National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week (NVW) is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers.

From 18 – 24 May 2020, we waved our appreciation and said thank you to 714,138 Queenslanders who volunteer, and the 6 million volunteers across Australia.

We felt that at this time, during the evolving COVID-19 situation, it was more important than ever to recognise the extraordinary impact of volunteers. Volunteer organisations around the state embraced technology to host online activities and events that supported the theme ‘Changing Communities. Changing Lives.’ and showed appreciation of their volunteers.



#waveforvolunteers #NVW2020


Here is how Volunteering Queensland celebrated the week:

Message from the Minister for Communities

The Minister for Communities, the Honourable Coralee O'Rourke MP, released a message thanking volunteers – in particular the almost 28,500 Queenslanders who stepped up to join the Care Army and support seniors and vulnerable people through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch video

Message from the Governor of Queensland

Our patron, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, released a message expressing his gratitude and appreciation for all Queensland volunteers for the contribution they make.

Watch video

NVW Small Grants Initiative

We received overwhelming interest in the National Volunteer Week Small Grants Initiative. Thank you to 450 volunteer organisations who applied to host appropriate and responsible COVID safe events for volunteers. Activities include welcome back functions, professional development programs and initiatives to increase volunteer participation. Congratulations to the 31 volunteer organisations who were successful in receiving a grant.

View the recipients

Pandemic resources

We were proud to launch two helpful guides for volunteering and volunteer management in pandemics:

  • Responding to a Pandemic: A Practical Guide for Volunteer Involving Organisations
  • Volunteering in Response to a Pandemic: A Practical Guide for Volunteers

View resources

Continuous Professional Development Program

Our Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Program for Professional Leaders of Volunteers opened for expressions of interest. The program is a formal avenue to improve your knowledge and skills, help raise your profile, and demonstrate your dedication to your career and to the volunteer leadership profession.

Learn more about the program

NVW 2020 Broadcast

We shared two interesting video interviews as part of the NVW 2020 Broadcast, which saw renowned ABC journalist, Josephine Cafagna interview:

Geoff Mulgan: Geoff is the director of the Young Foundation, a center for social innovation, social enterprise and public policy with a 50-year history of creating new organisations and pioneering ideas in fields as varied as aging, education, healthcare and poverty reduction.

Watch interview

Craig Foster: In early 2019, Craig led an international campaign to free a young Bahraini footballer and refugee, Hakeem al-Araibi from a Thai prison. Craig is a former Socceroo Captain and architect of the #PlayforLives campaign.

Watch interview

Landmarks light up red

It was wonderful to see our state’s capital landmarks lit up in red throughout NVW to acknowledge and celebrate all of Queensland’s incredible volunteers. Thank you, Brisbane!

Watch video

Wear Orange Wednesday

We participated in Wear Orange Wednesday to show our support to Queensland’s amazing State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers. It is important to say thanks for the great work they do responding to emergencies and disasters across the state, 24/7.

Visit the WOW Day website

Queensland Volunteering Awards

We closed nominations for our Queensland Volunteering Awards 2020. We usually hold the awards ceremony during NVW, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic we plan to hold the event towards the end of the year.

View details for the ceremony

Online shop

We opened our new online shop where volunteer organisations can purchase merchandise to say thank you to their volunteers. Check out keepsake volunteer badges that your volunteers will cherish.

Visit the shop

Media coverage

Our team promoted the importance of volunteering, NVW, and volunteer safeguarding through many media interviews during the week. We received over 130 items of coverage, with a huge reach of over 5.6 million.

Social media campaign

We loved seeing all the #NVW2020 social media posts as we celebrated digitally this year. Our social media campaign had over 62,000 impressions.

Website visitors

Our NVW website had all the ideas, inspiration, and resources needed to help volunteer organisations mark the special occasion. We received 5,300 resource downloads.


NVW 2021 – Save the date:

Volunteering Australia has announced the dates for the next National Volunteer Week:

Monday 17 May – Sunday 23 May 2021.


A heartfelt thank you from the Board, staff, volunteers and family of Volunteering Queensland!


National Volunteer Week is proudly supported by the Queensland Government.