Applications Are Open!

Are you passionate about social change? Help make activism smarter and stronger by volunteering with the Commons Social Change Library.  You’ll help put skills and knowledge in the hands of people working on all sorts of social and environmental issues.

As a Commons Library volunteer you will become familiar with hundreds of educational resources. You’ll deepen your knowledge about many approaches to social change including campaigning, organising, digital tools, communications and media, creative actions, working in groups, wellbeing and much more.

We especially invite participation from First Nations people, people of colour, people with lived experience seeking asylum, and people with disability. However you identify you will still be considered, but priority will be given to members of these groups in 2022.

To apply for the Commons Library Volunteer Program please submit your application through the online form.

Support and Training

The Commons Library is committed to making social movements smarter and stronger and that includes our volunteers! Volunteers have access to:

  • An orientation session to help you understand the Commons Library and your options as a volunteer.
  • Monthly online training sessions. Topics so far include:
    • Knowledge, Justice & Ethics
    • How to Write Engaging Articles
    • Research Skills
    • Interview Techniques
    • Tailoring Resources for Different Learning & Access Needs
    • Making Graphic Elements & Shareable Social Media Content
  • One-to-one meetings to check in on your projects and provide guidance.
  • Slack channel for updates and sharing ideas.
  • Attendance at Australian Progress events to learn, network, and gather resources.

How Volunteers are Already Contributing

Commons volunteers have been contributing their skills and talents in a range of ways:

We welcome your involvement in tasks like these – and other ideas you’d like to suggest!

Big thanks to our past and current volunteers: Emily, Ailish, Georgia, Tariq, Sophie, Jan, Relle and Robyn.


I’ve always used the Commons as an activist and volunteering feels like a great way to give back. I’ve learnt so much since starting as a volunteer: working on community mapping, writing an article for the website, and working on a social media strategy, not to mention the regular training sessions Holly and the team run for volunteers. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of the team. – Sophie Hartley

I greatly appreciate having found somewhere that I can use my librarian skills to support social change. Whenever I mention the Commons Library to friends who are interested in making the world a better place, they either have already heard of it and find it invaluable, or they are so excited to hear that it exists because they know how much it will assist them in their activism. – Relle Graefe

The Details

We encourage volunteers to contribute 2-5 hours per week, to be completed on times and days that suit the volunteer’s availability. Volunteering can be very flexible to accommodate other commitments and time pressures like caring, work, study, and health issues.

The 2022 program runs April – October (with orientation available from March) with the potential to extend on mutual agreement of the volunteer and the Commons Social Change Library. Please note that if you are not available for the full program we will also consider volunteers for short defined projects. We can work with you to define the scope of your involvement.

Options for Collaboration

We welcome ideas for shared projects with other organisations. This means if you have an existing connection to an organisation, network or community you could attend events and produce resources of benefit to that organisation/network/community with support from the Commons Library. Examples of outcomes from this kind of collaboration include: campaign case studies; interviews with campaigners; articles on social change skills and strategy shaped to your particular audience; recordings from events; and materials to support training.

The volunteer program also benefits from the collaboration between the Commons Library and Australian Progress which means Commons volunteers can attend Progress events.

Thank You to Our Donors

The 2022 Commons Library volunteer program is made possible by:

  • A grant provided by the John T Reid Foundation
  • The support of philanthropic trusts and generous individuals including ACME Foundation, McKinnon Family Foundation, Rendere Trust, Community Impact Foundation, Tendashoot, Rose Gilder, Phillip Cornwell, and Judy McLennan
  • Our community of small donors including monthly givers.

Apply Now

To apply for the Commons Library Volunteer Program please submit your application through the online form.

The Commons is an equal opportunity employer. We aim to overcome barriers to access including those related to ability, education levels, language, income, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and any other oppression or systemic disadvantage.

We encourage people from around Australia to volunteer; the Commons is a digital library and volunteering will take place remotely. Different ages, experience levels and working styles are welcome. We welcome your different talents and what you can contribute.

Further information

Find out more about the Commons Library:

For accessibility enquiries or any further information please contact the Commons Librarians.

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