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Volunteer Kidney Buddy

All locations, online or face-to-face

Starting July 2021 - Ongoing

A woman extends her hand in support to another woman in a therapy session


We are looking for empathetic and kind volunteers with lived experience of kidney disease to become a Kidney Buddy to people living with kidney disease, donors and recipients, their carers and family members. Our Kidney Buddies will be matched with someone with a similar experience to provide support and information.

Kidney Buddies can keep their buddy connected though online and face-to-face meetings to reduce isolation, support their emotional and social wellbeing, answer questions about living with kidney disease and point them to accessing information via Kidney Health Australia resources, website and information sessions or through allied services.

The Kidney Buddy is not expected nor advised to provide individual medical advice regarding treatments, medication, blood and medical test interpretation, or specific hospital or specialist referral information.

Dates, location and time commitment

1 - 2 days per month (negotiable), commencing July 2021

Online via phone or face to face

 Responsibilities and tasks  

As a Volunteer Kidney Buddy at Kidney Health Australia, you will help people diagnosed with CKD by performing the following duties:

  • Initiating contact with matched kidney patients and carers via phone to develop a connection
  • Meeting matched kidney patients and/or carers through phone calls, online meeting platforms e.g. Zoom or Skype or in person as mutually agreed
  • Providing impersonal information to support the emotional and social wellbeing of matched kidney patients and/or carers
  • Directing matched kidney patients and/or carers to information that support decision-making and building knowledge via Kidney Health Australia or allied services resources, websites, information sessions, and support groups
  • Familiarising yourself with Kidney Health Australia resources via our website to assist with directing kidney patients and/or carers to appropriate information
  • Contributing to a feedback loop that aims to improve the Kidney Buddy Program and your experience as a volunteer in the Program
  • Contributing to the monitoring and evaluation of the Program through survey completion and other observational data gathering
  • Representing Kidney Health Australia at local support groups, events or education sessions in renal units and sharing your personal story
  • Attending Kidney Health Australia events e.g. Kidney Health Week or fundraising events to help with awareness raising activities

 Qualifications and skills  

  • Lived experience of CKD and understanding of the issues experienced by people who have or are affected by kidney disease or
  • Parent or carer of someone living with kidney disease
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Empathetic listening skills and ability to build rapport
  • Ability to handle delicate or emotional conversations
  • Ability to problem-solve
  • Ability to direct kidney patients and/or carers to relevant information and resources
  • Timely when responding to kidney patients and/or carers
  • Sensitive and respectful to different cultures
  • Experience of representing an organisation at local public events
  • Experience of presenting at local public events and support groups

 Training and Support   

  • Specific training will be provided for the successful applicant. Regular check ins will be scheduled with the Kidney Buddy to ensure ongoing support is provided.

 Background checks   

 We are committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for our employees and volunteers. As part of recruiting dedicated and professional volunteers who have the skills and experience appropriate for this role, we will be conducting a phone interview prior to appointment.

We may need to collect the following information before you begin volunteering with us:

- Current police check

- Working with children check

- Reference check

For more information about this role, please call our Kidney Helpline on 1800 454 363 (and ask for volunteering) or email

Apply for this position now!