (4:30 – 5:30pm)

Tasks include:

  • 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

Commitment required: minimum of 1 shift per week – no maximum.

Housekeeper Extraordinaire

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 bathrooms and a covered verandah area.

Commitment required: 2 half days per week maximum.


We have an ongoing need for helpers on our fund-raising team.  Activities are many and varied and you can help with one or all depending on your skills and preferences. Activities include: managing collection boxes, finding Containers For Change locations and opportunities, Merchandise Sales (eBay listings, markets and at our Mega Sale events at the Sanctuary), helping with our planned annual Equine Wellness Expo.

Commitment required: Minimum 2 hours each week would be terrific to meet with the team and plan events. On the days of the events, a full day commitment may be required. Events are usually held on a weekend and not more than  once per month.


Most of the clients we support are living with the impact of trauma. They need to be around compassionate, caring and reliable people. A Mentor’s main role is to work with a client and a horse or pony to help that person develop a sense of self worth resulting from a caring connection between the three of you. Our Mentor’s are responsible for keeping the client safe while helping them to see the parallels between what they are learning with their horse and how to better navigate the challenges in their lives.  Mentors are provided with training, guidance and support.

Please note: It is essential that Mentors 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.

Commitment required: A weekly commitment is generally needed. Each mentoring session is approximately two hours long and you will need to arrive at least 15 minutes early to prepare.


Our Maintenance Team keep 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 3-4 hours each week – any day.


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 (no maximum hours – come as often as you like!) each week at a time to suit you.

Lending A Hand

This is perfect if you have variable availability (and therefore can’t commit to regular shifts) but still have time to commit each week to popping in and lending a hand with whatever needs doing at the time. It might be gardening, cleaning, tidying up the tack room / feed room, helping with a bit of admin, doing a stock-take of shop inventory etc. There’s always something to be done.

Commitment required: no set commitment – just helping out when you can :-) .