What's it like to be a DanceWize NSW Volunteer?
DanceWize NSW volunteers are recruited from the festival, rave, doof, and dance music communities. These Key Peer Educators (KPEs) bring a wealth of knowledge, compassion, integrity, and intrinsic motivation from their own experiences within these scenes. Our volunteers are all ages from 18 up, and they all identify as peers to the communities of people who use drugs in the music scenes that they love. The peer identities of our team are key to allowing for greater understanding of their community members' experiences, equipping them with the skills and empathy needed to provide relevant, no-judgmental support to festival patrons who use drugs.
Our KPEs have several areas of responsibility at an event including roving, care interventions, and education.
Care Interventions – These interventions mostly occur within the dedicated DanceWize NSW space, where we have a private chillout area to look after patrons and give them one-on-one care. This care might be a kind conversation, a safe place to rest, a cup of tea and a snack, or a warm, dry place to sleep overnight. Our care space is always co-located with onsite medical services and we monitor our patrons carefully while awake or asleep to determine if they need further care or support.
Peer Education – These peer education interactions also occur at the DanceWize NSW tent at an event and our KPEs assist patrons to learn more about recreational drug use, polydrug interactions, myth busting, drugs and the law, and referrals to services as required. Our KPEs are extensively trained to be able to answer most questions that patrons might have for them regarding drugs and other health and self care tips.
Roving – Our KPEs work in teams of 2 to walk through event grounds and campsites at peak periods, to keep an eye out for people who are feeling unwell or confused and provide support either via medical, our DanceWize NSW care space, or security, as necessary. Our rovers have radio contact with all necessary service providers and during the day also hand out things like fresh fruit, condoms, ear plugs, substance-specific harm reduction information, and lollipops.
By joining our team, a volunteer commits to the following:
• 5 hour induction training session
• Full day First Aid training course (funded by us) or a 3 hour CPR Refresher
• Approximately 11 additional hours of training modules, delivered in person or online
• 6-8 hour shift at one-day festivals
• Usually 16-18 hours of work at a multi-day festival like Dragon Dreaming/Subsonic etc.
• Monthly meetings at our office to discuss project updates, event briefings and training
• A volunteer deposit of max $150 for a festival ticket – refunded after the festival
In return, DanceWize NSW commits to the following, on behalf of our team:
• A complimentary festival ticket for the festivals you are working at
• Provide all volunteers with training in First Aid, Sexual Assault Response, Overdose Response, Blood-Borne Virus, Trip Sitting, Psycho-pharmacology, and Relevant Legal Information
• Sufficient time off to enjoy the festivals you are attending
• Team bonding activities to learn and enjoy each other’s company outside festival life
• Ongoing drug and alcohol education
• Induction into a team of amazing volunteers!
Do I need to attend every festival?
No. We understand the pressures of every day life, particularly with families, study or full-time work, so we only ask that you commit to as many as is realistic (4-6 per year if possible).
Can I join if I live outside Sydney?
Yes! We have team members in the Northern Rivers Region, Newcastle, Nowra, Canberra, and the Central Coast. It's important to note that while we do not operate within the ACT, we have a small team of KPEs based in Canberra who attend festivals in regional NSW and Sydney. We arrange online training opportunities and briefings for those remotely located KPEs via our Facebook group. We also understand that those who live in Byron Bay for example, may not be able to commit to a festival near Queanbeyan, given the long distance.
Do I need to work in the AOD industry already?
No. We have KPEs who work in health services, education, hospitality, rurally, as full-time mothers, students, and more. Diversity is key.
Do I need to have my own transport?
No. We attend rural/regional events as well as Sydney-based events, and we have a strong culture of carpooling among our volunteers. Around half of our team drive, so we are sure you'll find a lift. This is your responsibility to organise though - we cannot organise this for you.
Do I need a Working with Children Check?
Yes. This is free for volunteers and you'll be required to get one before your first festival attendance with us.
Can partners join up together?
Yes, however we have a policy of not rostering partners on shift in the same location together e.g. we would schedule one for roving and one in the care space.
Can I join the team if I am not an Australian citizen?
Yes, certainly! We do ask for a certain level of commitment though, due to the rigorous training program, so if you're only here for a month, it may not be the right program for you!
If you would like to know more, please contact NUAA on (02) 8354 7300 or free call 1800 644 413 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DanceWize NSW Application Form
If you are interested in volunteering for DanceWize NSW please complete the application form via the below link (you will need to register on MyVolunteerPage.com before completing your application).
Our recruitment and induction process can take some time, due to the volume of applications we receive and other demands on our time, but we will get back to you! Please be patient.