Gardens for Wildlife Guide

Thank you for your interest in this volunteer role, but applications are now closed.



Are you passionate about Yarra’s local wildlife and want to inspire our community to improve biodiversity and habitat in their backyards, courtyards and balcony gardens?

Don't miss this rewarding opportunity to become a Gardens for Wildlife Garden Guide for the City of Yarra. 

Gardens for Wildlife (G4W) is an exciting program supporting the community to provide an area of habitat or food sources in their garden to promote and support local wildlife.

The initiative relies on the help of volunteer Garden Guides, who visit the gardens of new members and provide recommendations, examples and ideas to inspire residents to value local biodiversity and conserve indigenous flora and fauna.

Volunteering is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, develop your skills, connect to nature and share your knowledge with the community. As a volunteer you will also be provided with opportunities to shape the program, learn, mentor, network and collaborate through a series of workshops and social events focused on habitat gardening and caring for wildlife in backyards.

Applications close 5pm Tuesday 14 March 2023. Apply online HERE.

For more information contact Stiele Hagens, Nature Engagement Officer

Come along to one of the free information sessions as follows:

  • Saturday 25 February, 10.00am - 11.15am (online via Zoom), register here.
  • Wednesday 1 March, 6.00pm - 7.15pm (in person at Bargoonga Nganjin, North Fitzroy Library ), register here.


Description: Yarra Logo



City of Yarra Gardens for Wildlife - Garden Guide Volunteer


Nature Engagement Officer




Biodiversity and Urban Agriculture

City Works

City Works and Assets


5-10 hours per month (as agreed) for a period of 12 months

Program is expected to commence from April 2023


Various locations in the City of Yarra








Yarra City Council is committed to being a child safe organisation and supports flexible and accessible working arrangements for all.

We draw pride and strength from our diversity, remain open to new approaches and actively foster an inclusive workplace that celebrates the contribution made by all our people.

Our values Accountability, Respect and Courage underpin how we work and our efforts to build a culture based on positive relationships with colleagues and the community.

This position is required to provide evidence of COVID-19 double dose vaccination. We will work with individuals to assess their ability to meet this requirement on a case-by-case basis.


Program Overview

The Gardens for Wildlife (GFW) program is designed to support residents, businesses and schools to create habitat friendly gardens on private property.

The City of Yarra Gardens for Wildlife program (COYGFW) assists residents to create an area in their garden or outdoor space that will attract and support local wildlife. Through the program, residents receive a property visit, follow up written assessment of recommendations, wildlife gardening information kit and updates on local activities where they can build new skills and meet likeminded residents.

As part of the program, two Garden Guide Volunteers visit the garden/outdoor space of each participant to provide information on: basic habitat gardening, environmental weeds that may be present and how they can be removed or controlled, and suggestions for indigenous/native plants. This is a one-off visit at the time of registration.

COYGFWP will also engage and educate the community more broadly by participating in stalls and market pop-ups at relevant community events.

Please note: to be eligible for this role, you must be 18 years of age (or older).

Role Objective

As a volunteer you will:

  • Assist Council staff with the delivery of the COYGFWP
  • Provide education and advice (both verbal and written) to residents, businesses and schools that are participating in the program, in accordance with the program’s requirements

Volunteers of this program will have the opportunity to assist the City of Yarra (Council) to plan and improve its Volunteer Program by providing ideas and feedback throughout their engagement with Council. As a valued member of the Council team, you will have the opportunity to be inspired, connect with community and make a difference to local, urban biodiversity.

Council is affiliated with a network of community members and Council's from across Victoria through Gardens for Wildlife Victoria 


Key Activities & Requirements

As a Garden Guide Volunteer, you will:

  • Conduct residential, school or business garden site visits within the Yarra municipality (approx. 1 hour plus travel time maximum, during daylight hours) together with a fellow Gardens for Wildlife volunteer or Council staff member. Appointments of pairs will be scheduled in agreement with both volunteers.
  • Provide one-on-one, site-specific and high-level guidance to participants verbally on how they can create habitat within their existing home, business or school garden. This does not require technical knowledge of landscape architecture.
  • Assess the current habitat opportunities through visual inspection of the outdoor space, taking written notes (to be used later for report writing), photographs of current vegetation/trees and noting the potential recommendations for habitat opportunities within the garden.
  • Provide general advice verbally on the design and actions to be taken to improve habitat value.
  • Prepare a written reports (GFW Garden Report) in Microsoft Word or similar program, utilising the notes/observations made during the site visit and any relevant information provided by Yarra’s biodiversity team.
    • This report will provide the resident with a summary of all observations and proposed recommendations, including any photos taken.
    • Provide a draft report (via email) to partnering guide within 14 days, with a final report being provided (via email) to the assessed household and Council within 21 days.
  • Attend training sessions, meetings and Garden Guide volunteer induction as needed.
  • Provide input and contribute to the continued development of the GFW program through feedback, communications assistance, participating in market stalls/events and assisting with other aspects of the program’s development as needed.
  • Report any incidents or near misses regarding a volunteer’s and/or client’s safety to your Council contact person.
  • Respect confidentiality and privacy of residents’ personal information and property by using photos only for the report unless permission is sought and discarding private contact details when they are no longer required for the purposes of the Gardens for Wildlife visit.
  • Always maintain a safe work environment by carrying out activities safely and responsibly.
  • Check in regularly with your Council contact person and report any issues or concerns in a timely manner. 


Desired Skills, Experience and Attributes

  • Interest or knowledge in local flora and fauna, gardening or willingness to learn about indigenous and habitat gardening.
  • Access to a computer, mobile phone and email account.
  • Enjoy engaging and relating to people from a variety of backgrounds and with varying levels of knowledge. 
  • Good communication skills, both written and verbal, to provide constructive advice to participants about habitat gardening.
  • Ability to safely carry out all the key responsibilities of the role and understanding of any risks relevant to this role.
  • Reliable, trustworthy, flexible, helpful and punctual.
  • An interest in giving back to your local community.
  • The ability and preparedness to maintain confidentiality and privacy and respects the rights of others.
  • Seeks guidance and asks for help when needed.
  • No formal qualifications are required to volunteer with the Gardens for Wildlife Volunteer Program. Training will be provided to prepare volunteers for this role.
  • Complete a National Criminal History Check (Police Check).
  • Complete a Working with Children Check (Volunteer).
  • A current Victorian Drivers Licence is preferable, or ability to travel to designated properties by other reliable means.  Note: If you plan to drive you will need to use your own car, possess a valid Victorian Drivers Licence and ensure your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition. Comprehensive insurance is desirable.


Training, Support and Occupational Health and Safety

All volunteers are required to attend a short induction session about the COYGFWP and any other training specific to the volunteering role to enable you to feel confident in undertaking the tasks. Volunteers will also need to completing compulsory online training modules:

  • Volunteering at Council induction (including code of conduct and health and safety)
  • Child safety

You will be provided with ongoing support from your Volunteer Supervisor with opportunities for feedback.

This role requires volunteers to adhere to Council’s OHS policies and procedures. As part of your onboarding, you will be provided with a thorough induction, which will cover OHS practices in the workplace and specific to your role.


Volunteer Benefits:

  • An opportunity to meet new people, try new things and connect with others who are interested in participating in community activities.
  • Share your skills, experience and knowledge with others.
  • Receive training, information and resources.
  • Meeting like-minded people and being part of a volunteer network.


Organisational Relationships

Reports to:              Nature Engagement Officer

Internal Liaisons:     All staff and volunteers

External Liaisons:    Members of the public

Partnering organisations


We will provide you with a Volunteer Handbook, Code of Conduct and Volunteer Agreement. As part of the on-boarding process you will be required to sign to acknowledge that you agree with terms in the Volunteer Agreement.


 Summary Tasks: refer to the list of activities listed below for physical demands.

Physical demands of the task and % of time allocated 





















Steps/ stairs















Looking Up





Looking Down





Bending spine forwards





Twisting spine to side e.g. during meetings to view team members





Bending spine backwards





Working with one or both hands above shoulder height





Reaching forwards or sideways > 30cm from the body





Gripping or grabbing





Fine hand coordination e.g. for computer keying





Lifting floor-waist





Lifting at waist height





Lifting waist overhead










Pushing e.g. of trolleys





Pulling e.g. of trolleys





Exerting force with one hand or one side of body e.g. when hole punching / stapling





Exerting force in an awkward posture





Holding, supporting or straining