AHRI
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
NEWS  | 

Australia Facing Volunteer ‘Paradox’


Thursday, 29th October 2015 at 9:50 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist
Australia is facing a volunteer crisis with the elderly volunteers that provide care and support to vulnerable people in rural communities facing burnout, according to an international expert.

Thursday, 29th October 2015
at 9:50 am
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Australia Facing Volunteer ‘Paradox’
Thursday, 29th October 2015 at 9:50 am

Australia is facing a volunteer crisis with the elderly volunteers that provide care and support to vulnerable people in rural communities facing burnout, according to an international expert.

Director of the Trent Center for Ageing and Society in Canada, Professor Mark Skinner, said a “paradox” was emerging for Australia's ageing rural communities.

Professor Skinner is in Australia as a guest speaker at the national conference of the Australian Association of Gerontology, speaking in Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria and the Northern Territory about the challenges facing Australia and Canada.

“We have a situation in rural Australia and in Canada, where the reliance on volunteering is often promoted as a way of addressing gaps in rural public services as well as the lack of rural health and social care professionals,” Professor Skinner said.

“This paradox of relying on an increasingly older pool of volunteers to support ageing rural populations is a serious problem, and one that I am trying to solve.”

Professor Skinner is working in conjunction with researchers from Australia, Canada and Ireland to develop policies and practices on the age-friendliness of rural communities.

“On the one hand, what small towns lack in formal services, they make up for in the supportive nature of the rural community,” he said.

“Volunteering and volunteer-based initiatives have the potential to integrate older people within their communities and are often the key to the sustainability of ageing rural communities.”

Professor Skinner warned there was a very real danger facing older people living in rural Australia if governments continues to justify a heavy reliance on volunteering without taking into account the challenges of doing so.

“We have to resolve the paradox that while many rural communities do not have the capacity for volunteerism, the reality is that a reliance on volunteers continues to influence health policy, research and practice, creating a double jeopardy for vulnerable older people living in vulnerable rural places,” he said.
 


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Tags : Ageing, NFP, Volunteering,

 Print

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Support Services At The Core of Volunteering

Wendy Williams

Friday, 22nd June 2018 at 6:08 pm

Why Rural Australia is Facing a Volunteer Crisis

Contributor

Wednesday, 16th May 2018 at 5:34 pm

Ethics in Volunteer Leadership – Hidden in Plain Sight

Contributor

Tuesday, 15th May 2018 at 8:33 am

Volunteering in Australia’s Social Enterprise Sector

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 3rd April 2018 at 5:44 pm

POPULAR

Man Battling Cancer and Centrelink Raises Social Media Storm

Paul Carter

Tuesday, 10th July 2018 at 12:42 pm

Shorten and Abbott Defend Catholics Against ACNC Probe

Luke Michael

Monday, 16th July 2018 at 4:25 pm

New Research Looks to Improve Disability Employment Rate

Luke Michael

Monday, 9th July 2018 at 2:35 pm

Study Suggests Cooperatives Could Hold Key to Fixing Housing Crisis

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 11th July 2018 at 3:08 pm

AHRI
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!