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Who we are

Australian Refugee Volunteers Incorporated ABN 36 370 480 735 (ARV) is an entirely volunteer run, not-for-profit organisation based in Sydney, Australia, which is neither religiously nor politically affiliated.

ARV’s main objective is to improve the quality of life of children and families from asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds living in the Australian community as well as other migrants with past experience of torture and trauma.

Our mission

ARV programs provide essential recreational and developmental opportunities for children, families and adults which ease loneliness and isolation and improve physical and mental health. ARV aims to increase the number of smiles on the faces of children and adults by promoting fun, laughter and relaxation. We are committed to empowering individuals and families and building more cohesive, tolerant communities.


ARV is non-religious and non-political. We believe in working with everyone to do what is needed to be done, including the Australian Government. We are not interested in being antagonistic to other organisations, the Government or anyone else. All we are interested in is improving the lives of the kids and families we work with and providing our volunteers with a safe, fun and passionate environment to make a difference in!

ARV history

ARV was established in 2002 to work with children inside Villawood Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) and their families. From 2002 to July 2005, ARV ran programs inside and outside the IDC, including art, sport, drama, movie nights, English language courses, excursions, family days, youth buddy programs and camps. In addition, ARV also won approval to run excursions in the Baxter IDC.


In July 2005, the families were released from custodial detention and placed in community detention. The programs that were tailored for these families were restructured to cater for them and their new challenges of assimilating and living within the Australian community. ARV currently runs four separate recreation and development programs for children living in the community.


ARV policies

Due to the sensitive nature of the work we do at Australian Refugee Volunteers, we have several policies and confidentiality agreements in place to protect the both families we work with and our volunteers.


ARV is not a place to bring political agendas or to research the situation of asylum seekers. Respecting the privacy of the families we work with is a top priority for ARV and we do not tolerate any breaches of confidentiality.


Click the icons below to download a full copy of some of our Policies. 

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Get in touch!

To find out more, fill in the form on the right and we'll get back to you.

If you would like to learn more, click here!

If you're ready to sign up as a volunteer, click here!

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