Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Supporting our volunteers in the Dandenong Ranges

Joint Media Release with:

    Member for La Trobe

In the Dandenong Ranges today, the Federal Government brought its message to community organisations to apply for this year’s $16 million Volunteer Grants initiative.

The Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins, and the Federal Member for LaTrobe, Laura Smyth MP, visited the Dandenong Ranges Emergency Relief Service, one of the 4,800 grant recipients across Australia last year.

Ms Smyth said last year 42 organisations throughout our community shared in $135,000 in funding to support the work of their volunteers.

Ms Collins congratulated the volunteers on their work and urged the Dandenong Ranges Emergency Relief Service and other organisations to apply for grants worth up to $5,000.

“The Federal Government understands the invaluable work of our nation’s volunteers and these grants help them to carry out their important work,” Ms Collins said.

“Last year’s 4,800 grants to community organisations helped more than 166,000 volunteers.

“In Victoria, 1,415 organisations shared in grants totalling over over $4.6 million.

“Volunteers are an integral part of our culture, heritage and daily life – more than six million Australians volunteer each year.

“Victoria has a strong tradition of volunteering – 35.6 per cent of Victorians over the age of 18 volunteer each year.

“I congratulate Dandenong Ranges Emergency Relief Service and its volunteers for their important work in the community,” Ms Collins said.

Ms Smyth said the Dandenong Ranges Emergency Relief Service received funding of $2,792 under the Volunteer Grants 2012 initiative.

“This is just one way the Federal Government can thank our volunteers and organisations for their significant contribution to our community,” Ms Smyth said.

“It’s great to see some of those people who volunteer their time and energy at the Dandenong Ranges Emergency Relief Service to help support others in the community.

“I urge all community organisations in Dandenong to apply for a volunteer grant for that little bit of extra help they need to buy some much needed equipment or to help volunteers go about their work.

“For example, the Dandenong Ranges Emergency Relief Service grant went towards funding for a filing cabinet, vacuum cleaner, gardening equipment, fuel cost reimbursement and background checks.”

Applications for Volunteer Grants 2013, of between $1,000 and $5,000, are open until 24 April. To apply, go to