Being a BlazeAid Volunteer
Being a BlazeAid Volunteer
You do not need any fencing experience, just a willingness to give it a go and learn on the job. You can volunteer for a day or two, or a week or more. Simply contact the Camp Coordinator before you are ready to come to the basecamp to discuss your travel plans.
Fencing is not only “men’s work” and age is no barrier. Over one third of the previous BlazeAid volunteers – Black Saturday 2009 and Cyclone Yasi and Floods 2011 and 2012 – were ladies. Many of our long-term volunteers are in their 50s and 60s, with other volunteers aged from teens to their 80s.
Not all fencing involves heavy work. Many fences need to be cleared of debris before they can be stood up and rebuilt. For new fences, the wires need to be run through the holes in the posts, and posts need to be held in place while the sighting is done.
Volunteers must be aged 12 years and older, as our Volunteer Workers Insurance only covers volunteers aged 12 to 85 years. Any volunteers under the age of 18 years must be accompanied and supervised by a responsible adult. We are working on rural properties in challenging conditions, so please ensure any young volunteers are suited to this type of work.
Volunteers are working with wire and other debris, so please ensure that your Tetanus injection is up to date. Flies and mosquitoes will also be around, so make sure you bring insect repellent.
Volunteers are strongly advised to have Ambulance Cover when they come to the basecamps. If you need an ambulance for any incident that isn’t covered by insurance, you could face a bill for thousands of dollars.
BlazeAid has the best insurance possible with AON – we have searched the planet! It covers Australian residents very well but only partially covers Non-Australian volunteers who need to read the following carefully if coming to BlazeAid:
Are you an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident?
Please Provide your Medicare number and expiry date when you register as a volunteer. Volunteers are strongly advised to have Ambulance Cover when they come to the basecamps.
Is your passport from Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, or the United Kingdom?
Bring your Medicare card with you to BlazeAid and you are covered as Australia has a Reciprocal Health and Medical Benefits program with your country. You are welcome to volunteer at BlazeAid. Volunteers are strongly advised to have Ambulance Cover when they come to the basecamps.
Is your passport from Italy or Malta?
The Reciprocal Health benefits only covers you for Medical and Hospital benefits for your first 6 months in Australia. Covid-19 extensions have been applied. Please ensure that you know when these cut-off dates are. You may volunteer for BlazeAid as long as you have a current Medicare card. After this period ends you will need to proceed to Advice for all other countries. Volunteers are strongly advised to have Ambulance Cover when they come to the basecamps.
Is your passport from New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland?
You are covered for Public hospital and PBS drugs and you will be seen by a doctor – You will need to show your passport. You will however need to show adequate Travel Insurance which covers volunteering on farms. Volunteers are strongly advised to have Ambulance Cover when they come to the basecamps.
Advice for all other countries
You will need to provide written documentation that you have a Travel Insurance Policy which covers you for manual volunteering on farms. You will need to ensure you have provided this proof to the BlazeAid Coordinator before you are accepted as a volunteer with BlazeAid. The policy must be active. Please be aware of any withholding periods if you are committing to a new policy. Volunteers are strongly advised to have Ambulance Cover when they come to the basecamps.
Please note that Volunteers who work for property owners outside of Blazeaid camps will NOT be covered under Blazeaid volunteer insurance. You need to organise your own insurance or make sure you are covered under the property owner’s insurance.
Morning Muster at usually around 7.30 each morning, following on from breakfast. We have fencing teams out every day of the week, Monday to Sunday, including public holidays.
On days of high temperatures, our teams usually start earlier and finish earlier, to avoid the worst of the day’s heat.
At Morning Muster, you will join a fencing team, with a Team Leader who knows how to fence. The Camp Coordinator will welcome everyone, and run through a Safety Talk, then you will head out with your team.
We encourage volunteer teams to car-pool to get to the workplace they are working on. If you are driving your car to a workplace, please check with the Team Leader about road conditions and decide whether you want to take your vehicle. All BlazeAid Volunteers are responsible for ensuring they have Comprehensive Vehicle Cover on any personal vehicle used for BlazeAid purposes.
During the day, you’ll work side-by-side with the owner to help clear debris and rebuild or replace fences then return to basecamp to relax and chat before tea.
The families we’re assisting are really grateful for the work, support and friendship of BlazeAid’s volunteers.
Please give us a call before you arrive.
Once you have decided which basecamp you would like to come to, please phone the Camp Coordinator before you make travel plans to ensure that you have all of our Insurance and Covid Safety requirements covered.