Living and working with remote Indigenous communities in Australia offers a rich cultural experience. Lattitude Volunteers have been working within Indigenous schools for a number of years, assisting students with their English and numeracy skills (as for many it is their second or third language) and getting involved in sport, music and drama activities.
Placements are located in Darwin, Townsville and an hour north and south of Cairns, click here to view a map.
Is it for me?
These placements will give you the opportunity to learn more about remote Indigenous communities in Australia while supporting young students living away from their traditional support network. They will suit patient, resourceful people who are accepting of the beliefs and values of Australia’s Indigenous communities. Placements in Australia are offered at a reduced cost to those in other countries.
School Assistant placements offer the chance for volunteers to live and work with young people from remote Indigenous communities. For many students it is their first time attending formal education. Schools are either for Indigenous students only or have a mixture of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.
Volunteers assist with the supervision of students in the school boarding house before and after school and at weekends, as well as assisting in the classroom with one-on-one tutoring and group work. This is particularly important for students with low levels of grammar and literacy. Help is also required in intensive English programs for children who do not have English as their native language.
Volunteers have the opportunity to become involved in areas of personal interest such as sport, music and drama. They might also supervise on school camps, help in the school office or library and, for those with driving licences, transport boarders to doctor’s appointments, sport matches, and other appointments as required.
A small amount of pocket money is paid each week for placements in Australia.
Accommodation & food
Accommodation is provided in the staff quarters on campus, or volunteers are given their own room within the school boarding house. Food is supplied in conjunction with accommodation.
Before you go:
- We find out more about each volunteer through an interview which helps us select the right people and after a second interview, we match them to a placement that’s right for them.
- Once selected, each volunteer is allocated a Coordinator in the Melbourne office who assists them with all preparations. They provide briefing materials, support with logistics such as flights and are there to answer any questions.
- Everyone attends a briefing camp to meet other volunteers and Lattitude staff, identify their learning needs and hear from returned volunteers.
- All volunteers sign our Code of Conduct to ensure that our expectations of each volunteer are agreed and clear from the outset.
While you're there:
- We have paid staff based in each country. Our Country Managers oversee the program and work with a team of Local Representatives who provide support in the local areas and develop close relationships with placement hosts.
- Volunteers make their own way to their placement; however Australian volunteers may also attend an orientation session in Melbourne with all other international volunteers undertaking a placement in Australia.
- Each volunteer is visited at their placement soon after arrival by a local staff member to check how things are and provide additional support if needed.
- We provide 24/7 emergency support from Melbourne.
When you're back:
- We recognise that coming home can be difficult and provide one-to-one support, with onward referrals for further professional support if needed. Volunteers are invited to debriefing events and become part of our network of alumni.
- We undertake reviews against the learning needs identified before departure which may form part of a reference provided at the end. A letter can also be provided to use towards an application for Youth Allowance.
These costs are for Lattitude placements in Australia in 2014
Lattitude fees (exact costs):
|Lattitude Application Fee||$125|
|Lattitude Placement Fee||$2300|
You will also need to budget for the following (approx costs):
|Return Airfare (ex Melbourne/Sydney)||$500|
|Total cost (approximate)
The main opportunity for travel will be in the school holidays or at the end of your placement, where you can really explore the local area. Darwin-based volunteers can discover the wonders of World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, Katherine and the Tiwi Islands. If based in Townsville a wonderland of natural attractions is within 100 kilometres, including Australia’s highest single drop waterfall at Hinchinbrook National Park. Those further north in the Cairns area have the incredible Great Barrier Reef, Atherton Tablelands and Cape Tribulation within easy reach. Some volunteers may also have the chance to travel to stunning remote areas on excursions or to outdoor camps during their placement.
(limited places available for 17 year olds)
|Departs in 2014:||January|
> Schools Assistant
Population: 21 million
Time Zone: 3 different time zones from east to west coast (Australian Eastern, Central and Western Standard Times)
Climate: The northern states of Australia are typically warm and tropical, with the southern states experiencing a range of temperatures throughout the year
Currency: Australian Dollar
“The school that I'm working in is lots of fun. I work with the Indigenous students in a program that tries to improve their English as much as possible. A lot of the children are from the Tiwi Islands (north of Darwin), Dali River (Western Australia) and quite a few are from the desert in Central Australia. There appears to be a real want to learn - they try so hard in class.”
Becki Otter, Lattitude Schools Assistant