You can use websites like the Lonely Planet and other such travel guides for general country information.
Australia is very strict on standards for volunteering. There are many organisations that take formal and informal volunteers and the requirements for each will be different.
Be prepared to undergo a procedure similar to that of a job interview. Fairly standard requirements are:
- initial application
- police check
- one or several interviews
- personal and/or professional references
- first aid certificate
- some experience
- a minimum commitment period
- a visa permitting work
- in some cases, citizenship or residency is required
A new requirement in Australia if working with children is what's called a Working With Children's check. Your placement/organisation will let you know if this is required. The easiest way to find one is to google "Working With Children check" and go to the most relevant state/site for you
This process may take up to 3 months.
There are exceptions to this of course, with events days being one of them.
Volunteers are often treated as workers which has up and down sides. The positives of this are that supervision, safe and secure environment, support, assessment and recognised experience are provided. The negatives are that you are expected to work regular hours, be consistent, undergo regular training and maintain a commitment to your work.