Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Western Australia’s volunteering organisations share in $2.1 million

Over 700 community organisations in Western Australia will benefit from more than $2.1 million 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 WA, there are more than 540,000 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 WA, 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 in WA include the WA branch of St Vincent de Paul Society, The Men of the Trees and Surf Life Saving Western Australia.

The 71 branches of St Vinnies in WA will receive funding of $177,500 benefiting 889 volunteers, and enabling them to continue providing highly valued assistance to disadvantaged and marginalised people in the community.

The Society is the largest charity in WA with over 3000 members and volunteers providing emergency relief services to around 150,000 people each year.

The Men of the Trees brings people together to grow and plant 1,000,000 trees each year. The group aims to become a leader in environmental education throughout the community, and its funding of $27,981 will help around 593 community volunteers across the state of WA.

Surf Life Saving Western Australia will receive $122,600 to assist around 12,334 Surf Life Saving community volunteers across the state of WA.

In the 2007-08 season, around 12,334 volunteer members across the state of WA patrolled our beaches and were involved in more than 800 rescues, performing an invaluable role in keeping our beaches safe.

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