Volunteering Tasmania’s 2018-19 Budget Priority Submission – message from our CEO

Dear valued supporters,

It is with great pleasure that I share with you a copy of Volunteering Tasmania’s 2018-19 Budget Priority Submission.

Our Submission to the Tasmanian Government, titled ‘Safeguarding Volunteering – Securing Tasmania’s Future’ details a collaborative and multi-phase community development project designed to safeguard volunteering across our island – particularly in our regional communities.

The approach outlined in our Submission was carefully crafted over a number of months in consultation with a diverse range of individuals, community, business and government stakeholders including the University of Tasmania, TasCOSS, the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Local Government Association of Tasmania.

During our discussions with the community, we heard loud and clear the need for solutions to address a range of challenges facing volunteerism including compliance, volunteer fatigue, changing community expectations and the rising costs of volunteering.

Whilst these matters are not the focus of our 2018-19 Tasmanian Government Budget Submission, Volunteering Tasmania will progress these matters with impacted organisations, and continue to pursue collaborative strategies with our national, and state and territory counterparts to address these concerns.

This includes continuing our discussions with the national organisations who are leading the charge in the development digital platforms that will change the landscape of how compliance is managed for volunteers in the future. We will also continue our current discussions with the Department of Education, and other key Tasmanian education partners on reinvigorating volunteering in the Tasmanian education curriculum. We are also committed to continuing our investigations into best-practice volunteer management strategies suitable for all kinds of volunteers ranging from tourism, heritage and the arts to the environment and sport.

As you will see from our Submission, our focus for the 2018-19 State Budget is solely on securing funding for safeguarding volunteering for all organisations that deliver services in regional communities. We believe this is an urgent issue that required immediate attention and investment from the Tasmanian Government.

Over the coming months we will continue to lobby the Tasmanian Government for their support of our proposal, and we encourage (and welcome) your support in this process.

How can you support us? By contacting your local State Government representative and asking them to support our proposal!

Thank you once again, and I look forward to providing you an update on our progress in the New Year.

With kindest regards,

Ali

Volunteering Tasmania’s 2018-19 Budget Priority Submission – message from our CEO 2017-12-13T15:17:35+00:00

Tasmanian Women’s Strategy – submission to the Tasmanian Government

Volunteering Tasmania has submitted a proposal to the Tasmanian Government as part of the community consultation to develop the new Tasmanian Women’s Strategy (2018-2021).

We have recommended the extension of the existing ‘Women on Boards’ strategy to women volunteering on community for-purpose Boards; our submission argues that investment in the provision of accessible and affordable governance training for women on community for-purpose Boards will deliver significant results for these women, the organisations they support and the communities they assist.

Click here to read the full submission.

Tasmanian Women’s Strategy – submission to the Tasmanian Government 2017-12-13T15:05:50+00:00

What’s up with corporate volunteering in Tasmania?

Volunteering Tasmania is pleased to launch the Corporate Volunteering in Tasmania Report 2017.

This research, supported by the Tasmanian Government, reported a low but growing interest from a number of Tasmanian businesses implementing programs that encouraged their employees to volunteer during work hours.

Corporate volunteering is a relatively new concept in Tasmania, and whilst the research found a range of different programs in place, all businesses reported positive benefits for their organisations, their employees and the for-purpose community organisations they engaged with.

These benefits included:

  • Positive growth of the brand and reputation of the organisation in the wider community
  • Improved employee engagement
  • Higher employee job satisfaction
  • Cost effective training and development
  • Recruitment advantages in a competitive marketplace – particularly for younger employees seeking roles with a social purpose
  • Better employee retention rates

The research also identified benefits for the small number of for-purpose organisations involved in these programs, in particular the opportunity to access the skills that corporate volunteers bring into their teams.

With 96 per cent of employees interviewed demonstrating a desire to engage in a corporate volunteering program, the number of programs across Tasmania is anticipated to significantly increase.

To assist with this anticipated increase, Volunteering Tasmania has developed a suite of resources for their Members interested in developing corporate volunteering programs. These resources are based on the findings of this research.

For more information, or to register your interest in becoming involved in future corporate volunteering information workshops/events, contact Volunteering Tasmania on 6231 5550, or email BonnieT@volunteeringtas.org.au

Read the full report here.

What’s up with corporate volunteering in Tasmania? 2017-12-12T14:28:33+00:00

Permanently ‘popping up’ in Tasmania’s North West

To our valued Members and supporters in the North West,

As we come to the close of 2017, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support.

I am also very pleased to share with you the news that we’ve returned to having an permanent presence on the coast.

As of yesterday, we welcomed Mark Shelton to our team as a part-time Community Engagement Officer (2 days per week), and also Anne Jacobsen as a Volunteer Referral Officer.

Both Mark and Anne will be based in Burnie, but will be out and about across Burnie, Ulverstone and Devonport on a regular basis.

We sincerely thank the Australian Red Cross, particularly the team in Burnie, for allowing us to share their office space. Without their support, this outcome would not be possible.

We also would not be able to make this happen without the ongoing support of LINC Tasmania, who will continue to host us at the Burnie, Ulverstone and Devonport LINC every month (for our face-to-face referral services in those areas).

This announcement is very important to Volunteering Tasmania, as many of you will remember the difficult decision that was made back in 2015 to close our Burnie office.

I am very proud of the Volunteering Tasmania team, who have worked hard to continue providing support and services in the North West from Hobart, and previously Launceston.

But we want to do more and to ensure that we can – we’re back!

Thank you for your ongoing support of us during this journey.

We have been very open about how our services are funded, and how recent Federal Government decisions have impacted our ability to maintain services across the island. These decisions have required us to keep adapting and piloting different approaches to deliver our services, and we are committed to finding a way to maintain a regular presence in the North West.

As always, I welcome all members of the community to get in touch and share their thoughts and feedback with me.

Or you can now come and see one of the team face-to-face!

Photo Left:  Mark Shelton, Volunteering Tasmania Community Engagement Officer with Ian Waller (on left), Regional Manager North West from the Australian Red Cross.

Photo Right: Anne Jacobsen, Volunteer Referral Officer (on right) with Russel Lewis, Venue Manager at the Lobster Pond Haven.   

Details for our pop-up office times are listed below, and if you would like some promotional items sent to you so that you can share the news about our local services, please contact us.

Remember, you can also contact the team with enquiries about education, volunteer management information and advice, or recruitment services – please don’t hesitate to call us, 1800-677-895.

Thank you again for your continued support.

A safe and joyful holiday season to you,

Alison

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DATES FOR DECEMBER 2017 POP-UPs:

BURNIE LINC –  7 Dec, 9.30am – 12.30pm [Click for map]
ULVERSTONE LINC – 7 Dec, 2pm to 5pm [Click for map]
DEVONPORT LINC – 8 Dec, 9.30am – 12.30pm [Click for map]

2018 POP-UPs – start in February

BURNIE LINC –  First Thursday of every month, 9.30am – 12.30pm
ULVERSTONE LINC – First Thursday of every month, 2pm to 5pm
DEVONPORT LINC – First Friday of every month, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Permanently ‘popping up’ in Tasmania’s North West 2017-12-05T16:41:50+00:00

International Volunteer Day – no man is an island

There’s a saying that no man is an island.

It’s a popular phrase that means no man, or woman, can get things done on their own and we all need help from others.

And being a proud Tasmanian, and literally living on an island, I know this to be true.

Whether it be asking for help from our local neighbours or answering a call from our friends across Bass Strait, Tasmanian volunteers are renowned for their willingness to rally around those in need.

Today is International Volunteer Day, and alongside millions of others around the world I want to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers for what they do.

But on this occasion I also want to ensure that volunteers in Tasmania realise how the impact of what they do extends beyond our state and national borders.

Because many of our volunteers would not realise that they are part of a global movement.

That is, in 2015 the United Nations released the Sustainable Development Goals – 17 goals aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all.

Included in these goals are actions addressing issues ranging from ensuring everyone has access to clean water and quality education, protecting life under the water and on land and addressing gender equality and climate action.

The United Nations has referred to these goals as a ‘truly transformative agenda’ and one that ‘places people and the planet at the centre’.

The United Nations has also highlighted the importance of volunteerism in achieving these goals.

Referring to volunteers as being a ‘powerful and cross cutting means of implementation’, it’s wonderful to have the United Nations recognise how volunteers are assisting to progress issues of global significance.

And next year Australia will have its chance to share with the rest of the world how we’re tracking against these international goals.

It’s not compulsory for a country to provide an update but at the moment the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is preparing to deliver Australia’s very first progress report.

To be presented in New York in July next year, we will stand in front of representatives from 30 countries and share with the world how we’re tracking.

And when providing our report it’s likely the Australian Government will include information showcasing our policy and industry advancements and also hopefully, the efforts of our volunteers.

To ensure the voices of our volunteers are included, we’ll certainly be providing information to the government that showcases their contribution.

This information will include the contribution of our incredible Tasmanian volunteers.

Tasmanian volunteers such as Catherine Wheatley, who established the charity ‘Water for a Village’ and has built wells in Ethiopia bringing clean water to people who have never even tasted it before.

Tasmanians like Melody Towns, who voluntarily founded ‘Be Her Freedom’, a charity that raises awareness of human trafficking and modern day slavery, and raises funds for global initiatives combating this issue.

We also have the long-term efforts of Christine Bennett OAM, who tirelessly volunteers to raise funds for the charity BCCAfrica, a primary school for orphaned and vulnerable children in Kenya.

And our volunteers don’t have to be providing support to those overseas to be contributing towards the United Nation’s goals.

We could also include the work of organisations like Wildcare, our largest environmental volunteer group with more than 6,000 volunteers supporting the conservation of our island’s natural assets.

I know that there’s more Tasmanian examples I could provide to the Australian Government to demonstrate how volunteers are indeed proving to be, as the United Nations explained, a powerful means of implementation.

And they’re doing it from right here in our island-home.

Who knows, perhaps when the Australian Governments stands in front of their international peers to showcase our national progress, we can convince them to give mention some of our home-grown examples.

So on this International Volunteer Day, I thank all the Tasmanians volunteering their time and talent to the causes and passions close to their heart.

But I also ask them to stand proud, knowing that whilst we might live on an island, and sometimes we get left off the Australian map, when it comes to volunteering our impact is global.

Alison Lai is the chief executive officer of Volunteering Tasmania, the peak body supporting and advocating for volunteers and the organisations that involve them.

International Volunteer Day – no man is an island 2017-12-05T12:14:33+00:00

Thank your volunteers by giving the gift of membership!

As we approach International Volunteer Day (December 5), it’s a time where coordinators and managers of volunteers start to think hard about what they can do to express their appreciation for the contribution of their wonderful volunteers.

This year, Volunteering Tasmania is making it easy for you. We have drastically reduced the cost of Individual Memberships to just $10 per person, as long as you are giving that Membership to a volunteer.

This is a great gift any time of year, but is particularly special to celebrate IVD, the end of the year, and/or a faith-based event like Christmas.

The steps are simple:

  1. Email us at BonnieT@volunteeringtas.org.au, letting us know how many Memberships you’d like to purchase
  2. We send you a document to collect the details about the volunteers you are buying Membership for, along with an invoice for the full amount
  3. You complete the document and payment
  4. We send you an E-Gift Card for you to email to, or print for your volunteers.

This offer is available until 15 December, but please apply early to account for processing.

Please note that International Volunteer Day (5 Dec) requests must be received by Tuesday 28 November.

Special_Offer_IVD2017_horizontal image

Thank your volunteers by giving the gift of membership! 2017-11-22T14:36:36+00:00

Feedback from Tassie’s volunteering sector highlights concerns for future

Over the past few weeks, the team at Volunteering Tasmania has been travelling around the island listening to many of you share your views on the issues facing Tasmanian volunteers and the organisations that involve them.

We have heard from people living in all corners of the State, and there are two things that you all have in common.

The first thing is that you all have a contagious passion for volunteering, and we thank you for sharing that with us.

The second common message was that you’re concerned about the future of volunteering on our island.

These concerns are based on your attempts to maintain volunteer numbers in the face of increasing compliance and regulation, transient populations and increasingly time-poor community members.

We heard you loud and clear and over the next few weeks we will take your concerns and use them to inform our budget priority submission for the Tasmanian Government.

This submission will call upon the government to prioritise funding in their 2018-19 State Budget for initiatives that will safeguard volunteering into the future.

We will be asking for the prioritisation of initiatives that provide immediate impact to relieve the pressures on volunteers and the organisations that involve them.

We will also be requesting investment into long-term strategies that will assist us to prepare for forecasted changes in the number of volunteers across the island.

I look forward to sharing our finalised submission with you in the December edition of eNews.

For all the volunteers.
Alison Lai

CEO Volunteering Tasmania

Feedback from Tassie’s volunteering sector highlights concerns for future 2017-11-14T15:25:32+00:00

Nominations are now open for the Southern Cross Television Tasmanian Volunteering Awards 2018!

Today, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, AC, Governor of Tasmania launched the 2018 Southern Cross Television Tasmanian Volunteering Awards.

This awards program is entering its third year, and is an initiative of Volunteering Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government.

These awards aim to recognise and reward the contribution of those who exhibit excellence in volunteering, and are the only state-wide volunteering recognition program.

In an independent study researched by the Institute of Project Management, Tasmanians volunteer 7.1 million hours a year, with the value of volunteering to the Tasmanian community being $4.9 billion annually.

“Volunteers are in every community in Tasmania. They represent the third biggest workforce in our State, yet too often their impact goes unseen”, said Alison Lai, CEO of Volunteering Tasmania.

“This Awards program is vitally important for highlighting and officially recognising the amazing variety and number of volunteers we have in Tasmania,” said Lai.

In a true reflection of this, the Awards program has a wide range of voting categories, including: tourism, arts, and heritage; sport and recreation; emergency volunteering; community care; education and science; animal care and conservation; as well as Volunteer Manager of the Year and Corporate Volunteer Program of the Year.

“The most popular category last year was the Volunteer Program of the Year – it was heart-warming to read so many amazing stories of selfless Tasmanians dedicating so much time to giving back to our community, without expecting payment”, said Lai.

Nominations are open here, and close on 5pm, March 2, 2018.

Awards will be presented at the beginning of National Volunteer Week, 21 May 2018; in a formal ceremony at Government House.

Nominate a deserving Tasmanian today!

Nominations are now open for the Southern Cross Television Tasmanian Volunteering Awards 2018! 2017-12-01T09:27:41+00:00

New role – engage with your community!

Community Engagement Officer (Burnie)

Part Time (15.2 hrs/wk) 6 month contract | Burnie-based role | SCHADS Level 4

We are looking for a motivated self-starter who has a passion for the North West community.

If you love engaging with people, enjoy public speaking, and have a reputation for achieving set targets, then this is the role for you. Operating 2 days a week, you will be the representative for Volunteering Tasmania on the North West Coast.

You will provide a quality support service to existing and potential volunteers and Volunteer Involving Organisations.  With minimum supervision, you will speak to groups of people about the organisation and the benefits of volunteering.

It will be up to you to think about ways you can interact with new and existing stakeholders to make this happen!

So if you’re up for the challenge and like autonomy then this role could be for you. You’ll be welcomed into an organisation that sees staff as whole people, who are encouraged to grow personally and professionally.

Please stick to two A4 pages (plus a CV), addressing who you are, and why you are the best person for the job and our team.

Interested? Before you apply, read the role responsibilities here.

Need to know more? We love a chat. Enquiries to Erica Larke-Ewing 6231 5550 Mob 0417 267 310.

Applications to EricaL@volunteeringtas.org.au by 9am Monday 6 November.

New role – engage with your community! 2017-10-20T16:29:15+00:00

Special priced Memberships to thank those who look after Tasmania’s volunteers!

Let us help you thank the person looking after your volunteers!

It’s International Volunteer Managers Day on the 5th November, and if volunteers are worth their weight in gold, then the people who manage them must be priceless!

Reward that incredible member of your team who looks after your fabulous volunteers by purchasing them an organisational membership with Volunteering Tasmania.

Your gift will give your team member access to our Members Only resources, including our Policy and Procedures templates. They will also get discounts to our services and events, and first round offers for training, including the very popular (always oversubscribed) discounted project management training that we deliver in partnership with the Institute of Project Management.

They will also get the opportunity to have their volunteer placements actively promoted through our social media and eNews to our 3,000+ subscribers. They can also call us at any time to discuss any of their volunteer management challenges.

And to celebrate International Volunteer Managers Day we’re halving the fees, with membership ranging from $82.50 – $192.50 depending on the size of your organisation.

Interested in giving a gift that will make someone’s life easier? All you need to do is email us at BonnieT@volunteeringtas.org.au and tell us the name of the person you’d like to recognise. We’ll ask you some simple questions, process your payment (PayPal, Credit Card and Invoicing available), and we’ll send you an electronic gift voucher.

Find out more about the Member benefits here, but please do not apply through that page. To be eligible for the discount you must contact us at BonnieT@volunteeringtas.org.au

Hurry, this is a once-only offer to celebrate International Volunteer Managers Day. After the 5th November, organisational membership fees will revert back to the original fees!

Special priced Memberships to thank those who look after Tasmania’s volunteers! 2017-10-18T13:09:58+00:00