In all jurisdictions, volunteer directors and committee members will not insure any personal civil liability for their actions while carrying out their volunteer community work. In all jurisdictions a person who receives reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses will still be considered a volunteer.
The Commonwealth Volunteers Protection Act 2003 (Cth)
Section 6(1) An individual does not incur civil liability for anything that the individual has done in good faith in doing work for the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority if it is work:
(a) done by the individual on a voluntary basis; and
(b) organised by the Commonwealth or the Commonwealth authority.
Section 39 Protection of volunteers
(1) A volunteer does not incur any personal civil liability in relation to any act or omission done or made by the volunteer in good faith when doing community work–
(a) organised by a community organisation; or
(b) as an office holder of a community organisation.
(2) A person does not incur any personal civil liability in relation to any act or omission done or made by the person, when donating food in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (3), giving rise to harm resulting from the consumption of the food.
(3) The circumstances are–
(a) that the person donated the food to a community organisation–
(i) in good faith for a charitable, benevolent, philanthropic, sporting, recreational, political, educational or cultural purpose; and
(ii) with the intention that the consumer of the food would not have to pay for the food; and
(b) that the food was safe to consume at the time it left the person’s possession; and
(c) if the food was of a nature that required it to be handled in a particular way to remain safe to consume after it left the person’s possession–that the person informed the community organisation of the handling requirements; and
(d) if the food only remained safe to consume for a particular period of time after it left the person’s possession–that the person informed the community organisation of the time limit.
The Civil Liability Act defines community organisation as:
community organisation means any of the following that organises the doing of community work by volunteers–
(a) a corporation;
(b) a trustee acting in the capacity of trustee;
(c) a church or other religious group;
(d) a registered political party as defined under the Electoral Act 1992 or the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth);
(e) a public or other authority as defined under section 34.
Community work is defined as:
community work means work that is not for private financial gain and that is done for a charitable, benevolent, philanthropic, sporting, recreational, political, educational or cultural purpose, and includes making donations of food if the donations are not for private financial gain and are done for a charitable, benevolent, philanthropic, sporting, recreational, political, educational or cultural purpose.
(2) For the purposes of this division–
(a) community work done by a person under an order of a court is not to be regarded as work done on a voluntary basis; and
(b) community work for which a person receives remuneration by way of reimbursement of the person’s reasonable expenses in doing the work is to be regarded as work done on a voluntary basis.
Volunteer is defined as:
volunteer means a person who–
(a) does community work on a voluntary basis; or
(b) donates food in the circumstances mentioned in section 39(3).