Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Thanking volunteers on International Volunteer Day

The Australian Government salutes the contribution of volunteers across a huge range of community organisations and services on International Volunteer Day.

Volunteers are the backbone of so many of our community groups and not-for-profit organisations.

Every day volunteers are out in their local communities working tirelessly to help those who have hit hard times or sharing important skills to turn people’s dreams into reality.

The Australian Government provides a range of programs to encourage volunteering.

We are providing $64 million over three years for the Volunteer Grants Program which benefits about 7,000 community organisations each year.

Under the Program, grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 can also be used to purchase sporting equipment, computers, tools and reimburse volunteer’s petrol bills.

We are also providing $23 million over four years for the Volunteers Management Program, to help around 20,000 people each year to find local volunteering opportunities.

The program supports 50 Volunteer Resource Centres across Australia which as serve one-stop shops in communities, hosting family fun days and other activities to promote the value and benefits of volunteering. The centres also recruit, refer and train volunteers for not for profit community organisations and provide volunteer based community transport.

The Government also funds Indigenous Community Volunteers who match volunteers with Indigenous communities to help build up local skills.

A recent project in the WA goldfields saw a volunteer assist in the construction of a retaining wall and teach basic house maintenance so locals learn to fit ventilation to all community homes. In the Kimberley, a carpenter taught woodwork skills to help the community design and construct a traditional Aboriginal canoe for display in a local discovery centre.

International Volunteer Day is an opportunity to say thank you to the millions of Australian volunteers whose time and effort is the mainstay of communities across the country.