Celebrate the changemaking volunteers who help make Melbourne tick this National Volunteer Week. Then browse volunteer opportunities to enrich your life with friendship and purpose year-round.
Whether you love sharing dining and entertainment tips with city visitors, seeing behind-the-scenes of iconic events or growing wildlife gardens – we offer diverse opportunities for more than 1000 volunteers every year.
Pedro Gonzalez came to Melbourne from Mexico four years ago as an international student. Now he supports other international students as a volunteer My Melbourne Student Ambassador.
“When you come to Australia for the first time as an international student, you can feel alienated or homesick at the beginning,” Pedro said.
“As ambassadors, we provide students with a supportive community and connect them to organisations and events to help them feel happy and connected.
“Volunteers come from all sorts of countries, so there’s always someone to help if you don’t know an English word, or if you’re experiencing a cultural barrier. It makes me happy that my experience can assist others.”
Pedro has a background in engineering and graphic design, and a particular passion for 3D scanning and modelling. He feels that volunteering is providing him with valuable experience as he hunts for a job.
“Volunteering for the City of Melbourne has been a great opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and learn new skills, like leadership, project management and public speaking,” Pedro said.
Working with the City of Melbourne has also given Pedro an insight into transformation projects underway for urban areas and the Birrarung or Yarra River, and into the city’s packed program of events.
“There’s always something happening in Melbourne, and so much diversity in the people, food, entertainment and places you can visit. And I love that I can walk around feeling safe,” Pedro said.
“I encourage international students to explore as much as possible, stay connected on social media, and connect with organisations that align with their values to support their academic and professional journey.
“Above all, the My Melbourne team wants to give a great big welcome to international students – who’ve taken such a big step in their lives – and remind them that we’re here to provide support in any way we can.”
The City of Melbourne offers a wide range of services, events, advice and support for international students. For regular updates, please follow our dedicated Facebook page and subscribe to the newsletter.