Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Funding Boost Marks National Volunteer Week

In celebration of Volunteers Week I am pleased to announce funding of $1.6 million over four years to Volunteering Australia (VA) to help expand volunteer placements for Australians Working Together (AWT) customers.

Volunteers are an essential part of the Australian community, and the celebration of National Volunteer Week is a perfect time to announce extra support for them.

There are over 4 million adult Australians who selflessly give up their time to make Australia an even better place to be. This equates to a staggering 430 million hours of unpaid work each year. The volunteers and the organisations behind them deserve all the support and recognition we can give them.

Today’s funding announcement (see attachment) will enable Volunteering Australia to:

  • Double funding to 13 existing services in the Voluntary Work Initiative network;
  • Fund nine new services to deliver Voluntary Work Initiative services in regional and rural locations;
  • Fund two new regional service pilots, with up to three outlets each, in South Australia and Queensland;
  • Fund the implementation of change management strategies to position VA and its network to support community organisations in AWT; and
  • Contribute $86,000 to the inaugural funding of the Volunteer Trust being established by Volunteering Australia.

The funding is part of the $4.9 million over four years already provided through the Australians Working Together package to boost volunteer matching and help community organisations find more places.

Volunteering is a vital component of the AWT package. Through involvement in voluntary and community work, income support customers will be able to gain valuable skills which can directly boost their employment prospects.

The Howard Government is committed to giving people on income support the best mix of help, encouragement and incentives to ensure they can access further training and have more pathways into the workforce.

Not only does this funding represent a real boost for job seekers, it also furthers the Howard Government’s support for the volunteers who make such a real difference to the quality of life in Australia.

  • Port Pirie (SA)
  • Whyalla (SA)
  • Port Augusta (SA)
  • Ipswich/Logan region (QLD)
  • Sunshine coast region (QLD)

New services

  • Goulburn Volunteer Resource Centre (NSW)
  • Volunteer Link Central West, Merrylands (NSW)
  • Ballarat Volunteer Resource Centre (VIC)
  • Mildura Volunteer Resource Centre (VIC)
  • Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre (VIC)
  • South East Volunteer Resource Centre, Dandenong (VIC)
  • Glenorchy Volunteer Resource Centre (TAS)
  • Kalgoorlie Volunteer Resource Centre (WA)
  • Alice Springs (NT)

Existing services

  • Central Coast Volunteer Referral Agency, Niagara Park (NSW)
  • Lismore Volunteer and Referral Centre (NSW)
  • Port Macquarie Neighbourhood Centre (NSW)
  • Northern Beaches Neighbourhood Centre, Dee Why (NSW)
  • Volunteering Coffs Harbour (NSW)
  • Tweed Training and Enterprise, Murwillumbah (NSW)
  • Wagga Wagga Volunteer Centre (NSW)
  • Volunteering Gold Coast (QLD)
  • Shepparton Information and Resource Centre (VIC)
  • Centre for Continuing Education, Wangaratta (VIC)
  • Warrnambool Volunteer Resource Centre (VIC)
  • Centacare Family Services, Geraldton (WA)
  • Volunteer South West Bunbury (WA)