Frequently Asked Questions

What is the new structure?

VT will be servicing the state from offices in Hobart (Head office) and Launceston.

Many roles have been either made redundant or changed, with a reduction in hours and subsequent alterations to duties.

The VT Board is comprised of volunteers.

The new organisational structure which will be transitioned into over the coming weeks looks like this:

Organisational Chart June 2016

 

 

 

How many executive positions are there?

There is one paid executive position – the Chief Executive Officer. The VT Board is comprised of volunteers.

How many jobs have been lost?

There have been a number of changes to roles, as well as some hours being reduced.

North-West Region

  • The role in Burnie which was occupied by a Volunteer Management Consultant (VMC) will not be replaced due to the closure of the NW office.

Launceston

  • The VMC role in Launceston has been made redundant.
  • A new Volunteer Resource Centre Co-ordinator role has been created in Launceston.

Hobart

  • The Communications Officer role in Hobart has been reduced to .6 FTE.
  • The VMC role in Hobart has been made redundant.
  • Two new part-time roles have been created for Hobart: A Client Relationship Manager role and a Sector Development Co-ordinator role.

All staff have been encouraged to apply for the new positions and will be transitioned over into new roles if they have the right skills. If roles cannot be filled internally they will be advertised externally.

What did VT do to prevent this?

  • VT has made every effort to maintain our offices and levels of service. Over recent years many strategic and resolute attempts have been made to diversify income streams, increase Membership, and lobby for funding.
  • Multiple attempts to diversify our income have been unsuccessful, largely because the sector itself cannot support fee-for-service offerings or products for purchase, due to their own funding woes.
  • Volunteering Tasmania has called on the Federal Government to commit to future funding of the volunteering industry. Members and stakeholders were informed of this during National Volunteer Week 2016, and invited to express their concerns to the Minister or their local MP.
  • Volunteering Tasmania has distributed five Media Releases in the past year relating directly to funding, and has been very engaged with both print and broadcast media on this issue.
  • Volunteering Tasmania has worked closely with the National Peak Body to support their advocacy for funding of volunteering and the Peak bodies, from a Federal level.
  • Volunteering Tasmania has had an active voice across a wide range of issues affecting the volunteering sector via face to face meetings with local, state and federal government representatives; written submissions; letters to government representatives; letters to the Editor of various publications; social media; and official sector consultations resulting in Budget Priority Statements to DPAC and other State Government Agencies.
  • VT has done the very best we can with what we have to prevent these changes occurring, and our focus now is to limit the impact on the sector and remain sustainable; a challenge given the uncertainty in the sector and projections of further reductions in funding.

Does VT receive funding?

Yes.

  • The State Government has been a key supporter of Volunteering Tasmania. Our research on the SOVR 2014 and our ongoing voice for the volunteering industry ensured a commitment in last year’s budget for VT’s core function of being a Peak body; but not the operational costs of running offices in three locations.
  • Despite the State Government’s support, the loss of 51% of our funding from the Abbott-Turnbull government has had an enormous impact on Volunteering Tasmania. The Federal Government chose to fund a Gold Coast based service as the preferred provider for the majority of Tasmania, rather than funding VT which had been providing excellent levels of service for 23 years. To date, no reason for this decision has been forthcoming.
  • Volunteering Tasmania has strongly advocated against this decision, and highlighted the devastating impact for the volunteering industry. We have provided a number of submissions to Federal government on this matter.
  • CEO Adrienne Picone presented verbal evidence at the Senate Inquiry in Canberra into the Funding of Social Services.
  • Despite in principle support from many Federal MPs – particularly Senator Catryna Bilyk – the government has not reversed the decision.
  • If the reduction in funding had not occurred, Volunteering Tasmania would not have been forced to review the structure to the extent that was required.

Has VT applied for grants?

We have applied unsuccessfully for funding to support the North West and Northern Offices to build their referral service.

We have been unsuccessful with other grant proposals to deliver core business.

Feedback from grant funders is that volunteering has not ranked as highly as other needs in the community sector.

One off grant funding would not solve our ‘bottom line’ for VT’s financial situation. Grant funding is generally designed to focus on new and innovative projects that aren’t covered by other areas of funding. Our focus is to provide a high level of core services as a priority over branching out into new ‘nice to have’ areas.

What can Tasmanians do about this?

VT is calling on the support of the sector, as we have done since the DSS funding announcement was made in 2015.

  • You can show your support either as an individual, a representative of an organisation, or a community-minded corporation by becoming a paid Member of Volunteering Tasmania. This helps us because your financial support goes directly towards our operations, but also because having a large Membership base increases our ‘voice’ and lends more power to our applications for funding.
  • Let us know what you need and how we can help you. Tell us your challenges and work with our dedicated and passionate staff to create a better future for volunteering in Tasmania. Understand that we are doing the very best we can and that we truly care about Tasmania’s volunteers and volunteer involving organisations. Call 1800 677 895 or email admin@volunteeringtas.org.au
  • Lobby for better funding for the sector, and for Volunteering Tasmania. We are your Peak body and to provide you with the service you expect, we need resources. Be vocal and express your support for VT, and your concerns about funding to your regional representatives.

North West representatives are:

Title Surname First Name Position Email Electorate Office Contact Number
Senator the Hon Colbeck Richard Senator for Tasmania

Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment

Minister for Tourism and International Education

senator.colbeck@aph.gov.au (03) 6424 5960
Senator Lambie Jacqui Senator for Tasmania senator.lambie@aph.gov.au (03) 6431 2233
Senator Urquhart Anne Senator for Tasmania

Deputy Opposition Whip in the Senate

senator.urquhart@aph.gov.au (03) 6423 1933
Mr Whiteley Brett Member for Braddon

Government Whip

brett.whiteley.mp@aph.gov.au (03) 6431 1333
Mr Porter Christian Minister for Social Services Christian.porter.mp@aph.gov.au (08) 6296 7255

 

Representatives for other Tasmanian regions are:

Title Surname First Name Position Email Electorate Office Contact Number
Mr Nikolic MHR Andrew Member for Bass nikolic.office@aph.gov.au (03) 6334 7033
Senator Wish-Wilson Peter Senator for Tasmania senator.whish-wilson@aph.gov.au 03 6331 0033
Senator Parry Stephen Senator for Tasmania senator.parry@aph.gov.au (03) 6334 1624
Senator Polley Helen Senator for Tasmania senator.polley@aph.gov.au (03) 6331 2599
Senator Urquahart Anne Senator for Tasmania senator.urquhart@aph.gov.au (03) 6423 1933
Senator the Hon Colbeck Richard Senator for Tasmania senator.colbeck@aph.gov.au (03) 6424 5960
Mr Hutchinson MHR Eric Member for Lyons eric.hutchinson.mp@aph.gov.au (03) 6398 1115
Senator Bilyk Catryna Senator for Tamania senator.bilyk@aph.gov.au (03) 6229 4444
Senator Brown Carol Senator for Tamania senator.carol.brown@aph.gov.au (03) 6231 0099
Senator McKim Nick Senator for Tamania senator.mckim@aph.gov.au (03) 6224 8899
Senator the Hon Singh Lisa Senator for Tamania senator.singh@aph.gov.au (03) 6223 1135
The Hon Collins Julie Member for Franklin julie.collins.mp@aph.gov.au (03) 6244 1222
Mr Wilkie Andrew Member for Denison andrew.wilkie.mp@aph.gov.au (03) 6234 5255
Senator the Hon Abetz Eric Senator for Tamania senator.abetz@aph.gov.au (03) 6224 3707
Senator Bushby David Senator for Tamania Senator.Bushby@aph.gov.au (03) 6244 8533

What services will the North West region be losing?

All regions will experience a change in the way VT delivers services. We will be focusing on our core services:

  • Information and advice
  • Recruitment of volunteers/Links between volunteers and suitable roles
  • Advocacy
  • Networking opportunities

There will no longer be an office in the North West region. However VT will continue to provide services to the North West region.

Like almost all other Peak bodies, we will be servicing Tasmania from a Head Office in the state capital, but will also be supported by our existing office in Launceston.

Why the North West office?

  • The South Burnie office has had the least demand, and lowest levels of engagement from the sector.
  • This office also has the highest operating costs.
  • Closing this office is a decision which VT regrets having to make, but nevertheless were forced to, to remain viable beyond the next year or so.
  • Like almost all other Peak bodies, we will be servicing Tasmania from a Head Office in the state capital, but will also be supported by our existing office in Launceston.
  • We have had a proud history in the NW region – 10 years of service. We have forged some strong relationships in that time and we are committed to maintaining them.
  • We hope our current Members and other stakeholders in the region will understand the necessity of this sad decision, which has affected all our staff in various ways, and support us to continue to support them.

What do I do if I have more questions?