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.