Victoria ALIVE launches its social media campaign on inclusive volunteering
10 September 2019 at 7:30 am
Over the past year, the Victoria ALIVE project has been engaging communities around Victoria on the topic of inclusive volunteering for people of all abilities.
On Tuesday 3 September, the project launched the #WeAreAble campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of volunteering by putting inclusive volunteering for people of all abilities at the top of the agenda.
The campaign aims to get Victorians thinking, talking and acting disability inclusion for volunteers.
People with disability contribute in many ways to our communities through volunteering but there are still barriers to tear down. All volunteers are often able to grow into a volunteer role, discover their passion, and up-skill.
“Organisations that open their doors to volunteers of all abilities increase workforce diversity, enhance community participation, and improve the knowledge and skill base of the organisation itself,” Dominic Szeker, project manager, says.
“And yet, despite all these benefits, there are many barriers to volunteering for people with disability.”
Melanie Edge, a member of the project advisory group at Victoria ALIVE, says she originally became involved in volunteering in order to gain skills and experiences to get a job – which she has done.
“Now it’s about trying to get other people to have similar experiences; trying to create more social equity and employment opportunities,” she says.
“If your organisation is actively removing barriers for people with disability, they can achieve even more. It’s good to see people with disability trying things, because that changes the way we see their capabilities. But that doesn’t mean we should go for that false inspiration. Be inspired by the person, not the disability.”
Julyne Ainsley, another member of the project advisory group says: “There is still a long way to go to be fully inclusive, but I really do think people are more aware now of people with disability and how to accommodate them. It’s just slow to change because people are slow to change their old views.”