Volunteering Australia Re-Emerges
29 November 2012 at 10:50 am
The nation’s peak volunteer organisation Volunteering Australia has held its first Annual General Meeting under its new constitution, co-opting President Paul Lynch to be reappointed as head of the transitioning organisation.
Under the changes, the Chairs and Presidents of the State volunteering bodies have been appointed Volunteering Australia Foundation board members along with three independent board members.
Volunteering Australia’s Executive Committee of the Board is comprised of office bearers Paul Lynch (President, Board Appointee), Tim Jackson (Vice-President, President of Board of Volunteering SA&NT), Matt Rutter (Treasurer, President of the Board of Volunteering WA) and Dianne Carlos (Secretary and Public Officer, President of the Board of Volunteering ACT.)
It’s believed the goal of the changes is to create a “network” organisation that has a central core providing a national voice and maximising the resources of the state volunteering agencies.
The CEOs of state-based organisations have been meeting in Canberra to progress the reforms.
The CEO of Volunteering ACT, Maureen Cane is acting CEO of Volunteering Australia as part of the transitional arrangements including the move of its headquarters to Canberra.
The Federal Government says funding for Volunteering Australia remains the same as the 2010-11 budget at around $275,000.
However, according to VA financial statements Federal funding has been dropping in recent years. In 2010 the organisation received almost $800,000 in grant income.
The Minister for Social Inclusion and Volunteering, Mark Butler, says that over the past two financial years the Australian Government has provided a consistent level of core funding for VA.
"In 2011–12, funding for VA’s ongoing operations was $274,407. A new agreement was recently signed with VA to provide $275,000 in funding in 2012–13.
"VA also receives funding for individual projects, such as coordinating National Volunteer Week celebrations. Funding for these projects is provided in addition to VA's core funding."
In 2011 Volunteering Australia undertook a significant governance reform process. In June 2012, Volunteering Australia closed the doors of its Melbourne headquarters with all staff including the CEO Cary Pedicini being made redundant. The closure was part of the major structuring of Volunteering Australia by its Board including moving its operations to Canberra with a new and smaller team.
At the time the then Minister, Tanya Plibersek, highlighted the need for VA to “strengthen accountability to the broad volunteering sector”.