The Friends of Parks SA organisation is suitable for people of all ages who have an interest in the incredible diversity of the state’s plants and animals.
If you’re interested in volunteering with one of our many member groups, these FAQs provide you with some more information.
I'd like to volunteer. What steps should I take to join a group?
STEP 1: Find your Friends Group
Search our Member Directory to find a group in your area of interest. You can then visit their member page which will provide you with contact details.
STEP 2: Contact your Friends Group
Contact a Friends Group and enquire about what activities they engage in and the types of roles you could enjoy.
In liaison with their ranger, each Friends Group decides upon a range of activities it wishes to undertake in a park. How you contribute depends on what your personal goals are. Activities can focus upon biodiversity conservation and/or cultural heritage projects.
Biodiversity conservation requires a range of strategies that often emphasise bushcare techniques (minimal disturbance weeding) but also can require chemical or biological control of weeds and/or feral animals.
Mapping and/or monitoring of species can provide an opportunity to use or develop knowledge of particular plants or birds. Also photographic skills!
Heritage projects can utilise and develop maintenance and construction skills or research skills as you delve into the history of a site.
There are other opportunities available! Producing newsletters or publicising the work of your group or issues at your site; creating information displays; organising educational or cultural events, or the social program for your group. And the challenge of fundraising can exercise and develop the creative talents of others.
Attend the next meeting and/or working bee of the Friends Group.
STEP 3: Become a Member
Most Friends Groups require a small joining fee, and operates autonomously, in liaison with their district staff. You will receive a copy of the induction document which explains how you can become a responsible and valued contributor.
Will I receive training?
The Friends of Parks SA Board and NPWS staff can assist with training opportunities in consultation with rangers and specialist DEW officers. The Friends of Parks SA Inc. Board also sponsors some training each year i.e. bushcare.
NPWS offers some training courses including chainsaw use, flora identification, safe use of chemicals etc.
Many friends become members of a friends group because of an interest in fauna, flora, history, heritage or geology. Over time they collectively accumulate a wealth of knowledge about many of the above and in particular the park you have friended.
What are my responsibilities?
Enjoy your volunteering experiences.
Respect the park in which you have an interest and treat it as if was your own.
Follow safety instructions as and when required to protect yourself and your fellow friends. A good general rule when you are not sure is to ask yourself “what would a reasonable person do in these circumstances?” All volunteers are covered by the Volunteer Protection Act as discussed at “Am I protected.”
Apart from planting, weeding, trail making etc. you may also volunteer to be a Friends of Parks SA Board member – perhaps even a President, Secretary or Treasurer. These are positions that carry specific responsibilities.
Am I covered for insurance?
To ensure protection for the organisation and volunteers in relation to personal injury, organisations may need to consider obtaining specific insurance cover. This additional cover can provide benefits to volunteers following injury, disability or even death while carrying out duties for their organisation. A volunteer is not protected under the Act if they:
- act illegally
- are affected by alcohol or illicit drugs
- defame someone
- act outside or contrary to activities authorised by the organisation
- In effect, the Act transfers personal liability from the individual to the organisation
Discover your local parks
The Friends of Parks organisation is suitable for people of all ages who have in interest in the wonderful diversity found in the state’s national parks and reserves.
So why not find a Friends group in your area of interest, visit their member page, and get in touch with them to find out what activities they engage in, and the types of roles you could enjoy.
Join a Group