Govt Unveils Ten Year Roadmap for Volunteering
Wednesday, 30th November 2011 at 1:51 pm
|Above: Minister for Social Inclusion, Tanya Plibersek, launches the National Volunteering Strategy. Photo: Asha Griffith|
The Gillard Government has launched its roadmap for the next ten years of volunteering in Australia, which aims to get more young Australians and retirees volunteering.
Minister for Human Services and Social Inclusion, Tanya Plibersek launched the ‘National Volunteering Strategy’ at the National Conference on Volunteering on the Gold Coast.
“The strategy sets out how volunteering will be encouraged, supported and recognised across the nation over the next 10 years,” Plibersek said.
Plibersek told the 400 conference delegates that each year, 6 million Australians volunteer more than 700 million hours – a contribution estimated at $14 billion. Volunteering, she said, is social inclusion in action.
“But while the number of volunteers is increasing, the average number of hours spent volunteering has decreased and there are fewer people under 45 years old who are volunteering.” Plibersek said.
The strategy will encourage both young Australians and retirees to take part in volunteer, and aims to harness new technologies to make volunteering easier.
She said the National Volunteering Strategy provides a roadmap for the future of volunteering in Australia, and “sets out a vision for getting more people to volunteer, supporting those who already volunteer, and recognising the contribution of volunteering to communities”.
In the strategy the Gillard Government has committed to:
- Providing funding to support the Young People Without Borders so young people can take a gap year overseas as volunteers.
- Offering up to 20 new places in the Australian Youth Ambassador program for 18 to 20 year olds to volunteer overseas.
- Holding an online ad competition asking young people to submit ads on volunteering which will be published online.
- Collaborating with volunteer groups to co-fund a volunteer data-sharing capability which will allow people to search online for volunteer roles.
- Establishing a Digital Enterprise program which will offer training to not-for-profits on how they can use the NBN to be more efficient.
The strategy focuses on 6 main areas: responding to trends in volunteering; harnessing technology; getter regulation and risk management; strengthening management and training; strengthening relationships and advocacy; and recognising and valuing volunteering.
Plibersek said the government will produce a publication targeting at people who are about to retire.
“We really want to use those highly skilled people who are retiring young and fit,” she said.
Plibersek also spoke of the importance of strengthening the peak bodies of the volunteering sector, to be able to work with government and advocate on volunteering issues.
To view the National Volunteering Strategy, visit: www.notforprofit.gov.au/news/launch-national-volunteering-strategy
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