Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

ACT volunteering organisations share in $200,000

Over 60 community organisations in the Australian Capital Territory will benefit from more than $200,000 in Australian Government funding for volunteer grants.

This is part of the $21 million in Volunteer Grants which will go to over 7,200 community organisations across the country.

Under the program, grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 are provided to non-profit organisations.

Volunteers are the backbone of so many of our community groups and the non-profit sector. In the ACT, there are almost 95,000 volunteers.

Every day volunteers are out in their local communities working tirelessly to help the elderly, the sick and those who have hit hard times.

The Government values the enormous contribution volunteers make in our community and this funding will ease the financial pressure on non-profit organisations and volunteers.

In the ACT, the Volunteer Grants Program 2008 will assist organisations to buy small equipment and sporting items, to train volunteers, and to help with fuel costs.

Organisations to receive funding include Cycling ACT, School Volunteer Program ACT and the Australian Sports Medicine Federation.

Cycling ACT, which promotes the sport of cycling in the ACT, will receive a Volunteer Grant of $20,000 to buy an improved radio system for volunteers to use when marshalling cycling events.

The four branches of Cycling ACT have 310 volunteers who organise and run cycling races and other community cycling events.

Participation is increasing by 20 per cent each year, and the organisation provides novice cycling programs to introduce cycling and fitness to all age groups, including for participants up to 70 years of age.

The School Volunteer Program ACT will receive almost $4000 under the Volunteer Grants Program. It mentors disadvantaged students on a one-to-one basis in schools during school hours.

The trained volunteers develop a rapport with their students and encourage them to overcome their disadvantages and achieve their goals.

A further grant of $38,000 has been earmarked for the Australian Sports Medicine Federation which provides community education programs in sport, first aid and sport safety.

Nearly 580 Sports Medicine community volunteers nationally will benefit from the volunteer grants.

The Volunteer Grants Program 2008 delivers on a Rudd Government election commitment.