Community workers encourage and assist community groups to identify their needs, participate in decision-making and develop appropriate services and facilities to meet those needs.
To become a community worker you usually have to complete a VET qualification in a relevant discipline such as community services or community development. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a community worker by studying a relevant field at university. Entry to relevant degree courses usually requires you to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. For more details, see the separate entries for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker, Social Worker, Welfare Worker and Youth Worker. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.
Community workers may perform the following tasks:
The work of community workers involves considerable personal contact and travel within communities. They are normally expected to attend evening meetings and occasional weekend activities.
Community workers work with groups of people in various settings, including aged care, youth and community centres, youth shelters, centres for people with disability, and Aboriginal communities. They also work for local councils and for the family and community service agencies of state and territory governments. Many community workers move on to self-employment and undertake contract community work on specific projects. Community workers may work in urban or remote areas. Employment prospects depend on the level of government funding for community organisations and the number of programs to be conducted and administered.
An aboriginal affairs administrator is involved in running organisations that provide services and assistance to Aboriginal communities in areas such as art and crafts, education, health and housing. Their work also involves organising events and activities to meet local needs.