Information for current volunteers
Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Port Stephens community - the time and energy you give makes our beautiful region a better place to live, work and play. Without our volunteers, many of our programs and services could not be provided to our community. Whether you make a hands-on contribution, help others, share your knowledge and experiences, or stay active and form new friendships, we appreciate the role you play.
This information is for our volunteers and committee members to assist you to undertake your roles.
All Council volunteers are required to comply with Council's code of conduct.
Volunteer recognition and training
Port Stephens Council recognises the contribution that committees, groups and volunteers make to our community through the Volunteer Recognition Scheme. This scheme encourages volunteers, staff and the community to nominate volunteers or groups activities for recognition.
Our volunteer training aims to provide volunteers with the skills and information they need to be able to complete their volunteering duties and responsibilities in a safe and efficient manner.
Bookings are essential — if you want to attend a session, you must book by email or phone 4988 0567. Please provide:
- your name
- phone number
- email address
- the Council service you are from
- which training you wish to attend.
The exact location of training being held and further details will be provided after booking.
Due to social distancing restrictions there may be limits on the number of people that can attend these sessions.
- work health and safety
- code of conduct
- customer service.
- monthly cashbooks
- annual summaries
- GST reporting
- accounting for investments
- financial record keeping
First Aid training providers
First Aid training for other Council volunteers
First Aid training for committee and volunteer group members
- A Council committee or group endorses the most relevant members to have First Aid training and informs the Volunteers Coordinator.
- To undertake training at Tomaree Community College, Council's Volunteers Coordinator must first give approval to the College. The member may then book directly with the College. No bookings can be made without prior approval from Council.
- If the member wishes to undertake First Aid training through Council or St John, please ask the Volunteers Coordinator for further details.
- Approved training is paid for by Council.
- The committee or group is notified once the member has undertaken the First Aid training.
- hear from Council staff on what grants are open, who can apply, what type of things can be applied for
- get tips and tricks to strengthen your application
- biodiversity research
- connecting to the natural world
- teamwork and more.
Safe chemical use for weed control
- chemical preparation and application
- work, health and safety
- environmental and weed awareness
- transporting and storing weeds
- procedures and recording
Using the Enviro Reporting App
355c committee management
Download the Councillor Respresentatives on 355c Committees document to find the relevant Councillor.
- AGM minutes.
- Committee Annual Report - this is a brief summary of activities and projects the committee have worked on over the past year and those for the next 12 months.
- An updated list of members and account signatories.
Under delegated authority, 355c committees are able to engage a supplier or contractor to deliver goods and/or services to meet the requirements of the committee. These need to follow Council's procurement procedures.
Hall and Community Centre Committees can contribute to setting fees and charges on behalf of Council. This consultation with committees begins in December.
Forums are an opportunity for volunteer representatives and Council staff to meet and discuss the committee management od community facilities and volunteer activities in parks, natural areas and cemeteries.
Getting approval and completing works
Before a Committee can start any works, you will need to get approval from Council to ensure that the correct processes are followed and equipment is provided.
The below FAQ's provides a starting point for how our volunteers report matters, request maintenance and obtain approvals.
- upgrades to hall
- new pathways
- garden beds
- structures and seating
- new sporting facilities
- weed control
- track maintenance
- rubbish removal
- environmental monitoring activities
- description of item/s
- value and reason for disposal
- location of item and whether Council assistance is required
- if there are any Council identifying marks
- are there other uses for the item, such as a donation to community organisation.
Volunteer group operations
The below information will help you understand the way that volunteer groups are run and any resourcing that you need to complete works.
Volunteer groups are part of Council and are established under the Local Government Act 1993, but they are not 355c Committees. This means that groups can work in a safe manner while still being supported by Council.
Work, health and safety
Under work health and safety legislation, volunteers are treated the same as Council workers. Council is required to provide a safe working environment for all employees, including volunteers.
- confined space entry
- excavation, penetration and trenching
- use of chainsaws
- use of plant machinery
- work on electrical equipment and tools
- work on ladders or at heights
- tree branch removal
- unapproved clearing
- chemical handling (unless a volunteer has undertaken training)
- Safe Work Method Statement — Volunteers — Herbicide spraying (PDF 129KB)
- Safe Work Method Statement — Volunteers — Litter collection and sharps (PDF File 197KB)
- Safe Work Method Statement — Volunteers — Planting, mulching and hand weeding (PDF 196KB)
- Safe Work Method Statement — Volunteers — Tools and equipment (PDF 189KB)
- Safe Work Method Statement — Volunteers — Working outdoors (PDF 212KB)
- Safe Work Method Statement — Volunteers — Fertiliser application (PDF 93KB)
- the identity of the chemical;
- health and physicochemical hazards;
- safe handling and storage procedures;
- emergency procedures; and
- disposal considerations.