Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Volunteers - Let’s hear it for us

National Volunteer Week 2016 is 9-15 May gives us a chance to congratulate ourselves for our voluntary work and to thank others who willingly donate ‘time and talents’, service and skills, for the benefit of others, without being paid.

For National Councils of Women across Australia, and for our affiliated organizations, volunteering is what makes our work possible.  However staff in some enterprises seem rather dismissive of volunteers, and people from other countries seem to find our willingness to volunteer a strange thing to do.

One way or another, volunteering still seems a very Australian thing to do. From the 2010 Census, it appeared that 38% of women aged 18 years and over were volunteers compared to 34% of men. And Regional Australians (41%) were more likely to volunteer than Australians who lived in major cities (34%). While all capital cities have high volunteering rates compared to other parts of the world, Darwin shows the greatest percentage of volunteers (43%).

Willingly giving time to do work for an organisation or community group, on an unpaid basis, can be rewarding for individuals, young or old.

However care needs to be taken that the relationship between the volunteers and those they help, especially the organisations where they make their contribution, is based on mutual respect and common understandings about the work that is to be shared.

In this issue of NCW Victoria News we are featuring material from the Volunteering Victoria a great resource both for organisations looking to encourage volunteers, and for individuals considering becoming volunteers together with some fresh volunteering opportunity for you with NCW Victoria.