Working with us


Our volunteers are a valued part of our team and assist in a wide variety of tasks and roles throughout the hospital.

St John of God Berwick Hospital has recently completed a successful recruitment campaign and is not actively seeking more volunteers currently.

Our volunteers

Volunteering at our hospital can be a rewarding experience. We have 210 beds, six operating theatres, six birth suites, cardiac services, intensive care unit, palliative care services and more. Our volunteers deliver a diverse range of non-clinical duties in the following areas:

Cartwheels Arts Program: Volunteers with an interest in arts and crafts provide support to the artist-in-residence. Volunteers visit patient rooms to help patients choose arts materials and provide artistic guidance. Volunteers will also assist in art projects led by the artist-in-residence.

Community Wig Service: Volunteers provide a professional wig fitting service to clients experiencing cancer related hair loss. Clients receive a one-hour appointment with a volunteer wig fitter to help them choose an appropriate wig style, colour and fit. *Volunteers must complete professional wig fitting training / hairdressing experience is an advantage but not mandatory.

Craft Group: Volunteers with sewing, knitting and craft skills make care-bags and sleep caps for our oncology patients, beanies for our newborns and more.

Day Oncology Centre: Volunteers meet and greet new patients, provide a hospitality meal service, manage the kitchen area, organise brochure and information displays, general conversation with patients, and assemble education packs. Volunteers must complete food hygiene training.

Dementia Care: Volunteers provide a companionship visiting service to patients with dementia. Volunteers interact with patients to make the ‘most of the moment’ and engage with patients’ interests. This may include conversation and reminiscing, reading, playing music, activities e.g. board games, colouring etc. and assisting with patient comfort. Volunteers must complete dementia awareness training.

Gardening: Volunteers with gardening skills maintain our internal and external green spaces for patients and visitors to enjoy. We supply all equipment.

General support: Volunteers provide valuable assistance to our teams by assembling patient folders, preparing pre-admission packs, GP mail-outs, archiving of newspaper media articles and other ad hoc duties.

Meet and greet service: Volunteers assist our caregivers by escorting patients within the hospital to reach their correct destination. Volunteers liaise with front reception and concierge staff to enable the smooth handover of patients and way finding for visitors.

Palliative Care unit: Volunteers assist our caregivers to help patients and families be more comfortable during their stay in the palliative care unit. This can include a hospitality service, respite to families, companionship visiting, guided tours of the hospital, complimentary therapies, e.g. hand massage. Volunteers must complete palliative care training.

Palliative Care biography and life story service: Volunteers with writing, editing and interviewing skills assist our pastoral care team to offer patients a service that captures one’s life story, messages to loved ones, remembering special occasions and much more. Volunteers help the team collect and transcribe patients’ stories into a final memorial book or digital format. Volunteers must complete biography skills training.

Pastoral and communion service: Volunteers help our pastoral care team to provide a communion service and /or general supportive pastoral care to patients.

Patient discharge surveying: Volunteers visit patients prior to discharge to complete a survey electronically or in paper form. Volunteers upload the data onto our system to help us track feedback and make improvements to our services.

Ward support: Volunteers have the opportunity to assist caregivers and patients in Maternity, Medical, Surgical, Day Surgery and Rehab Wards. These roles are non-clinical and can include a hospitality service, orient patients to room facilities, keep lounge areas tidy, provide activity materials for visiting children, organise brochure displays and more. Please note: maternity ante-natal classes are conducted out-of-hours.

What skills and qualities do volunteers possess?

We are a values driven organisation where hospitality, compassion, respect, justice and excellence of care underpins our service ethos. We look for individuals whose own personal values compliment those of the hospital. 

  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently and within a team.
  • Demonstrated experience of caring for a loved one or caring in a professional capacity would be highly regarded.

If you are caring, friendly, sensitive to the needs of others, reliable and motivated, then you may wish to join our volunteer program.

What commitment is required?

To provide a high quality and sustainable volunteer service, we ask that volunteers:

  • Are aged 18 and over
  • Can provide a 12 month commitment comprising of a weekly or fortnightly shift (averaging two to four hours per shift).
  • Complete orientation and role specific mandatory training.

Please consider if this is a good time in your life to make such a commitment

For further information, please contact:

Volunteer recruitment frequently asked questions

A volunteer is someone who freely gives their time and skills to help others. Volunteers are unpaid for their contribution but are highly regarded for the assistance they give. At St John of God Berwick Hospital volunteering is considered different from other forms of unpaid contribution such as work experience, internships or placements carried out as part of a tertiary course.
Our volunteers come from all walks of life and have a diverse range of skills and personal attributes. We do not require a specific set of qualifications or skills.
To ensure the sustainability of our volunteer program, we ask people to provide a 12 month commitment comprising of weekly or fortnightly shifts (averaging two – four hours per shift).
Our program is open to people age 18 and over. While there is no upper age limit, the majority of our volunteers are aged between 18 and 75.
Volunteering Australia’s National Standards require organisations to apply screening processes when recruiting volunteers to help maintain the safety and security of service users, employees, volunteers and the organisation.

Each volunteer role is different so commitment of hours will vary accordingly. Typically, hours will be between two to four hours per week or fortnight. 

We cannot guarantee volunteers the minimum number of hours to qualify for Centrelink’s program. Therefore we do not participate in Work for the Dole. 
Yes, the purpose of the interview is to explain in more detail the volunteer program, types of roles and current vacancies. It enables us to discuss with the candidate their application and explore further their skills, interests and suitability for the program.  Reference checks are undertaken prior to inviting candidates onto the volunteer program. 
We are careful to recruit the right person for the right role to ensure the experience is beneficial for all. Sometimes people meet the role requirements but there is no vacancy. In these circumstances, volunteers can choose to accept a different role or go on a wait list until a vacancy occurs for their preferred position. Please note, we offer no time guarantees of when vacancies arise.

Yes all volunteers are required to wear a uniform shirt and photo ID.

All volunteers must complete mandatory training including: orientation, OH&S, fire & emergency training, hand hygiene. Some volunteer roles will require additional mandatory training provided by the hospital or an outsourced training provider.
All volunteers are supplied with a position description for their role.

Yes, all volunteers are covered by the hospital’s insurance when undertaking approved volunteer duties.

The hospital has a dedicated volunteer coordinator who manages the volunteer program and the network of volunteers. Either a ‘buddy’ or the unit manager also supports volunteers at departmental level.
We expect volunteers to have other personal commitments. Our program is flexible enough to accommodate changes in availability but we do ask that we are notified as soon as possible of absences to assist in planning.
Volunteers do not receive payment. We reimburse out-of-pocket expenses such as car parking. However, we do not cover fuel costs of travel to and from the hospital.