The 2016 Census was released today, with data revealing that Australians are still engaged and committed to volunteering activities.

Volunteer Support Services: Building strong & resilient communities Volunteering Australia has made a 2017-18 Federal Pre-Budget Submission including a series of recommendations to further strengthen the Government’s commitment to volunteering, whilst also greatly strengthening the work of the sector to build strong and resilient communities.

Volunteering Queensland's 2017 State Volunteering Conference was a resounding success, enabling volunteer-involving organisations to advance their cause, inspiring programs and people, and increasing overall knowledge and understanding of the volunteering industry. On 8 and 9 June 2017, over 80 delegates from across Queensland came together for the inaugural State Volunteering Conference. The delegates were presented with a wealth of information, strategic and practical advice, support and encouragement through engaging presentations by renowned experts, panel discussions, interactive workshops and networking opportunities that prompted conversation on the volunteering climate. Many of the conference presenters travelled far and wide, from interstate or overseas, to share their knowledge and insights to better the future of volunteering throughout Queensland and the wider Australian community. We would like to extend our gratitude to all of our wonderful and inspiring dignitaries, delegates, presenters, panel members, facilitators, board, staff and volunteers who made the conference such a huge triumph. And, a big thank you to our conference sponsor Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

Conducted every five years, the Census is the largest form of information gathering in Australia. The Census tells us things about the way that every day Australians live, and helps us to plan for the future. Statistics tell us that every year over 6 million Australians volunteer – but we want to know if that’s the whole picture.  With the re-release of the National Definition of Volunteering in 2015, we looked deeper than ever before at the diverse ways in which people volunteer.

Volunteering Australia and Volunteering Queensland are alarmed to learn of the allegations of sexual misconduct and bullying against former volunteers in the ACT Greens during the federal and local election campaigns last year. The national, state and territory volunteering peak bodies are concerned at the lack of consistency and clarity around volunteer rights more broadly across the country. These allegations reinforce the need for robust mechanisms to be established to enshrine and protect the rights of volunteers in the workplace.

Thank you to all Queensland candidates who took the pledge to Vote for Volunteering:  33 House of Representative Candidates 26 Senate Candidates View everyone who signed the pledge

Volunteering Australia and Volunteering Queensland have received a number of enquiries about the changes to participation requirements in relation to the Working Age Payments Reforms – Budget 2017-18. Please read this Q&A factsheet provided by The Department of Jobs and Small Business. For more information on the Working Age Payments Reforms – Budget 2017-18 visit the Department of Human Services website or call 132 850.

Volunteering Australia and Volunteering Queensland welcome the news delivered by the Department of Social Services that funding for the Volunteer Management Program will be reinstated, following our Tower of Strength campaign.

Ashley Fell was the guest keynote speaker at the Volunteering Queensland Annual General Meeting, held on Wednesday 11 October 2017. Ashley is a social researcher, TEDx speaker and as Head of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle, she understands the need for organisations to communicate with the emerging generations to effectively engage and motivate them. Her expertise is in how to communicate across generational barriers.

Volunteering Australia is delighted that a motion from Senator Louise Pratt today passed in the Senate. The motion calls on the government to recognise the importance of funding volunteer management services and Volunteering Australia’s campaign to retain funding for volunteer management as part of the Federal Budget. We thank Senator Louise Pratt and Senator Jacqui Lambie for their support.

Volunteering Australia in partnership with Volunteering WA and Eduka Web Developers will today launch the GoVolunteer App in celebration of tomorrow’s International Volunteer Day. The App connects you to thousands of volunteer-involving organisations all over the country from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and is the ideal tool to help you find your perfect volunteer match.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have launched a national public consultation on statistics for volunteering and giving to clarify the data needs for information on volunteering and giving activity. The Australian Census has included an unchanged volunteering question in the past three Censuses. In light of this, the ABS is considering questions for Census 2021 and reviewing the questions accordingly. Volunteering Australia appreciates the opportunity to provide a response on statistics for volunteering and giving activity. We would like to acknowledge the importance of volunteering to the Australian communities’ workforce participation, inclusion and social cohesion. There would be a gap in skills and services without Australia’s volunteering sector.

Volunteering Australia has provided a submission on The Future of Employment Services. The submission outlines how Volunteering Support Services play a vital and often undervalued role in employment services, the need to improve online services and how volunteering produces better job outcomes for disadvantaged jobseekers.

Recently, Volunteering Australia asked for your help to save crucial resources for volunteering support services by signing their tower of strength petition.

Researchers Claire Ellis and Dr Megan Paull have updated the frequently asked questions on the definition of volunteering.

Volunteering Australia has released their 'Value of Volunteering Support Services' research project.

Volunteering Australia has provided a summary analysis of the key budget measures from the 2017-18 Federal Budget and how it will impact the volunteering sector. We are disappointed that volunteering has been overlooked in this budget. 

Volunteering Australia (VA) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer for the national peak body.  Board President, Tim Jackson, today announced the appointment of Ms Adrienne Picone to take on the role after the current CEO Brett Williamson finishes in December.  Mr Jackson said, “After a very comprehensive recruitment process, the Volunteering Australia Board is pleased to secure Adrienne for the role. Adrienne has been CEO of Volunteering Tasmania for 7 years and has been a great contributor to many significant Volunteering Tasmania and Volunteering Australia initiatives. Adrienne has extensive knowledge, management and leadership experience in the community and volunteering sector.”

Today, on Valentine’s Day, Volunteering Australia and State and Territory Peak partners hosted the ‘Share the Love’ for Volunteer Support Services event at Australian Parliament House to kick off a national volunteering advocacy campaign. Minister for Social Services Christian Porter MP and Shadow Assistant Minister for Families and Social Services Louise Pratt spoke at the event, attended by politicians and representatives of volunteer support services from around the country.