From the 16th to the 22nd of May, we acknowledge and celebrate National Volunteer’s Week. With this year’s theme of Better Together, this is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering. It’s a chance for everyone to recognise and thank the vital work of our volunteers.
There is an extensive amount of volunteers in Australia across a range of areas including art and culture, animals and environment, humanitarian aid, youth and education, health and wellness, social services and justice and many more. Each year, there is more than 6 million Australians who make a difference by volunteering in one or more of these areas.
While the intention of volunteering is to give, you can also gain. By giving your help to others and your community, you can gain new friends, skills and life lessons. While there are many reasons individuals may volunteer, in recent years, the most common response was for the intention to help others and the community.
Volunteering Australia has the vision for a strong, connected and resilient Australian community, a purpose to lead, strengthen and celebrate volunteering and the principle values of leadership, collaboration, trust and sustainability.
Volunteering cannot happen without strategic consideration and investment. Volunteering Australia had one request for this year’s Federal Election – to commit to the ongoing design and delivery of a sector-led and whole government National Strategy for Volunteering. This is due to repeated governments who have failed to recognise and invest in our key volunteer workforces such as aged, disability and palliative care, mental health and community services, emergency response, recovery and resilience-building, and community sport.
Check out the Volunteering Australia website to see how to become a volunteer in your area. There are currently over 2000 position in New South Wales, over 600 positions in Australian Capital Territory, over 400 positions in Northern Territory, over 2000 positions in Queensland, over 1000 positions in South Australia, over 2500 positions in Western Australia, over 500 positions in Tasmania and over 3000 positions in Victoria.
To all of you who have, are currently, or plan on volunteering – thank you!