$16 million to support Australia’s volunteers.
Applications for Gillard Government Volunteer Grants for 2012 are now open, with $16 million available to not-for-profit organisations around the country.
The Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins, made the announcement at Risdon Vale Neighbourhood Centre in Hobart today alongside representatives of Volunteering Tasmania and other community volunteer organisations.
“These grants help the country’s volunteers at the grassroots level and with the things they need,” Ms Collins said.
“The grants range between $1,000 and $5,000 and can be used to buy much-needed equipment or to assist volunteers with fuel costs, training courses and compulsory background screening checks.
“Volunteers are at the heart of our community organisations and play a crucial part in helping Australians most in need,” Ms Collins said.
Minister for Families and Community Services, Jenny Macklin, said the Government’s Volunteer Grants recognised the important role of the six million Australians who volunteer their time each year.
“Australia’s volunteers do outstanding work, day in and day out – the contribution they make to communities across the country is invaluable,” Ms Macklin said.
“They contribute more than 700 million hours a year to the community in areas such as emergency services, sports, welfare and the arts.
“The Gillard Government’s Volunteer Grants are a way of saying ‘thank you’ and to make it that little bit easier for them to carry on their great work,” Ms Macklin said.
In 2011, more than 4,600 organisations shared in these grants – supporting over 200,000 hard-working volunteers.
In Tasmania, that included $540,000 to assist more than 5,000 volunteers across 165 community organisations.
“Australia has a strong tradition of volunteering and Tasmania is one of the best examples of this tradition,” Ms Collins said.
“Over 41 per cent of Tasmanian adults volunteer each year – and I am proud to say that’s higher than the national average of 36 per cent.
“As the local member, I also want to point out the great work being done by Risdon Vale Neighbourhood Centre and congratulate its volunteers on their recent awards for the high standards of achievement in servicing the needs of the community.”
In 2011, Risdon Vale Neighbourhood Centre received $4,200 under Volunteer Grants to help with fuel costs.
Applications for Volunteer Grants 2012 close on 25 July.
More information is available at www.fahcsia.gov.au or by calling the Volunteer Grants Hotline on 1800 183 374.