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Volunteer Public Communications Assistant

We are looking for an enthusiastic and engaged person to be involved with the roll out of our 2009-2010 Safe Sunscreen Guide, an initiative of the FoE nanotechnology project.

Position Description

Volunteer Public Communications Assistant

Friends of the Earth Melbourne (Nanotechnology Project)

Overview of the role:

Friends of the Earth Australia (FoEA) is a decentralised, volunteer-driven organisation committed to achieving ecological sustainability and social justice. The FoEA Nanotechnology Project has existed since 2005 raising the ecological, social, economical and ethical issues surrounding nanotechnology both nationally and internationally. Last summer we produced a Safe Sunscreen Guide which gave the Australian public, for the first time, informed choice over avoiding high risk nano sunscreens. Nanotechnology is already being used without labelling in Australian sunscreens. The release of the guide saw an overwhelming response from the public for copies and more information. Therefore, this year, as we are a tiny (but energetic!) team, we are looking for support with one of our most prominent projects.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and engaged person to be involved with the roll out of our 2009-2010 Safe Sunscreen Guide. We'd like to work with someone who has, good organisational skills, the ability to establish and maintain databases, and excellent communication skills. The Public Communications Assistant will be required to liaise with a broad range of community organisations and people, and will deal with a medium level of phone and email communication.

The Public Communications Assistant position will be responsible for working with the Nanotechnology Campaigner on the Safe Sunscreen Guide distribution (mail outs), responding to public enquires about the guide, mailing/emailing responses to frequently asked questions from the public and putting together community group contact lists.

We will need you to commit to at least 2 days a week (10am - 4pm) for at least 2 months, preferably around November 2009 - February 2010. During this work, the campaigner will ensure that opportunities for further involvement in the campaign are discussed with the volunteer.

You will work directly with the Nanotechnology Campaigner and out of the FoE office in Collingwood. You will receive an induction to FoE involving a face-to-face interview, explanation of office environment, equipment, resources, procedures, an introduction to fellow workers and a briefing on the campaign. You will also be reimbursed for any transport costs and meals associated with your work.

Key duties and responsibilities:

1. Develop and maintain distribution databases.
2. Respond helpfully to enquiries both via telephone and email from FoE members and general public as appropriate.
3. Answer incoming telephone calls and record contact details for follow up.
4. Organise the mail out of guides and relevant accompanying information.
5. Provide administrative support to the Campaigner and research information as required.

Skills and Experience:

1. Excellent spoken and written English communication skills
2. Very good level computer skills including knowledge of Microsoft Office and Excel or Linux equivalent.
3. Good organisational and prioritisation skills.
4. Experience in a busy not for profit organisation helpful.


The Public Communications Assistant will work directly with the Nanotechnology Campaigner and will work out of the Friends of the Earth office in Collingwood.


The Public Communications Assistant works under the terms and conditions described in the Friends of the Earth Australia (FoEA) Workers’ Policy.

If you are interested in volunteering with Friends of the Earth Nanotechnology Project, please contact Fiona Thiessen -
(03) 9419 8700, 0422 171 121 or fiona.thiessen[@]

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