How to become a Community Worker

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.

Personal requirements of a Community Worker

  • Enjoy assisting people
  • Able to work independently
  • Able to work in cooperation with others
  • Good work organisation and time management skills
  • Able to relate to people effectively and patiently
  • Able to manage and help resolve conflict
  • Able to understand the issues and interests of the communities involved
  • Good oral and written communication skills

Education & Training for a Community Worker

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.

Related courses
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NT
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TAS

Duties & Tasks of a Community Worker

Community workers may perform the following tasks:

  • assist community groups in planning, developing, maintaining and evaluating community resources, programs and support networks
  • support, develop and evaluate strategies that encourage community participation in activities
  • research, analyse and assist council, town planning, corporate planning and environmental health departments in developing community service policies
  • communicate frequently with community groups, welfare agencies, government bodies, non-government organisations and private businesses about community services such as housing, health, welfare and recreation
  • monitor, evaluate and recommend changes to community development programs, policies, practices or budgets
  • help raise community and public awareness regarding issues such as welfare rights by promoting, organising and helping to coordinate meetings and seminars
  • carry out administrative work, which may include written correspondence, preparing submissions and reports for government bodies or other agencies and attending management meetings.

Working conditions for a Community Worker

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.

Employment Opportunities for a Community Worker

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.

Specialisations:


Aboriginal Affairs Administrator

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.

Additional Information
To become a member of the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA) you need to complete an approved degree or 2-year diploma in community services work, human services community welfare, community development or a similar discipline that is approved by ACWA. Contact the association for further information and a current list of approved courses. A Working With Children Check and National Police Check may also be required.
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