LINDA BURNEY MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS
SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES AND THE PREVENTION OF FAMILY VIOLENCE
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES
LABOR THANKS AUSTRALIA’S 6 MILLION VOLUNTEERS
National Volunteers Week gives us all a chance to celebrate the organisations working to build stronger and more inclusive communities. Federal Labor is marking the start of National Volunteers Week by thanking the nearly 6 million volunteers across Australia.
Volunteering and volunteers make a valuable contribution to communities around Australia: bringing people together through sport; supporting fellow Australians during emergencies; and building social capital and cohesion in community groups. Our communities are healthier, happier and more resilient when these bonds of support are strong.
Australia deserves a Government that supports our volunteer organisations to be part of Australia’s recovery, not allowing them to become casualties of the pandemic. After a hard year for volunteering there was nothing in the budget for volunteers
Australia’s volunteering organisations have been working hard to support greater numbers of people in need, with drastically fewer resources.
According to the ABS’s General Social Survey, the share of Australian adults who volunteered in the previous 12 months dropped from 36 percent in 2010 to 29 percent in 2019.
In early-2020, two out of every three volunteers cut back, leaving charities short by an estimated 12.2 million hours per week.
Volunteering has not recovered from the pandemic. Only around 1 in 4 organisations had been able to get volunteer participation back to pre-pandemic levels of activity by the start of the year.
Quite apart from the community bonding and economic value volunteering provides in Australia, helping volunteer numbers recover is crucial for the satisfaction, mental health and stress relief it provides to volunteers.
It’s time the Government ended its neglect of this critical engine of social capital, community welfare and the economy -- by making sure volunteer organisations are robust and properly resourced.
Labor understands the value of volunteering and the broader community sector, and have renewed our commitment in our national policy platform to form a respectful partnership with charities and the non-profit sector in government.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.