Skilled Volunteer Matching Launch: New Web Site
17 September 2001 at 1:09 pm
The team at Pro Bono Australia joined some two hundred guests at the launch of the ICAA-PBA Skilled Volunteer Matching Program for young accountants in Melbourne last week and the atmosphere was electric.
The program to link young professional accountants from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia with Not for Profit organisations needing help saw the announcement of a new and exciting volunteer matching website URL.
ICAA young professionals and Not for Profit organisations needing assistance can register to be matched at www.volunteermatch.com.au. The site is also available via a link from our own web site at probonoaustralia.com.au.
Pro Bono Australia’s founder Karen Mahlab said the volunteer matching service and web site are designed to be “hi tech hi touch”.
She says the aim is to ensure that all parties feel respected in the process with the understanding that there needs to be a good cultural and personal fit between volunteer and organisation.
Mahlab said the Institute of Chartered Accountants is the forerunner, the pied piper, in a process that is soon to be extended to other professions across Australia.
Guest speaker, former Olympian and chair of the newly formed Centre for Encouragement of Philanthropy in Australia, Ron Clarke spoke of the importance of the volunteer matching scheme.
He delivered a passionate speech saying Australians need to find a balance in their lives, one that he describes as having five elements of family, work, a hobby, health and community.
He used the Sydney Olympics as an example of the importance of volunteerism.
He said there is no doubt that the outstanding feature of the Sydney Olympics was not any particular performance or event, magnificent though they were with Ian Thorpe, Cathy Freeman and their fellow competitors, it certainly was not the deeds of SOCOG, or the architecture, but simply the volunteers.
He said it was the volunteers who saved the day. Their cheerfulness, their zest and enthusiasm, their politeness made Sydney different from other Olympics. He said volunteers, by their very nature, seem to have the personality that enthuses and inspires others.
Clarke who opened his speech by admitting that he began his working career as an accountant at Kent, Brierley & Fisher, Chartered Accountants in Melbourne, was greeted by one of his former work colleagues and ICAA member Ray Manchester.
Both men recalled during the evening that back in the 50’s their employer did not have any pro bono services available.
The National President of the ICAA, Jan West officially launched the web site for the Young Professionals Program saying one of the side benefits will be to accurately document how much time is being volunteered by accountants and in what areas. This information will be used to plan resources more effectively.
West also announced that the Institute has established an annual award program that recognises exceptional community service.
The Victorian State Chair’s Young Professional Community Service
Award will recognise and reward the contributions of members under the age of 35 who are engaged in pro bono community service.
The Award will be presented in November.
Please take a look at the web site and let us know how it helps your organisation by joining our Forum at probonoaustralia.com.au.