VT’s new CEO responds to funding uncertainty

Alison Lai, the CEO of Tasmania’s volunteering Peak body, Volunteering Tasmania, has echoed the sentiments in Volunteering Australia’s Federal Government pre budget submission, which calls for a number of changes to the way the Government invests in volunteer support services.

Volunteering Australia’s submission highlights a number of critical opportunities for improvement in the way that the Federal Government approaches volunteer management, in particular emphasising the critical message that volunteering does not happen for free.

“I agree that there is at times a perception that volunteering ‘just happens’,” Lai said. “But those who volunteer, or rely on volunteers, fully understand that whilst people will happily provide assistance at no cost, the process of setting up systems that make it easy, safe and effective for people to volunteer takes time and financial investment.

“Not-for-profit organisations who deliver vital community services on behalf of the Government are not flush with cash.   Ongoing Government financial investment is essential to ensure these organisations can continue to deliver volunteering programs that keep up with community expectations.”

Other key recommendations in the report include:

  • ongoing funding support for volunteer support services and volunteer management programs;
  • that funding be increased annually in line with CPI; and
  • that recognition is given to the value of place based volunteer support services.

Lai welcomed Volunteering Australia’s submission in light of current concerns that the Federal Government will decrease funding to the volunteer sector through its reshaping of its Strengthening Communities grant program.

The existing Strengthening Communities grant program provides vital funding to state and territory volunteering support services, including Volunteering Tasmania.

“The Federal Government has confirmed they will be undertaking face-to-face consultations with volunteering peak bodies in each state and territory, with the exception of Tasmania,” she said.

“We’ve been informed that these consultations will commence in just over two weeks’ time but no information has been provided regarding the key discussion points and it’s my understanding that Tasmania will be expected to travel to Melbourne to have the opportunity to meet with government representatives.

“This is very concerning and I’ll be working closely with Volunteering Australia to ensure that Tasmania’s voice is included in these critical discussions.”

The full Volunteering Australia submission can be viewed here.

VT’s new CEO responds to funding uncertainty 2017-09-25T11:00:51+00:00

Federal funding for volunteering under review

There is a high level of uncertainty facing the Australian volunteering industry, due to the Federal Government currently reviewing the Strengthening Communities grants program – one of the core funding streams for volunteering.

Volunteering Australia have picked up the advocacy mantle in their pre-budget submission to the Federal Treasury, which highlights some key points:

Nationally, volunteering is a multi-billion dollar industry – for example, for every dollar invested in volunteering in Tasmania, at least four dollars in benefits are returned to the community (State of Volunteering Report, 2014);

  • Effective volunteering doesn’t happen without the right infrastructure – volunteers are not a free and unlimited resource and they need a well supported industry if the current levels of volunteering are to be sustained into the future;
  • This is particularly threatened by the upcoming changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Aged Care under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

Volunteering Australia have also highlighted that volunteering aligns well with the Federal Government’s desire for ‘jobs and growth’, as volunteering is a great way of growing work skills and professional networks.

More on the Volunteering Australia’s submission to the Federal Government can be read in a recently published article by Pro-Bono News titled ‘Message to the Federal Government – Volunteering Doesn’t Just Happen by Itself‘.

Click here to view the Volunteering Australia PreBudget Submission in full.

Federal funding for volunteering under review 2017-09-25T11:00:52+00:00

Bush Fire Awareness – How Prepared Are You?

Most Tasmanians will have heard of ‘Black Tuesday’, 7 February 1967, which saw the most deadly bushfires that Tasmania has ever experienced. Sixty-four people died, nine hundred injured, sixty-four thousand farm animals lost and over seven thousand people homeless.

2017 marks the fifty year anniversary of that terrible day in Tasmania’s history, with the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery commemorating the event and sharing clippings, recordings, footage and memories of the people who experienced Black Tuesday. Clarence Council also have a fascinating exhibition called “What Would You Take?“.

The Tasmanian Fire Service, in conjunction with the Australian Government and Flinders University, are conducting a survey on bushfire preparation and management. They are seeking feedback on  South Eastern Tasmanian residents’ actions and plans in the event of future bushfires – please consider participating. More information in their flyer (download, 306KB), with the  survey link found here.

If you want to do more than just be prepared, please visit this page on our website to find out more about volunteering during and emergency, and/or as part of community recovery efforts. By signing up to EV CREW before a natural disaster, you will be proactive and a vital extra pair of hands when it’s needed most.

Stay safe.

Bush Fire Awareness – How Prepared Are You? 2017-09-25T11:00:52+00:00

Half-price membership offer – join and support VT!

Volunteering Tasmania is the peak body for volunteering in the state, supporting volunteers, working closely with Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIOs) and advocating for the volunteering industry to funders and government.

Our small team is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to represent the interests of all Tasmanians involved in volunteering.  Alongside many VIOs, we also put considerable resources into ensuring we have funding to continue representing the volunteering industry.

Part of this funding is made up of our membership fees, for which we offer a host of exclusive benefits and returns.

From 1 January 2017, memberships will be at a pro-rata (half price) rate, this reduced rate buys membership for the remaining half of the 2016-17 Financial Year, so is valid until 30 June 2017.

Benefits and application forms can be found online below:

To discuss how Membership might benefit you, or to find out more, contact the Member and Corporate Liaison Bonnie Tuttle on 6231 5550, 0439 032 499, or email BonnieT@volunteeringtas.org.au

Half-price membership offer – join and support VT! 2017-02-02T08:30:15+00:00