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Anam Cara Homestead welcomes volunteers to work with us in exchange for accomodation and meals. We aim to have between 2 and 5 volunteers staying at the community at any given time.


Volunteers can book in for either 1 or 2 weeks initially. At the end of 2 weeks there is a possibility to increase your time with us to for up to 12 weeks.


Work exchange guests are invited into the rhythm of the homestead in much the same way as paying guests are. However, there is an increased expectation of work commitment from our volunteers, and less choice as to the tasks to be performed each day. The working days are slightly longer.


Your accomodation will be in a modern dormitory type room within the main community house, with shared bathroom and toilet.  The rest of the house is available for your use and relaxation. It is also possible for you to BYO tent or campervan if you would like more privacy. For those volunteers visiting as a couple or a family it may be possible to organise a private room for your stay.

Community meals are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday lunches. Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday dinners. All other meals you can prepare for yourself using food provided.

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Areas of Work

There are 5 to 6 hours of work per day for 5 days a week.

Let us know if there any of the areas listed below that you are particularly interested in. Also please inform us if there are tasks that are not suitable for you. If you have a particular skill or talent that you feel could be shared within the homestead we'd also love to know about it! 


You would be the cook for some of the community cook shifts, which involves preparing food for anywhere between 6 and 20 people. We like you to be in charge of the meal preparation, although we are happy to provide support as needed. Lunch preparation goes from after the morning meeting, until serving at 12.30, with the cook also providing a morning tea. The afternoon cook shift goes from between 2pm til 6pm, with an afternoon tea also needing to be provided. You are free to decide what to cook from the food that is available, including fresh produce from the homestead. When cooking for larger groups, there will be helpers to prep and clean up.


There's always much to be done in the veggie gardens, orchards, food forests and ornamental gardens of the homestead. Gardening forms a large part of our homesteading work. We work from permaculture and organic principles. Volunteers can expect to spend several shifts a week in the gardens.


Animal Care

This is for those who stay with us for a while, so that we can teach all the different needs for taking care of the Anam Cara animals. You will generally be assigned one group of animals to look after for a period of 4 days in a row, so that you can get to know them and provide a continuity of care.

When you are on the animal care roster you will be expected to take care of your allotted animals on the days off as well as on the normal Karma Yoga work days, which generally requires a small amount of time in the morning and late afternoon.


Child Care and Home Education

On occasion we may ask you to help us with childcare, or to hang out and spend time with the teenagers. Perhaps you have a special skill or talent that you can share with our home educated kids.



In the cooler months we harvest, split and stack wood collected sustainably from our bushland areas. 


Maintenance and Building

There are often maintenance jobs that volunteers will be asked to help with. We also envisage small earth building projects on the property that volunteers can be involved in. If you have skills in building, engineering, stonework, woodwork, plumbing or electrics, please do let us know as your knowledge will be greatly appreciated on the homestead.

Work Exchange Rhythm

Saturday/Sunday arrival weekend

You will have plenty of time to settle in, and follow the same program as Experience Week guests.



These are days off, and you are welcome to enjoy the activities that are on offer for the Experience Week Guests. You may have some small animal care duties on these days.



These are our main Karma Yoga days, and they begin with an early morning yoga session (optional) in the Sanctuary Space, Agni Hotra ( a short sunrise fire ceremony), and breakfast.


Volunteers will then join us in a short cleaning task to freshen the community house for the day, followed by our morning meeting that you will be expected to attend at 9am. During the morning meeting the Karma Yoga work for the day is offered out, and paying retreat guest will choose what they wish to do. While there may be some flexibility for volunteers to express preferences, you will likely be assigned a job that needs doing instead of choosing for yourself. It depends on how busy the homestead is, and we certainly want our volunteers to communicate with us as to how they are feeling about different tasks and if they are happy with the work they are doing or not. We want to ensure the basic needs of the homestead are fulfilled, while also honouring every individual's autonomy within that. As non-paying guests we ask you to have an attitude of flexibility and a commitment to supporting us to keep the homestead running, whilst balancing that with your own important needs and wants.


Morning Karma Yoga work then begins, going through til lunch at 12.30, with a morning tea break in the middle.


You then have free time until the start of your afternoon shift at 2pm. There is a short afternoon tea break, and your shift will either finish at 5pm or 6pm. If you are on the cook shift, you will go through until 6pm. If finishing at 5pm, you have the option of joining us for sacred singing.


Dinner is served at 6pm and you then have your own free time, and are also welcome to join in the occasional evening activities at the homestead. On Tuesday evenings there is a guided discussion on Indigenous perspectives which we highly recommend you attend as a way of understanding the ethos of Anam Cara.



This is mostly a work day for volunteers, although there is no community lunch to be prepared, and you will join us for the first half of the morning in our end of week circle sharing. In the second half of the morning we all work together to clean the community house. In the afternoon you will have your usual shift.



If you are leaving, we say farewell to you in the morning by 10.30am. If you are staying on for longer than one week at Anam Cara, Saturday is also a work day. We tend to spend the morning on weekly maintenance tasks, and in the afternoon you will be allotted another task.

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What to Bring

Please bring clothing appropriate to working on a farm. Gumboots and work boots with good thick socks, waterproof clothing, and plenty of warm clothes in the winter. We recommend a head torch for getting around in the evenings.

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Next Step

If you would like to volunteer with us here at Anam Cara please get in touch via email at    


Please tell us a bit about yourself, any skills you have to share, and what dates you are available.

Extended Stays

It is possible to book in for an initial two weeks with a view to staying longer. During your stay, if it feels like a good fit for you, please discuss a longer stay with our Work Exchange focaliser. They will bring this request to our weekly business meeting, and we will attune to whether this is something that will work well for all parties. 

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