The Census Question – Will It Help?
Monday, 14th August 2006 at 1:08 pm
Millions of Australians filled out their census forms on August 8th and were asked for the first time about their volunteering habits. And according to volunteer groups and agencies across the country this one question will offer huge long term advantages.
The wording on the Census form was simple enough describing volunteering under the banner of ‘unpaid work’.
According to Volunteering Australia filling in the Census will give an accurate picture of people volunteering in this country, which will help improve conditions and increase opportunities for our millions of dedicated volunteers.
VA says this is a significant move towards governments and communities understanding the level commitment and support for volunteering activities by millions of Australians.
Volunteering Queensland says volunteering can shape the lives of the individuals participating, and the organisation or the causes they support.
It says that without an accurate way to measure this, organisations cannot develop effective volunteer programs that best utilise a volunteers time.
Volunteering Western Australia says the information from the Census will enable volunteer involving community organisations to plan their promotional and developmental programs for the next few years.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics says answers to the question will help in understanding the contribution of unpaid work to Australian society. They will help in the planning of local facilities, services such as day-care and occasional care, and in the provision of information and support to carers.
It says the statistics will help in understanding the way Australian individuals and families balance their paid work with other important aspects of their lives, such as family and community commitments.
They will also add much needed information concerning the amount of unpaid work people do, including domestic activities, helping family, friends or neighbours, and volunteering.