Valuing Queensland's Volunteers - Volunteering Australian Conference
3 September 2008 at 3:14 pm
Queensland’s Communities Minister Lindy Nelson-Carr has outlined some of the challenges facing volunteering in the 21st century at the 12th National Conference on Volunteering on the Gold Coast.
The Minister told the conference that flexibility, catering for younger and older Queenslanders and protecting privacy are the challenges facing the sector right now.
She said the Bligh Government commissioned research which proved what was thought for some time – volunteers are worth their weight in gold, contributing some $13.4 billion to the State, which equates to some 299,000 jobs.
The research also identified the work that rural and regional volunteers do, which has been calculated to be worth some $2.2 billion to their communities.
The Minister said however the sector and wider community cannot rest because there are big challenges facing modern volunteering – including an ageing population and the fact people have less time to give in their busy lives.
She said bringing organisations and leaders in volunteering from across the nation together at this conference is a very important opportunity to chart a way through these obstacles and ensure volunteering thrives in the decades ahead.
More than 500 people attended the Volunteering Australia Conference – the first to be held outside of Victoria. This year’s theme was ‘Catch the Next Waves’.
Guest speakers included World Vision CEO Tim Costello and Brazil-based Bruno Ayres, creator of the social network for volunteers V2V (Volunteer-to-Volunteer).
Minister Nelson-Carr said a new range of Queensland Government resources had been developed with important input from young and senior Queenslanders and aim to help organisations who need volunteers to think outside the square in terms of how they market themselves and what they offer volunteers in return.
The Economic Value of Volunteering report was based on 2006 Census data and was produced by Associate Professor Duncan Ironmonger, from the University of Melbourne.