Our volunteers are crucial to Sydney Living Museums’ ability to deliver meaningful experiences of our heritage buildings and collections. Across all of our museums, these passionate, skilled and enthusiastic individuals enable SLM to extend our work to cherish, protect and share our places and stories.


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About SLM Volunteer Program

With 12 very different museums, along with gardens, collections and a huge and diverse program of exhibitions, events and special projects, there is always plenty to do, experience and learn, no matter what your interests and skills. Whether you can make a regular weekly commitment or prefer to help out every now and again, we welcome and value your involvement.

To find out about current volunteering opportunities, please visit our current opportunities page.

Woman showing another woman the exterior of building.
Volunteer showing visitor around at The Mint. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums
I applied to be a volunteer guide just 5 years ago. My motives then were a love of history and an enthusiasm for meeting and communicating with a wide variety of people ... Janet Whitten, speaker program volunteer


Our volunteers tell us that being a volunteer brings many benefits and that they gain as much from helping us as we gain from their help. Volunteering provides opportunities to develop and share knowledge, practical skills, talents and friendships.

In appreciation of the contribution our volunteers make, each volunteer in an ongoing role in the SLM volunteer program receives a free Sydney Living Museums membership. Membership includes unlimited free entry to all SLM museums and properties, plus discounts on our programs and special offers at our shops, restaurants and cafes. Membership also entitles our volunteers to a subscription to our quarterly magazine Unlocked.

In addition to the complimentary membership, ongoing volunteers also receive invitations to outings and events for volunteers only, including an annual morning tea to celebrate the achievements and contribution of all our volunteers, as well as a volunteers-only newsletter.

(Note that the above volunteer benefits including free SLM membership are not provided to Sydney Open volunteers as the Sydney Open volunteer program offers a different set of volunteer benefits.)

Volunteer roles

We offer a diverse mix of opportunities and roles for volunteers, which draw on a diverse range of skills and qualities. We also recruit a group of volunteers for Sydney Open as a separate process every year.


Now held every year, Sydney Open sees Sydney throw open the doors of many of its award-winning contemporary and much-loved heritage buildings so they can be enjoyed and explored by thousands of visitors. Sydney Open’s success depends on the generous support of hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers, who help on the day or in the months leading up to the event. Sydney Open has a separate application process to the general SLM Volunteer Program as well as different benefits.

We have concluded volunteer recruitment for 2017. If you'd like to be kept informed of volunteering opportunities for 2018, please sign up for our Volunteer Opportunities newsletter.

two people looking up steps at sandstone building.
Sydney Open volunteer with visitor, Sydney Town Hall. Photo © Hayley Richardson for Sydney Living Museums

Speaker program volunteers

Speaker program volunteers are our community ambassadors, speaking to a range of community groups such as Probus and View Clubs. In this role, volunteers help to raise awareness of our museums, exhibitions, research and projects, and the importance of cultural heritage more generally in NSW. Speaker program guides need to be confident public speakers and comfortable mixing with people.


Event volunteers help us with a wide range of programs, events, tours and talks, such as the Fifties Fair, Vintage Sunday series and Artisan Christmas Market. The amount of time required and the type of help needed varies depending on the nature and location of each event. So in this role, you need to be flexible, enjoy working with a variety of people of different ages and backgrounds, and be ready to step in and help wherever needed.

Two children playing with Lego in front of Lego model buildings.
 Lego® Bricks Exhibition Volunteer roles
Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums


Project volunteers work behind the scenes in one of our specialist departments, such as Design, Marketing or the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection. Volunteering on these projects provides opportunities to work alongside our staff and use or develop skills in a diverse range of areas, such as exhibition and archival research, administration, gardening, writing, embroidery and conservation.

Woman in white standing with two other women at dining table assisting two seated women with threads.
Curator Joanna Nicholas with members of the Soft Furnishings Volunteers Group working at the dining room table, Elizabeth Bay House. Photo © Haley Richardson and Stuart Miller for Sydney Living Museums


Our museum volunteers are our frontline storytellers and hosts. They welcome and guide visitors around our properties, sharing our stories with them and encouraging them to share their stories with us. It’s a role that requires direct contact with the public and suits people who are great at customer service and communicating with people.

Volunteer wearing identification badge in Rose Seidler House with crowds.
Volunteer at Fifties Fair. Photo © Hamilton Lund


Volunteer opportunities become available as they are needed to support particular teams and programs at Sydney Living Museums. These positions are advertised on our Current volunteering opportunities page.

For each volunteer role that is open we provide a Role Description which lists the specific skills and experience we are looking for. Applicants are asked to submit an application form for that role and a CV, and if shortlisted will be invited to attend an interview.

Please note that we are only able to accept volunteer applications when a volunteer role is currently being advertised. Regrettably we are unable to take on new volunteers in response to individual requests. However we would love to let you know when new volunteer roles become available so please register to keep updated.