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Find out how you can volunteer and do your part to support Wadjemup.

Volunteer support provides an invaluable contribution to the island

Rottnest Island Authority’s aim is to make Wadjemup a visitor destination of national significance. This isn’t possible without the individuals and organisations who, over the years, have donated more than 46,000 volunteer hours each year to help preserve and promote the island’s natural, cultural, and recreational values.  

Many of these volunteer groups have been around for decades and have become part of the island’s fabric. You’ll find them raising awareness and appreciation of the island’s unique environment and working tirelessly to help monitor the wildlife population; conducting tours of historic attractions and points of interest, providing skilled trade and technical support, and delivering important emergency services. 

The collaborative community that’s built up around the island and the impactful contribution from these individuals and organisations are integral to Wadjemup’s success.

Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association

Volunteer groups

The work of Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) is supported by a large number of independent voluntary groups, undertaking a variety of important tasks on the island throughout the year. Here are just a few of the groups that help keep the island running. 

Birds Australia

BirdLife WA, a branch of the national organisation Birds Australia, has conducted shorebird and bushbird surveys on Wadjemup since 1988. The collected data has helped immensely in managing the island’s natural habitat. 

You can find out more information about this important work at their website.

Maritime Archaeological Association of WA

The Maritime Archaeological Association of WA (MAAWA) visits Rottnest Island annually, with teams of scuba divers who clean and refresh the underwater plaques of shipwrecks and snorkel trails to help maintain their visibility for divers and snorkellers.

Reef Life Survey

Reef Life Survey is a national organisation that has been active on Wadjemup since 2008. Their team of trained recreational SCUBA divers search underneath Wadjemup’s waters, taking high-quality underwater surveys that help improve the biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of our marine resources.

Learn more at their website.

Rottnest Foundation

The Rottnest Foundation was formed in 1985 to help raise awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the island’s unique environment. To call attention to its fragile ecosystems, and encourage a sense of community ownership and environmental stewardship. The Foundation secures and administers funds raised through grant submissions, sponsorship, and fundraising activities to support important conservation projects.

Rottnest Foundation members participate in two volunteer planting days on the island each year. Head to their website for more information on their current projects, fundraising activities, or how to make a donation or become a Sponsorship Partner.

Rottnest Island Fire Service

The Rottnest Fire Service is a dedicated group of island employees and commuter staff who volunteer their time to train for, and respond to, fire, rescue, and other related emergency incidents on the island, 24/7. The Brigade is a privately registered brigade under the Fire Brigades Act 1942, and is wholly funded by Rottnest Island Authority. 

Rottnest Island Railway Volunteers

Since the early 1990s a small team of dedicated volunteers has provided technical advice and skilled labor that’s been vital in maintaining the function of the Captain Hussey, the much-loved tourist train on Rottnest Island.

Rottnest Society

Rottnest Society is a not-for-profit friends group with a focus on improving environmental and social aspects of the island. Formed in 1984, they have successfully planted tens of thousands of seedlings, assisted with important dune rehabilitation, and helped keep weeds under control, all over the island. 

Head to their website to find out more information about the Society and their next available volunteer events.

Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association

The Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association (RVGA) was established in 1986 to promote awareness and appreciation of Rottnest Island’s natural environment and historical significance for visitors.

RVGA volunteers conduct daily tours introducing visitors to the island’s unique flora, fauna, and significant history; from the main settlement to the World War II gun and tunnels at Oliver Hill Battery, and Wadjemup Lighthouse.

Visit for more information about tours on offer. If you’re interested in becoming a guide yourself head to

Scouts WA

Scouts WA has made considerable contributions to the natural environment of Rottnest Island with groups of Scouts and Venturers contributing each year. With increased public awareness about appropriate rubbish disposal, the Scout groups now focus on environmental tasks such as tree planting, seed collection and dune rehabilitation.

For more information, visit their website.

Sea Rescue Fremantle

Sea Rescue Fremantle is a group of devoted boat enthusiasts who volunteer their time to manage a fleet of five rescue vessels and a 24-hour emergency radio service. The group works with the Water Police on emergency situations, along with the Rottnest Island Authority Rangers, to manage boating emergencies in the waters surrounding Wadjemup.

Learn more about this group at their website.

The Winnit Club

Founded in the summer of 1930-31, the Winnit Club is Rottnest Island’s longest-standing volunteer organisation. Originally a social group that coordinated organised annual sailing and camping trips to Rottnest Island, its members decided they wanted to give something back.

The Winnit Club provides skilled trades and technical support for the island’s small to medium scale building and maintenance projects. They have been instrumental in helping deliver projects all across the island. Currently, The Winnit Club participates in five to six weekends of work on the island each year.

Volunteer initiatives and events

RIA partners with volunteer groups to coordinate a range of volunteer initiatives and events on the island every year, from working bees and beach clean-ups, to weeding and tree planting. 

The following opportunities are currently available for volunteering on the island.

Rottnest Society - Tree Planting

Rottnest Society participates in tree planting activities each year from June to August, where up to 50 volunteers help plant trees. Rottnest Society also assists in removing environmental weeds. It’s a fun and social way to support the environmental goals of the island. 

For further information, current dates and bookings can be found at their website.

Group beach clean-ups

Looking for a way to make a real positive change? Rottnest Island beach clean-ups are a fantastic way for volunteers to engage with the island. Gather a group of like-minded friends, colleagues or community members to find and dispose of marine and beach debris. Overall, beach clean-ups take around 90 minutes, ensuring beaches stay clean, safe, and inviting. 

RIA provide specialised beach clean-up kits which are designed to contribute data to the Tangaroa Blue Foundation's Australian Marine Debris Initiative. Each kit contains a clipboard, data sheets, rubbish bags and a marine debris identification manual.

To arrange a beach clean-up, please send an enquiry here.  

Frequently asked questions

In collaboration with partners, RIA coordinate a wide variety of activities and events that you can participate in. These are part of an annual volunteering works program, and include environmental works such as construction, rehabilitation, fauna monitoring, and conservation and restoration projects. 

The Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association (RVGA) also conducts daily tours to visitors, as part of improving the visitor experience, understanding, and enjoyment of the island. Visit their website to learn more about becoming a voluntary guide. 

To become a volunteer, please contact one of the volunteer partner organisations above. Many of these groups do accept new members, who can then take part in scheduled island activities.  
Getting started as a voluntary guide is easy. All you need is the time, passion, and energy to give. If you’re interested in joining the Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association, fill out the form on their website.

RIA do occasionally offer internship or work experience opportunities. If you’re interested in a position working at Rottnest Island Authority, send an enquiry here.

See more information about careers. 

The best way to engage in community service while visiting Wadjemup is by organising a beach clean-up. A beach clean-up will generally take 90 minutes and is a great way to do your part for the island.  

We can provide you with beach clean-up kits, which contribute data to the Tangaroa Blue Foundation's Australian Marine Debris Initiative. Each kit contains a clipboard, data sheets, rubbish bags and a marine debris identification manual.  

To arrange a beach clean-up, please send an enquiry here