Telephone Support Worker Training

Our Telephone Support Worker Volunteers are trained to give callers the space to explore their issues and form plans of action. This ensures that we continue to provide women, nonbinary and gender-diverse people with high quality support, information and referrals.

WIRE embraces diversity in its training program. We welcome women, nonbinary and gender-diverse people from all backgrounds and experiences, including women who are from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, women of all genders and sexualities, Aboriginal women, women with disabilities, sex workers, and older women.

WIRE runs this program twice a year, in February and September. WIRE’s next Telephone Support Worker Training Program starts in 2019. We invite interested women to register to attend our volunteer information sessions. All interested trainees must attend orientation and group interview sessions.

Scroll down for Scholarship information for:

  • First Nations women
  • Women seeking asylum/newly-arrived women/women seeking refugee status
  • Women over 50
  • Community workers

Telephone Support Worker Training information sessions   

By training and working with volunteers, we

  • Stay in touch with issues affecting the community of women we serve
  • Remain approachable and accessible to women
  • Recognise and celebrate volunteering as an important pathway to paid work

Our volunteers say working at WIRE is an immensely satisfying, stimulating and enriching experience. Many also find that their experience with us leads them to employment and sought-after places in higher education courses.

Sound perfect? What are you waiting for?


Program content

WIRE uses our own well-developed feminist model for training women and gender-diverse people in the skills of listening, supporting and empowering women and gender-diverse people. We also explore issues that women and gender-diverse people commonly call us about, such as family violence and family law, and place them into a broader social context.

We encourage our trainees to examine their own beliefs about gender equality and to consider how gender inequality impacts on the problems women face in our society.

Training process

Training is very interactive and involves workshops and simulated practice exercises, as well as readings and some written exercises. As part of WIRE’s course, trainees are also required to complete on-the-job training on the Telephone Support Line.

Trainees are supported by the team using reflective practice and debriefed by experienced team leaders who help our volunteers continuously improve their knowledge, skills and confidence.


Trainees must complete:

  • 9 days group training (usually one full day per week)
  • 2 x two-hour observation shifts on the Telephone Support Line
  • 2 x three-hour evaluated shifts on the Telephone Support Line
  • 5 x four-hour probationary shifts
  • a one-hour mid-training interview
  • a one-hour end of probation interview*

and commit to one volunteer shift a fortnight over a minimum of 12 months.

* Not all women who complete the training will become WIRE support workers.


  • $515 — full price
  • $380 — full-time students
  • $270 — concession
  • $695 — professional


WIRE offers three scholarships for each intake to Support Worker training. These are available to First Nations women and gender-diverse people, women and gender-diverse asylum seekers/newly-arrived women/refugees and for women and gender-diverse people over 50.

First Nations Women and Gender-diverse People

One free place is available in each training course for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander woman or gender-diverse person.

Women seeking asylum/newly arrived women or refugee women

One free place is available in each training course for a woman or gender-diverse person seeking asylum, newly-arrived or refugee woman or gender-diverse person. Women or gender-diverse people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds with strong spoken English language skills are encouraged to apply.

Women and gender-diverse people over 50

In recognition of the inspirational work of the women who founded WIRE in 1984, we created the Founding Mothers’ Scholarship. One free place will be available in each training course for a woman or gender-diverse person over 50 who is currently seeking work or wanting to return to work.

For more information on scholarships, please email our Education and Training Coordinator Monique Hameed at training@wire.org.au

Professional development

WIRE allocates up to three positions in each program for people working in the community sector who would like to develop their women-sensitive practice skills but do not have the time to be WIRE  volunteers.

Taking up a non-volunteer position involves going through the normal selection and training process, plus the successful completion of five probationary shifts to complete the training program.

The professional training fee is $655. For more information please email our Training Coordinator at training@wire.org.au

Police record checks

WIRE is required by the DHHS to perform a National Police Record Check on all trainees; if you have lived outside of Australia for more than 12 months in the last 10 years, you will be required to get an International Police Record Check at your own cost. However, having a police record does not automatically exclude you from volunteering with us.

Working with children check

You will also be required to get a Working With Children Check. This Check is free and WIRE will provide you with information on how to obtain it.

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