Volunteers Rush to Register In Bushfire Crisis
16 March 2009 at 3:08 pm
More than 17,000 people rushed to register as volunteers to help in the recovery process after the Victorian bushfire crisis and managing these registrations has been remarkable in the cash-strapped volunteer sector in Australia. Here’s how it unfolded.
Volunteering Australia was approached by the Victorian Government to provide urgent support in dealing with the extraordinary number of spontaneous volunteers wanting.
VA established a data base through govolunteer.com.au and began the task of collecting registrations to be matched with volunteer needs.
The Registrations continued to grow at GoVolunteer became a reference point for media and government in their publicity.
VA spokesman, Peter Cocks says this response created a new problem – as the immediate need was small- of how to best meet the expectations of so many people who may not be needed in the short term.
Volunteering Victoria took on a key role to match immediate needs and to then assist in the handling of ongoing volunteer matching.
Cocks says people not needed for the immediate response or recovery will be offered the opportunity to volunteer for a range of organisations so they can be inducted, trained and therefore ready to respond when the next major disaster affects the community.
He says VA has been pleased to be able to meet an immediate need to assist in this way and will continue to provide what support it can with the ongoing process as well as working on the outcomes of the project to develop better systems and processes to handle similar events in the future.
The bushfire recovery will continue for many months to come and volunteers will have a massive role in helping communities rebuild and organisations like Volunteering Australia will no doubt need additional funds to make it happen.