The Farm relies on a hardy troupe of volunteers to help keep animals and plants healthy and happy, and to contribute in many ways to the ongoing operation of the Farm and its activities.
Please note: It is now compulsory for all volunteers to have a current Working with Children Check. As a volunteer you may get one for free, and just need to pay for the photos. Forms can be obtained from the post office.
There is an all day car park next door. It costs $12 for the day.
One day Volunteer Commitments
Time: Tuesdays 1.30-4pm during term times.
Contact: Toni, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a keen gardener or would like to learn more about gardening, please join us. No need to call or book, just turn up on the day! (however you do need a current Working With Childrens Check). This is a free programme.
Contact: Anita, email@example.com
Time: 10am-1pm or 10am-4pm
Volunteer activity details: Volunteers assist with Farmer’s Market set-up, including placing straw bales out for seating, setting up signage, trestles, umbrellas, recycling stations and the Farm’s own produce stall. Harvesting produce for the Farm Stall is seasonal and may involve harvesting fruit, picking veggies and flowers, packaging seeds and/or dried herbs. This happens on the second Friday of the month.
Volunteer activity details: Volunteers assist with land care/gardening depending on the time of the year. Includes weeding (usually weeds are then fed to the animals), mulching, planting, harvesting, watering and building pathways in the gardens. This happens any Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday.
What to wear and bring: We ask that you wear closed-toe shoes and bring a hat and waterproof jacket, as the weather is always changing.
Lunch: Volunteers are required to bring their own lunch and water bottles. Alternatively, lunch can be purchased at the Farm Cafe or the Convent bakery.
What is the Collingwood Children's Farm? The Collingwood Children's Farm is a not-for-profit community organisation working to connect city people with land, animals, farm life and community. It is a farm where people come together around animals, chores and activities. Children and young people develop life skills in a safe, supportive and stimulating environment.
The apiary is jointly managed by the VAA Melbourne Section and Collingwood Children’s Farm. Its aim is to educate the public about bees and beekeeping, as well as providing beekeeping advice and practice to current and prospective beekeepers. It is open from 10:30 to 3:30 on the second and fourth Sunday of each month (except during winter when it is only open on the fourth Sunday).
To reach the apiary, go to the end of St Heliers St, Abbotsford, and go through the main gate of the Collingwood Children’s Farm. Then walk a few metres to the bike path and turn right along it. The apiary is located on the right approx. 300 metres along the bike path (Melway 2D D10).
The bees collect nectar from the Farm, surrounding gardens and bushland which they make into honey. The beekeepers remove the honey and honeycomb from the hives which is then sold at Farm Reception and at our monthly Farmer’s Market, usually during summer and autumn.
School Holiday Program
‘Be A Farmer for a Day’ is a one-day paid program. It is similar group to our Young Farmers Program, but it is open to everyone between the ages of 10-16 years. Like the Young Farmers, kids get to help with the cows, ride the horses, help with the guinea pig cuddles and looking after the guinea pigs, gardening, maintenance around the Farm, plus feeding and looking after the animals. Limited to 12 children a day, it means everyone can have a go and try their hand at jobs they are interested in.
Booking forms are available on this link:
Bookings open a fortnight prior to the end of terms 1, 2 and 3.
Longer Term Volunteer Positions:
Supported Volunteer Program
This program provides the opportunity for groups and individuals to learn work skills, develop social skills, work successfully in a team situation and foster a positive connection with the farm community.
The volunteers involved have a wide range of abilities involving physical, emotional or intellectual difficulties. Many students are on the Autism Spectrum which has its own unique challenges.
We are also increasingly working with people who have a broad range of mental illnesses and also acquired brain injuries.
Regular weekly groups come from special schools and adult disability services. These volunteers are usually responsible for specific tasks each week which gives them a sense of ownership and develops independence as the individuals learn the procedures and can set to work with minimal assistance from their staff.
Participants in the program are from a wide age range, and time spent at the farm is governed by their specific goals and capabilities.
Work experience is offered through the schools and TAFE either as a block of time or one day a week. The program also caters for the VCAL and VET students for one day a week ongoing placements.
One day a week placements give the continuity of staff and tasks that many of our students need for a positive outcome.
Participation in this supported program involves no cost. In all there is an average of over 100 workers per week, quite a work force for the farm.
Requests and referrals come through mainstream schools, special schools, adult support groups, disability agencies, TAFE, and mental health agencies.
For more information and availabilities on our Supported Volunteer Program please email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org
Working with RDA (Riding for the Disabled)
The Collingwood branch of the RDA uses our horses and facilities to run sessions for their clients. They are often looking for volunteers to help with the horses and/or the riders.
Sessions run Tuesday mornings, and Wednesday and Thursday evenings through school terms 1, 2 and 4.
More information can be obtained from their website at www.rdav.asn.au/centres/collingwood/
Committee of Management
The Farm has been run by a volunteer Committee of Management since the early 1980s. They give selflessly of their time and expertise. Expectations are that the members are able to commit to monthly meetings, be a member of a subcommittee, and able to support the Farm practically on some of our fundraiser days and Farmer’s Market days.
Interested people must be a current financial member of the Farm ($15). For more information please contact the manager, on email@example.com
There is an active Community Garden on the banks of the river.
It has been running since 1979 and was one of the first community gardens to open in Melbourne. Traditionally it has been very popular and at times had a very long waiting list. At present however it is under review, as plans for works on the Farm may mean some plots will need to move or be vacated for a time. There are costs involved.
Please contact the manager at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Young Farmers Program
The Young Farmers Program has been going so long we now have the second generation of young farmers teaching the third generation!
Open to anyone between the ages of 8 and 16 who is a resident in the City of Yarra. The program gives people an opportunity to learn things like animal care and handling, gardening, cooking, horse riding, and guinea pig cuddling (most people seem to need a lot of practice with this!).
The program runs on either a Saturday, or a Sunday, three days of each month during the school terms.
To get involved, participants need to email the Farm Manager at email@example.com, or call on 9417 5806 to organise an interview for themselves and their parent/carer. There is an annual cost and parents/carers are required to contribute by volunteering at times during the year.