Volunteering in the community

In National Volunteer Week we recognise and thank the thousands of international students who generously volunteer their time in the South Australian community.

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In late 2019 a survey undertaken by StudyAdelaide showed more than one third (37 per cent) of international students based in Adelaide undertake some form of volunteer work in the South Australian community. With around 24,600 students currently in Adelaide that equates to more than 9,000 students joining the volunteer workforce.

They undertake work across a range of organisations, including Red Cross, St John Ambulance, RSPCA, Salvation Army and Puddle Jumpers, as well as volunteering with the institutions where they are completing their studies.

These students have indicated that volunteering in the community has helped with their own wellbeing at a time when they haven’t been able to travel home for close to 18 months due to COVID-19.

Aprille Chua is one such student. A UniSA student from Singapore undertaking a PhD in Design & Visual Communication, Aprille arrived in Adelaide in January 2020. She has been volunteering with the RSPCA since October 2020 at their Lonsdale site. Her roles include being part of the Dog Care team to clean, feed and walk the dogs, preparing food and training aids, and creating entertainment aids. She has put her graphic design skills to use by helping RPSCA with information for other volunteers and the public on cleaning dog kennels and explaining the RSPCA animal journey.

Aprille also volunteers with the Salvation Army, doing graphic design work and assisting at Christmas events. She is looking forward to helping with the upcoming Red Shield Appeal at the end of May. 

“I’m passionate about volunteering and the opportunity to give back to the community.  It’s great to get involved and meet new people, and to hopefully inspire others,” Aprille says.

“Volunteering also helps me with my wellbeing. It’s been difficult being away from home for such a long time, and volunteering has been very important to me and means I’m not just studying all the time.”

Thank you Aprille and all of the students sharing their time and talents in the community.

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