Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$5 million funding boost for volunteers

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Ursula Stephens, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector

Programs to provide training and support to volunteers and the not-for-profit sector are receiving a $5 million injection of funds from the Australian Government.

Celebrating National Volunteer Week, the Minister for Community Services, Jenny Macklin, said the funding extension will provide additional support to 50 Volunteer Resource Centres over the next 12 months.

“The funding will help enhance skills, training and resources in the volunteer sector and improve the capacity of the not-for profit sector to deliver training to our volunteers,” Ms Macklin said.

“National Volunteer Week is a chance for Australians to thank our volunteers for the significant contribution they make to this country.”

The programs are being funded by the Volunteer Management Program, which has supported volunteers and the not-for-profit sector since 1992. It assists more than 18,000 people find volunteering opportunities and trains over 20,000 volunteers and volunteer managers.

In Adelaide, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Ursula Stephens, today launched National Volunteer Week with a new publication on Australia’s volunteers.

Volunteering in Australia – changing patterns of voluntary work, 1995 – 2006 provides a snapshot of volunteering – the people who are most likely to take on a volunteering role and how they support our communities.

“Around Australia more than five million Australians volunteer their time to support communities,” Dr Stephens said.

“The theme of this year’s National Volunteer Week, from 12 to 18 May, is ‘Volunteers Change Our World‘, and they do that every single day.

“They are the people who protect our homes when summer bushfires rage, deliver meals on wheels, raise money for good local causes and organise local sports and youth groups.”

The Australian Government’s revamped and expanded Volunteer Grants Program will provide vital support to volunteers and their local community in 2008.

The Government has committed $64 million over three years to ensure an additional 6,000 not-for-profit organisations can get assistance to purchase small equipment, sporting items and reimburse fuel costs for their volunteers.

Copies of Volunteering in Australia – changing patterns of voluntary work, 1995 – 2006 are available online or by telephoning 1300 653 227.