Landcare & environmental volunteering

A large group of environmental volunteers posing for a photo together

Friends groups

Landcare and friend groups help to protect and restore a wide range of native plants, animals and environments.

Friends groups are comprised of members who work together to help protect and restore:

  • specific reserves
  • native plant species
  • animal species

There are hundreds of friends groups helping to conserve and restore Victorian parks. Every group is independent and autonomous.

Yarra Ranges Council works closely with local environmental groups to help them achieve their goals.

The Victorian Environment Friends Network can help you find local friends groups and members.

Landcare groups

Landcare is a national network that protects, restores and sustainably manages Australia's natural environment. With over 6000 groups nationwide, there is sure to be a group for you.

For more information visit the Landcare Australia website.

For information on local Landcare groups and members visit:

Join a group

Joining a group is a wonderful opportunity to network and connect with your local community.

Groups are always looking for new members. View the environmental volunteer group locations to find a group near you.

Start a group

To start your own group, get together with like minded people and contact the Environmental Volunteer Support Officer on 1300 333 368 or email environmentalvolunteers@yarraranges.vic.gov.au.

Volunteer guidelines

Are you interested in forming a group or becoming a volunteer? Please view the Environmental Volunteer Guidelines(PDF, 4MB).

If you require a hardcopy of these guidelines, please send an email to environmentalvolunteers@yarraranges.vic.gov.au

Volunteer code of conduct

Volunteers are expected to follow a code of conduct. All volunteer groups will sign the code of conduct as a condition of volunteering and to receive ongoing Council insurance for Public Liability and Personal Accident Insurance.

If you are registering as an Environmental Volunteer Group, a designated representative from your group will need to complete a code of conduct acceptance form.

To find out more about this code of conduct, click on the boxes below.

What is expected of volunteers?

  • All environmental decisions made regarding Council land will be to enhance the biodiversity or amenity values.

  • Any work occurring on Council land must be agreed to by the relevant Bushland Management Officer.

  •  All discussions, whether in person, online or on the phone, will be mutually respectful and without unnecessary anger.

  • Any language or behaviour deemed unacceptable will end the discussion until a suitable later date and if necessary, when a mediator can be present.

  • Any grievances regarding YRC’s environmental decisions must first be addressed directly to the Environmental Volunteer Support Officer, or relevant Council Officer.

  • If an issue cannot be resolved, either party may contact YRC Team Leaders to assist.

  • Any aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated.  

  • All groups before starting any works need to obtain insurance (Insurance information is found in the Environmental Volunteers Guidelines for their activities. The Environmental Volunteer Support Officer (EVSO) and Council can assist with this so that Groups have appropriate Public Liability & Personal Accident Insurance. The EVSO can provide Certificates of Currency on request.

  • Groups must abide by the terms of agreement of the insurer and must immediately inform Council if there are any changes to agreed activities. Council will then inform the insurer. The insurer is not obliged to cover updated activities. Groups will only proceed with extra activities once they have confirmation from Yarra Ranges Council.

  • Volunteers are expected to deliver a high level of service to other residents at all times and should always speak with all residents courteously and listen to them attentively.

Information privacy and confidentiality

Volunteers are expected to understand the importance of personal privacy and confidentiality.

Personal information requires special treatment and protection, and should only be used for the work related purpose it was intended.

All volunteers and environmental volunteers who provide confidential information to Council have the right to expect this information will be treated as confidential.

Improper influence

Volunteers must not use their position to improperly influence or harass other volunteers or members of the public. All decisions need to be fair and transparent, based on principles of merit, equity and natural justice.

Use of Council resources

Volunteers should always use resources for the purpose in which they are intended. Resources must be used in accordance with instructions and relevant Council policies. 

Resources must be used in a manner that minimises risk to personal injury, reputational damage or financial cost.

Volunteers should report any damaged or dangerous equipment to the Environmental Volunteer Support Officer or relevant Council Officer.

Council's property is to be used for work related purposes only and must not be given away, borrowed, lent or otherwise disposed of unless authorised by a relevant Council Officer.

Fraudulent and corrupt activity

Volunteers must observe the highest standards of integrity in financial matters and never engage in fraudulent or corrupt activity.

Fraud is dishonest activity causing actual or financial loss to any person or entity and includes theft and misappropriation of Council assets. 

Corruption is “dishonest activity in which an employee or a contractor abuses their position of trust in order to achieve some personal gain or advantage for themselves or another person or entity.” 

Equal opportunity

Council is committed to providing all volunteers with a safe and productive environment free from discrimination, harassment and bullying. Council will not tolerate harassment, nor any action which is humiliating, intimidating or hostile.  Discrimination, harassment and bullying is unlawful under both federal and state legislation and such conduct is unacceptable. 

You are required to comply with our Equal Opportunity Policy and Procedures, treating others with respect and not engaging in behaviour that may constitute discrimination, harassment or bullying.  A breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action, including termination.  Information found in the Environmental Volunteers Guidelines.

Safeguarding Child Safety

All children who engage in any Council service or activity have the right to feel safe and to be safe. The welfare of children in Council’s care or using Council services will always be our first priority.

Council aims to create a child safe and child friendly environment where children feel safe and are able to grow, develop, and have fun.  All information about child safety and protocols can be found in the Environmental Volunteer Guidelines.

Health and Safety

In order to protect our own and other’s health and safety it is a requirement of all volunteers to work in accordance with the Environmental Volunteer Guidelines. 

Social media

Whether using social media for work purposes, or in a private capacity, volunteers must not do anything that might adversely affect their standing as a volunteer of Council or which could bring Council into disrepute.

Hardware vouchers

We have $30 IGA vouchers and $40 hardware vouchers available to groups. The vouchers are valid at any Yarra Ranges IGA and Launching Place Hardware. Vouchers must be collected from the Lilydale Community Link or sent via email.

Apply for a hardware voucher