Volunteer Week - A Time to Regroup
26 May 2003 at 1:05 pm
This year’s National Volunteer Week celebrations in May provided a timely opportunity to reflect and regroup as traditional volunteer organisations assess their recruitment strategies.
Volunteer numbers have been steadily rising in Australia and a number of large public awareness activities have added to the acceptance of volunteering as a valued mainstream activity. The Sydney Olympics in 2000 attracted 47,500 volunteers, which was followed by the International Year of the Volunteer in 2001.
While we are still seeing an increase in volunteering in 2003, the CEO of Volunteering Australia, Sha Cordingly says there are changes in volunteer trends that are showing falling numbers in the more traditional volunteer organisations.
Cordingly says younger people are joining the volunteer community in different ways; through employee volunteer schemes, in projects that are team-based based or short term. They are looking for new ways to engage in community life.
She says these new trends are going to see people re-think the way they attract volunteers in the future and address the growing trend towards formal volunteering.
The most recent ABS statistics from 2000 showed that 4.4 million Australians over the age of 18 years volunteer annually. This contributes approximately 2,200 million hours of volunteer work across Australia each year.
Currently volunteering contributes an estimated $42 billion a year to the Australian economy. This figure represents the contribution of volunteers through both formal and informal means and has been developed by Dr. Duncan Ironmonger from an analysis of the ABS Time Use Survey data.
Dr. Ironmonger is an Associate Professor with the Department of Economics at Melbourne University and the Director of the Household Research Unit.
His assessment of the economic value of volunteering was delivered in a report to government late last year.
If you would like an electronic version of the Social and Economic Value of Volunteering in Victoria in PFD format just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that this is a large file of 2.2MG.