Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Supporting Australia’s volunteers

Joint Media Release with:

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

The Rudd Government is continuing to deliver on its commitment to support Australia’s volunteers with $21 million worth of one-off grants now available to volunteer organisations.

Applications open today for the Volunteer Grants 2010 initiative.

Grants between $1,000 and $5,000 are available to help eligible non-profit organisations purchase much-needed equipment, cover fuel costs, and for the first time, provide training courses and background checks.

This year volunteer organisations can apply for grants to help contribute to the costs of training for volunteers, such as first aid or cultural awareness training. The funding can also be used to help pay for background checks to make it easier for people to volunteer.

In 2009 more than 6,700 organisations received Volunteer Grants, supporting more than 366,000 volunteers.

Last year volunteer organisations across Australia used their funding to purchase equipment such as computers, cameras, barbeques, refrigerators and first aid kits, as well as helping to cover the fuel costs incurred by their volunteers.

The Rudd Government recognises and values the hard work of volunteers, who make a real and lasting difference in our local communities.

Volunteers play a crucial role in our communities. They are out in their local communities every day, helping the vulnerable, disadvantaged, and those who have hit hard times. They also enrich our communities by supporting cultural and supporting events and preserving our environment and heritage.

The Volunteer Grants 2010 initiative will provide practical and tangible support to community organisations across Australia to support volunteers and encourage more people to take up volunteering.

Applications close at 2pm on Friday 16 April 2010.

To apply, or for more information, please visit the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs or call 1800 183 374.