Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Minister Closes National Volunteer Week With A Celebration Of Volunteering ACT’s 7000th Volunteer

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today welcomed the 7000th volunteer walking through the door of Volunteering ACT’s Belconnen Volunteer Resource Centre.

Senator Patterson said every year more than 4 million volunteers contribute over 704 million hours of their own time to do voluntary work. This translates into a $47 billion boost to the Australian economy.

“The Australian Government supports volunteering to the tune of $13.9 million a year through volunteering programs. The Government has reinforced its commitment to volunteers, and the organisations that support them, through this week’s Budget. The Voluntary Work Initiative has secured funding for another four years.

“Over $158,000 each year is provided in funding to Volunteering ACT’s Belconnen Volunteer Resource Centre as part of the Volunteer Management Program and the Voluntary Work Initiative.

“These programs provide a matching, referral and support service to people wanting to volunteer and also provide training and support to volunteer organisations.”

Senator Patterson said the valuable work of organisations such as Volunteering ACT in running Volunteer Resource Centres provides more people with opportunities to participate with their local community.

“We all know that Australians want to volunteer. The problem that arises for many Australians is finding a position that matches their interests, skills and availability. The ACT’s Volunteer Resource Centre solves this problem.

“Volunteers at Volunteering ACT do the legwork that enables volunteers to find suitable placements and, in turn, allow voluntary organisations to enlist the help of suitable volunteers.

“People on income support who choose volunteering as part of their participation requirements can be given opportunities to gain new skills and increase their self-esteem.

“Today’s celebration of Volunteering ACT’s 7000th volunteer presented a unique opportunity to not only recognise the success of the Australian Government’s volunteer programs, but also to acknowledge and applaud the enormous commitment and dedication of volunteers and the voluntary organisations that they belong to.

“I congratulate the Volunteering ACT’s Volunteer Resource Centre and the commitment and dedication of its staff,” Senator Patterson said.

For information on how to become a volunteer, call Volunteering ACT on 6251 4060 or visit Volunteeract website