Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Australian Government continues support for volunteers

 Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today announced a new round of the Volunteer Small Equipment Grants and $100,000 to support volunteering in Australia.

“The Volunteer Small Equipment Grants program provides up to $5,000 to volunteering groups and goes a long way to make their valuable work easier, safer and more enjoyable.

“This latest allocation builds on the highly successful grants made in 2001 and 2003 that distributed $15.9 million to more than 6,000 community organisations.

“The 2004 grants will focus on organisations that provide family support and strengthen local communities. This round will also give the many worthy organisations that missed out last year another chance at receiving funding.

“The Australian Government will also provide $20,000 to Volunteering Australia for their Annual National Conference on Volunteering to be held in June 2004. Our support will include a Volunteers Scholarship Fund to assist volunteers with their transport costs – especially those in rural areas – to attend the conference.

“Funding of $80,000 will go towards a campaign to encourage new and diverse groups to get involved in volunteering and information resources for volunteering organisations.

“Each year there are around 4.4 million adults undertaking some 430 million hours of unpaid work. This is a significant economic and social contribution to our society. The selfless spirit with which volunteers approach their unpaid work says something special about the Australian community.

“This latest allocation of funds builds on the Australian Government’s recognition of the outstanding work of all volunteers whose valuable work often goes unnoticed,”
Mr Anthony said.

To register interest in the Volunteer Small Equipment Grants 2004, phone the toll free hotline on 1800 050 199 or visit the website. Applications close on 5 March.

For more information about the national conference on volunteering or information on how to become a volunteer, phone Volunteering Australia on (03) 9820 4100 or visit their Volunteering website.