NGV Voluntary Guides conduct free exhibition and collection tours almost every day of the year at both NGV Australia and NGV International. Free tours are listed in NGV What’s On calendar.
NGV Voluntary Guides also provide booked guided tours. Booked tours can include special exhibitions, collection tours, tours in foreign languages, and audio described tours and are popular with community, corporate and special interest groups.
Find out more about Guided Group tours
The NGV Voluntary Guides outreach program Gallery Vists You is a free program that offers the wider community, particularly those who are unable to visit the NGV locations, access to NGV collection highlights and selected special exhibitions.
The Voluntary Guides travel into Melbourne metropolitan local community to present illustrated talks via a multimedia presentation. Find out more about Gallery Visits You & About Visits
The Voluntary Guides of the National Gallery of Victoria was established in 1967 with the approval of the NGV Council of Trustees. It operated with the expressed aim of providing support to the NGV by assisting the community in understanding and appreciating the NGV and its collections. Since 1968, the guides have provided a link between the NGV and the public, and played an important role in encouraging and deepening the interest of visitors in NGV collections and exhibitions through guided tours and related guiding activities.
Applications for NGV Voluntary Guide Training Programs are taken every three to five years depending on need and demand. We encourage you to apply in the next round and would be pleased to consider your application at that time.
Intakes of new trainees are widely advertised in the media and through gallery publications.
Our next recruitment drive is yet to be confirmed.
Please note that we do not maintain a waiting list.
Our organisation was founded in 1967 in readiness for the opening of the NGV on St Kilda Road. Over the years our structure and duties have altered to meet the changing requirements of the NGV.
Guides meet every Tuesday during the school term for lectures and workshops.
This day is an essential part of our guiding program and attendance is necessary to retain membership.
General Guiding Duties
Guides take part in a regular weekday and weekend roster system conducting tours of the NGV Collection. The minimum commitment to guide is twice a month on weekdays and three or four times a year on weekends.
In addition Guides may be involved in any or all of the following
1. Booked tour groups, special interest groups and VIP tours, etc.
2. Special Exhibition guiding.
3. Evening guiding for functions.
4. The Gallery Visits You outreach program
5. Guiding of special groups in the outreach program such as those with intellectual disabilities and people with dementia.
The Training Program is approximately 18 months and is run on Tuesdays.
Trainee Guides attend lectures on Art History with particular reference to the NGV Collection. Workshops on communication and floor skills are included in the course.
There is continuous assessment, both written and oral, during the training program. Final assessment is a one hour general tour such as would be given to the public.
While a degree in Art History is obviously an advantage this is not a prerequisite for becoming a Guide. However, a demonstrated interest in art and the Collection of the NGV is essential.