This blog is about becoming a volunteer at the Aviation Heritage Museum.
Often I get asked how to become a volunteer at the Aviation Heritage Museum and what is involved. I hope this helps...
If you want to volunteer in the Museum you must first ask yourself why do you want to volunteer. Most people volunteer somewhere because they have a bit of time and want to do something valuable for someone else or the community. The next question you need to ask is, when are you available? It is no use going through the process of becoming a volunteer and then finding out you are too busy to come in. At the Aviation Museum, most volunteers work from 9:30 am till 3:30 pm one or two days a week. That means every week, month in and month out, often for years or even decades. This is a real commitment. Not a fleeting fancy. Occasionally a person will come in and want to volunteer for a limited time, such as a college student that has some time during school break or a person looking for a job. This is okay, but it is important to mention this up front so that the manager can organise a position appropriately. The jobs that these volunteers do are usually cleaning, dusting or helping in the gift shop. The last thing the Museum needs is a volunteer to start a job and then leave it half finished.
So lets assume that you are really interested in committing to a day a week for the foreseeable future and want to help the Museum. Then the first thing to do is to talk to your spouse, children or any extended family member that will be affected by your commitment. Occasionally a volunteer will start working at the Museum and then find out that their spouse or grown children need their time more than they expected and they can not continue or they must reduce their volunteering time at the Museum. Talk to your family and discuss why you want to volunteer, how much time you plan to commit and the ways volunteering may impact on your relationship. It is often at this time that the volunteer determines which days they will be able to work and how much of a commitment they can afford.
Next take stock of what life skills you have developed but don't discount them. Often a volunteering organisation will have positions that you wouldn't expect. For example the Aviation Heritage Museum has a plastic model group, a picture framer, a mural artist, an electronic engineer and a web designer. They are all volunteers. So when you have your interview, make sure you mention your skills. Also you may want to learn a new skill. The Museum often takes on new volunteers that want to learn to do something different. If you have an great idea and want to do something that is unusual, ask the manager during the interview. You might be surprised.
When you front up for the interview, bring a picture ID and your resume if you have one. The interview is all about finding out what commitment you want to make and where you might fit into the Museum. The manager is looking for someone that has skills that the Museum needs. There is no pressure or hard questions, it's all about the volunteer and the Museum.
Once you have done a bit of paperwork the manager will show you around the Museum and explain where the sign in sheet and break-room are and other facilities of the Museum. He will make a copy of your picture ID for the police check and arrange for a time that you can come in for a safety induction. After the interview the manager will submit the paperwork for the police check to the RAAFA office. RAAFA pays for the police check. You don't need a working with children card unless you are going to volunteer with the youth club. Usually the first day you start, the manager will do your safety induction with you. This consist of explaining your responsibilities under the WA OH&S act (1984) and then a walk around the Museum in order to show you where the safety equipment is located. Once this is done you will be introduced to your team leader and he or she will start you working in the Museum.
To become a volunteer at the Museum visit the Museum any day from 10am till 4pm and ask for a volunteer application or call the manager direct on 93114471 and make an appointment to come in for an interview.