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Community Engagement Action Plan

The following guide is to help you identify and research suitable opportunities for the Community Engagement component of
your program, specifically ones that link to your personal interests, skills and occupational style. Adopting a proactive &
positive mindset, and being organised in your search for an opportunity, are important aspects of your own development and
the leadership journey the program offers you. As you work through the following instructions, fill out the My Plan
template at the end of this document.
Step1: What matters to me?
Reflecting on the kinds of social causes or issues that you care about is a great place to start in deciding what to do for your
Community Engagement.
Your turn: Read through the themes below and mark any which resonate with you with a tick. Notice any that may have
personal interest or relevance, make you think, or stir some emotion in you. Transfer the causes you have identified to the
first column of the My Plan template at the end of this document.
Care for the elderly
Animal Welfare
Emergency & Disaster
Disability Support
Health, Recreation &
Mental Health

Family Support
Environment &
Social Justice & the Law

Refugee & Migrant Support

Gay & Lesbian rights

Human Rights
Helping the homeless

Access to Education

Arts, Heritage & Culture

Child & Youth Support

Now try and describe why these issue(s) matter to you. Why do you feel strongly? Why and how could the situation be
improved? Try and form some opinions around the issues.

Step 2: Identifying organisations

Within Sydney alone there are hundreds of different organisations working to combat each of the social issues above. For
example if you care about arts & culture, you could volunteer in a museum, a public gallery, on a community arts programs,
at an arts event, or with the local or city council etc. Within these areas we could then research to find specific galleries,
museums or events in our neighbourhood.
Your turn: Brainstorm all the different types of organisations, groups or services working towards the social causes you have
identified above. Then use the tips below to identify specific organisations in your local area, and find their website. Then
transfer the details to the My Plan template at the end of this document. Use the example below as a guide.

Do a google search using the key words from the social causes that you identified above e.g. animal care Sydney,
animal rescue Sydney
Search from over 600 different charities across Sydney using the Go Volunteer website: http://govolunteer.com.au/
(X(1)S(vt0s4mnomdj3za50arorjsfc))/Organisation/SearchResults (narrow the search according to the causes that
interest you and your area of Sydney)
Use the Community Partner Directory in the resources section of the LP website to find organisations that students
of the program have previously volunteered with, in your areas of interests and accessible locations around Sydney.
Think about your own network. Does anyone work or volunteer or have experience in your fields of interest? Who do
they know?
Search one of many online not for profit directories to identify organisations offering community services in your
area. e.g. http://www.probonoaustralia.com.au/directory and http://www.connectingup.org/directory/nonprofit
Use https://student.unsw.edu.au/advantage to find volunteering opportunities within UNSW in your interest area. Talk
to them about the program

Causes I identified

Types of

Specific organisations/contacts


e.g. Animal cruelty/care

Animal Rights organisations

Animal Shelters
Zoos & wildlife parks
Relevant Events

Animal Rights Australia
Sydney Dogs and Cats Home
Sydney Zoo
Heatherdale Wildlife Park
Easter Show


Step 3: Volunteer roles

So you now have a better understanding of a social issue you care about, and hopefully a list of relevant organisations to
research further and possibly approach. However in every field there are a multitude of possible volunteering roles you could
do. Take for example the field of mental health. Volunteering in this area could include public education, doing research,
supporting people with health issues, or fundraising, to name just a few areas. So the next step is to find out more about the
range of volunteering roles each organisation is offering.
Your turn: Review the website of each organisation you have identified and all of the volunteer opportunities they have
available. List each opportunity in the next column of My Plan, with any additional comments you need to make a note of.
See the example below to help.
Opportunities are usually listed in the Volunteer or Get Involved sections of an organisations website.

Types of


Animal Rights

Animal Rights Australia

Animal Shelters

Sydney Dogs and Cats


Zoos & wildlife


Sydney Zoo
Heatherdale Wildlife

Relevant Events
Easter Show

Step 4: Discovering your occupational type



Volunteer roles

Comments (deadline,
location etc.)

No opportunities
No opportunities


Kennel Assistants, Event

Volunteers, Animal
Transporters or Youth

Apply online by 12/02/2016

Location?? Will I get
distressed for badly treated


Life Science Volunteers,

Guest Volunteers, Bush
regeneration, Administration

12 month commitment too

long? Lengthy and
competitive application

Hopefully you have found a whole range of different sorts of volunteer roles in your field, even within one organisation.
Perhaps you are already imagining some might be enjoyable, whilst others not so much. Identifying your preferred
occupational type can help you decide which of the roles above are most likely to interest you, be the most enjoyable, and
help you develop skills and experience that will support your longer term career progression.

Your turn: Read through the following descriptions and look at the diagram to learn about the different your occupational
types. Which one fits you most closely? (You may be a combination of a couple of type)
Realistic The Doer

Likes to work with animals, tools, or machines; generally avoids social activities like teaching, healing, and informing
Has good skills in working with tools, mechanical or electrical drawings, machines, or plants and animals;
Values practical things you can see, touch, and use like plants and animals, tools, equipment, or machines; and
Sees self as practical, mechanical, and realistic.

Investigative The Thinker

Likes to study and solve math or science problems; generally avoids leading, selling, or persuading people;
Is good at understanding and solving science and math problems;
Values science; and
Sees self as precise, scientific, and intellectual.

Artistic The Creator

Likes to do creative activities like art, drama, crafts, dance, music, or creative writing; generally avoids highly ordered
or repetitive activities;
Has good artistic abilities - in creative writing, drama, crafts, music, or art;
Values the creative arts - like drama, music, art, or the works of creative writers; and
Sees self as expressive, original, and independent.

Social The Helper

Likes to help people e.g. teaching, nursing, giving first aid, providing information; avoids using machines, tools, or
animals to achieve a goal;
Is good at teaching, counselling, nursing, or giving information;
Values helping people and solving social problems; and
Sees self as helpful, friendly, and trustworthy.

Enterprising The Persuader

Likes to lead & persuade people, to sell things and ideas; generally avoids activities that require careful observation &
scientific, analytical thinking;
Is good at leading people and selling things or ideas;
Values success in politics, leadership, or business; and
Sees self as energetic, ambitious, and sociable.

Conventional The Organiser

Likes to work with numbers, records, or machines in a set, orderly way; generally avoids ambiguous, unstructured
Is good at working with written records and numbers in a systematic, orderly way;
Values success in business; and
Sees self as orderly, and good at following a set plan.

Interested in this activity? Try

this more in-depth quiz

My Occupational Type is:

Step 5: Creating a Shortlist

So now you know your occupational type, the next step is to look back at the volunteer roles in My Plan and identify which
are most closely linked to your type. These ones are most likely to be a good fit.
Test each of these options a little further by asking the following questions (of each one):
How well do I meet the criteria for this role (skills, experience etc.)?

Are the time frame, hours, commitment and location of this role suitable for me?
What value will I take away personally or professionally now and in the longer term from this experience?
Does it seem fun, interesting and exciting to me?
Discard any roles that dont seem to be suitable, so you end up with a proof tested short list.
Your turn: Complete the shortlist table in the My Plan document with the most suitable volunteering roles you have
identified. Make a note of how you apply, what you can bring to the role (to help you when you apply and update your
resume) and the value you think you will take away. Based on these factors, rate the opportunity out of 10. Use the example
below to help
Example: My Shortlist
Voluntee Organisatio
r Position

Sydney Dogs &

Cats Home



How to
Attend drop in
session 11am
Saturday, and
application form

What I can
Yr 12 work
experience in
Physically strong
and fit
Experience caring
for many dogs in

Value for me

Enjoyment of spending time with animals

Keep fit and enjoy physical/manual work (suits
realistic occupational style)
Learn more about animal care to support me in
goal to become a vet

g /10

Step 6: Get to work! My To do List

With so many possible opportunities, its really important to keep a track of your progress and make a note of all the tasks
that you need to do to reach your goal, ideally with the date by which you will do them.
Your turn: Use the To Do List below to start creating a list of all the tasks you need to do next, and keep a log of each next
step as you go along to keep you on track.

To Do list:

Volunteer Role and Org

Kennel Assistant at Cats and
Kennel Assistant at Cats and
Kennel Assistant at Cats and

Activity/Task/Follow Up
Book into the Info session next Saturday
Update resume and attend Careers and Employment appointment to get it reviewed
Talk to Uncle who works at a vet clinic to get his perspective on suitability of role

Due Date

Step 7: Additional Support

Finding your community engagement can be a hurdle, and sometimes finding a group of people who are in the same position,
and getting some extra support can really make all the difference.
Your turn: Book in and come along to one of the Volunteering Network sessions to help you with your search. You will get to
share ideas with others on the program, maybe even buddy up with someone else wanting to volunteer in the same area. You
will also hear from previous volunteers about their experiences, and get help from staff in where to look and how to approach
an organisation you are interested in.

Step 8: Get your Community Engagement Approved

Of course you need to discuss the details of the Leadership Program with your supervisor. Remember they will need to keep
track of you hours and submit two short forms through My Record about your placement, one at the beginning and one at the
end. You cant start counting your 20 hours until the Leadership Program team have approved your placement.
Your turn: When everything is discussed and confirmed with your supervisor, the final step is to log onto My Record and
complete and submit the form entitled Community Engagement Approval (www.myrecord.unsw.edu.au). Then you can start
counting your hours!

Community Engagement Action Plan

Possible Community Engagement Opportunities:
My Social

Types of



Volunteer Roles

Additional Comments

My Shortlist:



How to apply

What I can contribute

Value for me

Rating /

To Do list:
Volunteer Position and

Activity/Task/Follow Up

Due Date

Details of confirmed Community Engagement opportunity:

Organisation name:
Start date:
Supervisor name and contacts:

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