The surprising benefits of volunteering at World Science Festival Brisbane


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Are you interested in volunteering at World Science Festival Brisbane 2023? A volunteer role at Australia’s biggest science festival is a great way to share your passion for science with others, network with like-minded people, and to gain new skills and experiences!

Hannah, a World Science Festival Brisbane volunteer from 2017, talks about her time at the festival, and how it helped her shift to a career in the arts.


When I first volunteered at the festival I was in the middle of a career change. I had been a nurse for 5 years and was looking to pivot to a career in the arts, something that had always been a large part of my life. During this time, I applied at many festivals around Brisbane and gained invaluable experience in customer service roles, greeting patrons, giving directions, answering questions and making sure that everyone involved had a fantastic experience. I saw volunteering as a great way to build up my resume and help with my dramatic shift in direction.

Once I had applied for a volunteer role, the next step was joining a festival induction with my fellow volunteers for that year. During this induction we were given all the information we needed in a clear, succinct and friendly way by the festival organisers who also gave us an overview of all the amazing events and talks that were planned over the week. I remember looking forward to the baby turtles and jellyfish beginning their life at the Hatchery, a talk about pioneering women in science, and an in-depth discussion about the science behind the Hadron Collider exhibition at Queensland Museum. There were so many amazing events which made me even more excited to be involved! In the induction they also eased any nerves we might have been feeling about the festival by introducing us to producers, managers and other staff that would always be nearby if we needed help with any issues or questions we may have over the course of the festival.

I first applied to be a general volunteer, helping patrons and being a friendly face of the festival. But my application came to the attention of the festival organisers who noticed I had production management experience. Because of this, I was asked to volunteer in a production assistant role. This was amazing experience in a behind-the-scenes capacity, where I managed festival run sheets, assisted in creating production manuals, and looked after important information and data that would go into ensuring that the festival ran smoothly. The skills I learnt in this role would go on to help me in every position in the arts I’ve had since!

The most surprising part of volunteering at the festival was the fact that many of the people I met during my time with the festival ended up being people that I would work with many times in the future on a huge range of projects and other festivals. It really was a fantastic way to make connections and network with people from all over the country with similar interests and goals to me.

Volunteering at World Science Festival Brisbane was vital for getting my foot in the door in the arts industry. I took all the skills and experience I gained from volunteering and built a resume that that lead to my first paid job in the arts. That led to my second job, which led to a third, and so on. Now I’ve been working in an industry that I’m passionate about for 5 years and it all started from my time as a volunteer.

What I realised from being a World Science Festival Brisbane volunteer is that if you make sure that people remember you as a friendly, helpful, and proactive person with a positive attitude, you never know what opportunities will come you way!

Volunteer applications have now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied.



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