Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Celebrating volunteers in National Volunteer Week

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon. Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Today marks the start of a week-long celebration of Australia’s volunteers.

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Ursula Stephens, said National Volunteer Week will be held from 10-16 May.

Ms Macklin said National Volunteer Week was an opportunity to thank more than five million volunteers across Australia.

“National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate the enormous contribution of volunteers across Australia,” Ms Macklin said.

“Together they contribute more than 700 million hours annually to the community in arenas such as emergency services, heritage, sports, welfare, and the arts.”

Senator Stephens said the theme of this year’s National Volunteer Week is, ‘Now, more than ever’.

“It is fitting because now, more than ever, volunteering offers a variety of ways to become involved in the community,” Senator Stephens said.

“From virtual volunteering to micro-volunteering opportunities, volunteering is evolving and diversifying in ways that enable everyone to get involved.”

“Responding to this evolution is an important part of the first ever National Volunteering Vision and Strategy that the Australian Government is currently developing.”

The Australian Government recognises the valuable contribution of volunteers, and is providing $27 million in volunteer and volunteer management grants each year to support volunteers, volunteer managers, and help individuals participate in community life.

The Golden Gurus program was also launched by the Government this year, to connect Australians aged over 50 with volunteering opportunities.

National Volunteer Week is organised by Volunteering Australia with support from the Government, the National Australia Bank and the GTB Group.

Events are being held around the country this week to celebrate volunteers, beginning with the national launch in Canberra tonight.

Further details about National Volunteer Week events can be found at the Volunteering Australia website.