<p>Sydney Open volunteer speaking with visitors at the entrance to the State Theatre. Photo © Haley Richardson for Sydney Living Museums</p>

Sydney Open volunteer speaking with visitors at the entrance to the State Theatre. Photo © Haley Richardson for Sydney Living Museums

Volunteering at Sydney Open

About volunteering For Sydney Open

Sydney Open is Australia's premier open building event, a celebration of heritage and contemporary architecture, held in Sydney each November. Sydney Open gives inquisitive Sydneysiders the unique opportunity to go behind the scenes of more than 50 of Sydney’s best-loved buildings.

The success of Sydney Open depends on the generous support of hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers who help oover the weekend and in the weeks leading up to the event.  Sydney Open volunteers come from all walks of life and play a vital role in promoting the city they love.

When and where does Sydney Open happen?

Sydney Open is held on the first weekend of November each year.

Why volunteer?

Volunteers at Sydney Open have the fantastic opportunity to participate in their community. Many volunteers have helped over several Sydney Opens and we are delighted to welcome new volunteers into the Sydney Open team. We have volunteers of all ages (with a minimum age requirement of 18 years) and backgrounds coming together to share a common passion for Sydney’s architecture, to lend their skills, and gain experience of supporting a large cultural event. All our volunteers get the chance to meet new people, be involved in the community, share a passion for Sydney’s architecture and above all have fun!  

Volunteer benefits include:

  • A free Sydney Open Ticket (can be given to a friend or family member if volunteering for a full day Sunday shift)
  • Invitation to the Volunteers’ post event ‘Thank You’ party
  • Volunteer Site Supervisors receive a complimentary 3-month Sydney Living Museums membership
  • Site Volunteers and Volunteer Travel Officers are offered 20% discount to purchase a Sydney Living Museums membership
  • A Sydney Open t-shirt
  • A certificate of appreciation

What do volunteers do?

Site Volunteers are general event volunteers. They play a key role in creating a positive experience for visitors, providing information about the building and ensuring the public are directed through the site safely. Site Volunteers participating on the Sunday work in a busy environment and assist with managing queues and providing event and site information. Site Volunteers involved on the Saturday work at sites with small groups of visitors and support the organised and timely running of the Focus Tours. Saturday shifts are released only to volunteers serving a Sunday shift.

Volunteer Travel Officers act as Sydney Living Museums’ ambassadors on event buses on the day of Sydney Open, providing general event information to the ticket holders and ensuring smooth and safe access to shuttle buses. 

Volunteer Site Supervisors have a higher level of responsibility. Each Site Supervisor is allocated to one of the 50 Sydney Open buildings to oversee visitor access on the day their building is open. Site Supervisors act as the main contact for their site in the 9 weeks leading up to the event, liaising with the building representative and Sydney Living Museums to plan for access and logistics at their building. Site Supervisors manage a team of Site Volunteers on the event day. 

How many volunteers are involved?

Over 400 volunteers come together to make Sydney Open happen. We need approximately 25 Site Volunteers for Saturday and 300 Site Volunteers for Sunday. 55 Volunteer Site Supervisors are needed across the weekend – either the Saturday or Sunday; a small number of buildings are open on both days so these Site Supervisors must be available to volunteer on both days).

How long will my shift be?

All Site Volunteers must complete a half or full day shift on the Sunday. Half day shifts are in the morning or the afternoon for up to 5 hours. Full day shifts run for up to 9 hours. As only a small number of Site Volunteers are needed for the Saturday Focus Tours, these shifts will be offered to selected Site Volunteers based on previous Sydney Open experience or Sunday site selection. The length of these shifts depends on the timing of Focus Tours at each site but we expect half and full day shifts to be available. Please read the Role Description for more detail about the time commitment.

Volunteer Travel Officers attend a half day shift of up to 5 hours on the Sunday.   Please read the Role Description for more detail about the time commitment.

Volunteer Site Supervisors attend a full day shift of up to 10 hours on either the Saturday and/or the Sunday, depending on when their allocated building is open. They also assist in the weeks leading up to the event. Please read the Role Description for more detail about the time commitment.

How do I get involved?

Sydney Open is powered by an incredible team of volunteers. If you'd like to be kept informed of volunteering opportunities for 2018, sign up for our Volunteer Opportunities newsletter.

What training is required?

Site Volunteers must attend a 2-2.5 hour training session in October.  The details are outlined in the Role Description.

Volunteer Travel Officers must attend a 2 to 2.5 hour training session and a pre-event briefing. The details are outlined in the Role Description.

Volunteer Site Supervisors must attend a 1.5-2 hour training session in September, a visit to their allocated site and a pre event briefing. They also attend a number of other sessions in order to meet their Site Volunteers prior to the event. The details are outlined in the Role Description.

Please carefully read through the Role Descriptions for each role to find out more about the timings of training. All volunteer training will be held within Sydney CBD.

Can I choose what building I volunteer at?

Site Volunteers will be able to choose their own shift at the building of their choice, subject to availability. Shifts are released in October. Volunteer Site Supervisors are allocated to their site shortly after being interviewed. This is based on the level of complexity of the site as well as the Site Supervisor’s ability and building preference.

I volunteered for a previous Sydney Open. Do I have to complete the online application form and attend the training this year?

Site Volunteers who have volunteered at Sydney Open in the past few years are invited to volunteer again, and will not need to reapply online.

Site Volunteers who participated in Sydney Open 2014 or earlier will need to reapply using the online application form and supply a CV & ID documents. Once you are in our system you will not have to apply again next year!

All Site Volunteers must attend a training session to prepare for Sydney Open, even if they have volunteered before. Event information changes and we need to ensure you have the correct information for Sydney Open.

I don’t have an email address. Can I still volunteer at Sydney Open?

No. All Sydney Open volunteers must have a valid email address they can use for the duration of the project. This is because we are coordinating a large number of volunteers across multiple roles and we need to be able to communicate quickly and easily. Volunteer Site Supervisors also need to be able to communicate easily with their Site Volunteers.

I have an enquiry about volunteering for Sydney Open. How do I make contact?

You can email sydneyopenvols@sydneylivingmuseums.com.au