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International Volunteer Day highlights the connection between volunteering and sustainability

December 5 is International Volunteers Day. It’s a day to celebrate volunteers and the contribution they make to our communities. It’s also a day to reflect on the impact that volunteering has on our world.

Volunteers build resilient communities. The theme of this year’s International Volunteers Day is Resilient Communities. Building strong communities that make sure their members are healthy, the economy is stable, and that a network of social services is available to support people in need.

Volunteers are the lifeblood that gives this strength. They run the line at the footy, raise funds for the school computers, deliver meals to the elderly, or give a loved one a break from caring. You will find them on standby in case of fire, organising the local art exhibition, planting trees, and much, much more.

In our hyper-linked, cyber-driven world we sometimes lament days gone past when we felt our communities were closer and more connected than they are today. But I think we can let nostalgia get in our way. The strength of our communities is right in front of us, and it’s powered by volunteers.

You can see it as you drive up the Brooker on a Saturday morning, with all those parents and grandparents powering the local soccer, netball and hockey matches. It’s there when you swim between the flags at the beach, when you pop into the local library, pay a visit to the dog’s home, or discover the past in our world-class museums.

Volunteers build communities that are inclusive and connected. On International Volunteers Day we celebrate how our volunteers help us build resilient communities. Communities that support those that are vulnerable, that need a helping hand. Volunteers build communities that are inclusive and connected. They help out in times of trouble to give a mate a hand, and more importantly to give a stranger a hand.

Volunteers strengthen humanity globally. The United Nations have also recognised the incredible contribution that volunteers make, particularly in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals that are a shared aspiration for humanity by 2030. The Sustainable Development Goals are a call to action for all countries to achieve a better and more sustainable future. They include no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, good education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, and sustainable cities and communities.

The only way to achieve the goals is together—community, government, civil society and the private sector. Working together we will drive the achievement of these goals locally, nationally and globally.

The United Nations understand and celebrate that it is our volunteers that underpin these goals. Volunteers inspire and engage others, as well as take action to implement these goals through grass roots activities.

Our volunteers contribute toward a humanity that is fairer, that cares more, and does not leave anyone behind. They help our communities to be resilient and sustainable.

This is how fundamental volunteers are to our communities, they build resilience locally and strengthen humanity globally.

Dr Lisa Schimanski
CEO, Volunteering Tasmania

International Volunteer Day highlights the connection between volunteering and sustainability 2018-12-04T16:56:50+00:00

International Volunteer Day 2018

Volunteering Tasmania proudly supports International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December, to raise awareness on the important role volunteers play in responding to challenges facing the world.

About International Volunteer Day (IVD)

International Volunteer Day (IVD) mandated by the UN General Assembly, is held each year on 5 December.  It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.

Apart from mobilising thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development by advocating for the recognition of volunteers and working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming.

2018 Theme: Volunteers build Resilient Communities

International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2018, “Volunteers build resilient communities”, recognises volunteers worldwide – with a special focus on local community volunteers – who contribute to making their communities more resilient against natural disasters, economic stresses and political shocks. The campaign theme combines the recognition of volunteers with concrete evidence from the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) 2018.

#IVD2018 focuses on the values of volunteerism through the appreciation of local volunteers, including the marginalised groups and women, who make up nearly 60 per cent of volunteers worldwide, and their impact on building #ResilientCommunities.


Click HERE to download a Word template of the below editable certificate.

Click HERE to download our Tip Sheet ’50+ Ideas for Volunteer Recognition’.

Visit the UN Volunteers website for more information and to access the IVD2018 resource centre.







Originally published as International Volunteer Day.

International Volunteer Day 2018 2018-11-21T11:19:40+00:00

New free legal guide for volunteering sector

Justice Connect’s newly launched National Volunteer Guide, written in close consultation with Volunteering Australia, provides an overview of the key legal obligations organisations have to their volunteers.

This free resource aims to help community groups better manage their relationship with their volunteers, and in turn, will help volunteers feel supported.

The Guide is divided into six parts and covers the following key issues:

  • Glossary of common terms and overview (Part 1)
  • Understanding the legal differences between a volunteer, employee and independent contractor (Part 2)
  • Understanding your organisation’s legal obligations in relation to the safety of its volunteers (Part 3)
  • Protecting volunteers and other people your volunteers are interacting with from unlawful workplace behaviour (Part 4)
  • Recruiting, inducting, managing performance and ending the volunteer relationship (Part 5), and
  • Organisational issues applicable to volunteers (Part 6).

The Australian Government’s Department of Social Services funded the project, and Volunteering Tasmania supports it wholeheartedly.

You can find the Guide at  www.nfplaw.org.au/volunteers.

New free legal guide for volunteering sector 2018-11-07T12:09:47+00:00

Volunteer Managers in the Spotlight on November 5

November 5 is International Volunteer Managers Day, with Volunteering Tasmania joining their members and others across Australia (and the globe) in thanking the wonderful people who manage volunteers.

It is sometimes challenging for people to understand what managers’ of volunteers do, they are the ones in charge of looking after those incredible individuals who volunteer their time willingly to help our community.

Dr Lisa Schimanksi CEO of Volunteering Tasmania says

“Managers of volunteers play a vital role, you need only think about any sporting club in Tasmania, any community organisation, environmental or tourism group, arts or emergency service group to realise that every one of these organisations requires management of volunteers.

They manage recruitment and training of new volunteers, they manage the paperwork, insurances, they do inductions, they negotiate work plans, they schedule the rosters and they do the reporting. They work through difficult issues, sometimes deal with conflict and always ensure the volunteers are welcomed, appreciated, recognised and thanked” she said.

Carolyn Whamond is a qualified Volunteer Manager at Calvary Private Hospital who manages over 120 volunteers says

“It is a relatively new profession, but an increasingly necessary one.

It is obviously a role that requires people skills but it is also a role that includes understanding of regulatory frameworks, risk management and HR” she says.

Dr Schimanksi adds “ While there are more paid volunteer management roles than in previous years, it is still common for people who manage volunteers to also be volunteers themselves or if they are employees of an organisation, they do the volunteer management component from the side of their desk.

“Ideally this will change over time as volunteer involving organisations realise how impactful managing the volunteer effort is for the best organisational outcomes “ she said.

We spend much of our time recognising the contribution of volunteers in our community, and rightly so, their 7.1 million* plus hours given freely to Tasmania each year is an enormous contribution, however International Volunteer Managers Day  is a day to  reach out and thank those  people in your club or organisations making volunteering happen from the inside.

They all deserve a very big thank you for the work that they do.

Volunteer Managers in the Spotlight on November 5 2018-11-05T15:52:25+00:00

Clarence Community Volunteer Service launches humorous video to promote service

The Clarence Community Volunteer Service connects volunteers with people 18 to 64 with a disability and people 65 or older (or those 50 years or older and identifying as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) who need support to live independently in the City of Clarence.

This year they ran some focus groups to gather information on how best to move forward with new promotional material.

During this process Journey Film Studios, from Mosaic Support Services, took up the challenge to produce a video that could be used to promote the service. After researching other advertisements they decided that they would use humour to capture people’s attention.

Judy Smith, the Coordinator for the Clarence Community Volunteer Service, recalls how everyone banded together to create a story that was both filmed and produced locally and featured community members:

“It was great fun to make, and we were delighted to keep it as close to home as possible.  The result is a great example of the benefits of partnering with others in our community and we look forward to future opportunities to work together”, said Ms Smith.

The end result was a collaboration between CCVS clients and volunteers, Mosaic Support Service’s Journey Film Studio, Evolución Media and Edge Radio 99.3 FM.

To view their video on Facebook click here or scroll down for embedded version (if there is no sound click the speaker icon in the bottom right corner to un-mute).


The Clarence Community Volunteer Service partner with Clarence City Council to provide volunteer-based services to the frail, aged and younger people who live with a disability, including mental illness, in the City of Clarence. This service aims to assist clients to stay in their own homes and connect to their local community.

Services provided include:

  • Befriending
  • Shopping assistance
  • Transport
  • Light gardening
  • Telephone support
  • Social support

If you would like to spend time with someone, get to know them well, and help them stay connected to their local community, call them on 6217 9630 or email ccvs@ccc.tas.gov.au or visit the Clarence City Council website.

Clarence Community Volunteer Service is a valued member of Volunteering Tasmania.


Today we launched the new brochure and video clip for the Clarence Community Volunteer Service. This service connects volunteers with people 18+ with a disability or people 65+ needing support, to live independently in our city. Volunteers help with shopping, social support, transport and gardening. Check out the video below. To find out more contact 6217 9630 or ccvs@ccc.tas.gov.au

Posted by Clarence City Council on Thursday, 12 July 2018

Clarence Community Volunteer Service launches humorous video to promote service 2018-11-13T10:25:10+00:00

Welcoming our new Chief Executive Officer

On behalf of the Volunteering Tasmania Board and staff, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Lisa Schimanski as the new Chief Executive Officer of Volunteering Tasmania. 

Lisa comes to us with a wealth of experience and professional expertise.

For the past two and a half years she has worked at the Tasmanian Council of Social Service (TasCOSS) as the Manager, Strategic Partnerships and Projects. Much of her TasCOSS work has been deeply embedded within Tasmanian communities and within Volunteer Involving Organisations. Lisa has also supported a number of advocacy and policy campaigns that impact on the lives of those in our community.

Lisa has been and still is an enthusiastic volunteer for a range of community, sporting and school organisations, she understands first-hand the importance of volunteers for a whole range of activities that many Tasmanians rely upon, as well as the strength volunteering gives to organisations, clubs and the community.

Lisa is committed to contemporary practice, and working closely with government, organisations and volunteers in Tasmania to celebrate and promote the economic, cultural and social benefits of volunteering to all Tasmanians.

Lisa will be commencing her new role on 8 October 2018, we hope you will join us in welcoming Lisa.

Please tune in to ABC Radio on Monday 8 Oct, and hear Dr Lisa Schimanski’s vision for Volunteering Tasmania on ‘Drive with Piia Wirsu’ at approximately 5.25pm.  ABC Drive can be heard online or on air on these frequencies: Bicheno 89.7 FM, Burnie 102.5 FM, East Devonport 100.5 FM, Fingal 1161 AM, King Island 88.5 FM, Lileah 91.3 FM, Queenstown/Zeehan 90.5 FM, Rosebery 106.3 FM, Savage River/Waratah 104.1 FM, St Helens 1584 AM, St Marys 102.7 FM, Strahan 107.5 FM, Swansea 106.1 FM, Waratah 103.3 FM, Weldborough 97.3 FM, NE Tasmania 91.7 FM

Kind regards,

Venéy Hiller
Deputy CEO
Volunteering Tasmania

Welcoming our new Chief Executive Officer 2018-10-08T15:45:46+00:00

Advocacy Tasmania volunteers provide support at Mental Health Tribunal hearings 

Advocacy Tasmania is about supporting people to speak up, have their say and to make sure that their rights are protected.  Their advocacy services are free, confidential and available across Tasmania.   Their advocates support clients to have their voices heard on issues that, due to their age, disability, mental illness or drug use, stop them from exercising their right to choice and control.

Advocacy Tasmania also coordinates a special group of volunteers dedicated to helping people living with a mental illness.

Under Tasmanian law, the Mental Health Tribunal (MHT) is responsible for issuing mental health treatment orders, which can require people to remain in hospital and receive involuntary treatment.  Advocacy Tasmania identified that people required to attend a Hearing were often unrepresented at a time when major decisions about their liberty and life choices were being decided.

In response to this, Advocacy Tasmania developed the Mental Health Tribunal Representation Scheme (MHTRS).  Since 2003 a group of dedicated volunteers has operated statewide supporting people through the MHT process.  Some feedback from those who have been assisted include:

“It was nice to have someone to just sit with me at the Hearing. I have nobody else who can help me to understand what is going on. Thank you.”

“The person you sent to go with me to my Hearing was wonderful. I was so nervous and I just don’t think I could have done it without her. If I have to go again will you please send someone along.”

The MHTRS relies on its committed and state-wide volunteers to provide this invaluable support. Volunteers complete a comprehensive online training program covering, but not limited to, Tasmania’s Mental Health Act, facts and myths about mental illness, stigma and discrimination, consumer and carer rights, capacity and consent and the Mental Health Tribunal. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer representative, you can contact their MHTRS Manager on 1800 005 131 or by email at mhrep@advocacytasmania.org.au.

If you want to learn more about how the Mental Health Act operates in Tasmania, you can complete their online training package here.

Advocacy Tasmania also work with people with disability and mental illness, people who use alcohol or drugs and older people. They can also assist people with the NDIS, including access, planning, reviews, appeals and complaints. More information on the scope of their Individual Advocacy service is available on their website. www.advocacytasmania.org.au.

Advocacy Tasmania volunteers provide support at Mental Health Tribunal hearings  2018-09-26T16:28:44+00:00

Annual Report now available (it’s a page-turner!)

We invite you to view our 2017-18 Annual Report.

It’s a 38-page bumper edition packed with facts and fun photos, even a short video titled “Why we do what we do“.

Many thanks to all the volunteers and Volunteer Involving Organisations who helped make this report (and this year) so vibrant and successful, we hope you have as much fun reading this summary as we had writing it!

Click below to view the flip-page version, or go to our website to download .pdfs of our 2017-18 Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements.

Annual Report now available (it’s a page-turner!) 2018-09-26T11:10:37+00:00

Governance Workshops set to roll out across regional Tasmania

Volunteering Tasmania is running a series of Introduction to Governance workshops to raise awareness of the value of good governance within community groups and advance the skills of existing and potential Board members.

The workshops will provide insight into the responsibilities of a Board and the role requirements of directors and committee members. Participants will be taught how to make informed decisions on financial performance, run effective meetings and how to develop a process of continuous improvement.

These free workshops have been fully funded by the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, and will be running in Nubeena, St Helens, Queenstown and Smithton on October 10, 29, November 20 and 21 respectively.

They have been designed for both current Board members and newcomers with an interest in serving on a community board or committee.

The workshops will:

  • Increase confidence and professionalism and enable directors and committee members to participate more effectively in their not-for-profit community organisation;
  • Inspire people to consider committee and director roles within small and medium not-for-profit community organisations;
  • Create opportunities for workshop participants to network and exchange strategies and ideas; and
  • Ultimately find satisfaction in their Board experience.

Each workshop has a capacity of 30 participants.  For locations, times and RSVP details, please download the flyer.

We would like to acknowledge and thank our expert presenters:

  • Steve Allen, Academic Coordinator (Cradle Coast) & Teaching Fellow, Tasmanian School of Business & Economics.  An accounting and financial management practitioner and academic, Steve has management experience across several public sector organisations and is a skilled presenter.  He has served on the Boards of several not-for-profit organisations and presents an accessible approach to understanding the financial aspects of not-for-profit governance.
  • Donna Bain, General Manager, Self Help Workplace.  Donna has over twenty years of experience in not-for-profit association management including voluntary positions on boards in the adult and community education sector and the disability sports sector.  In addition to being the General Manager of Self Help Workplace, Donna also currently holds a number of committee and board positions.  Donna’s areas of interest include association management, policy and advocacy, and not-for-profit governance education systems.
  • Ella Dixon, CEO, Migrant Resource Centre (Northern Tasmania).  Ella has extensive experience in not-for-profit management including governance, strategic planning, policies and procedures. Prior to becoming CEO of the Migrant Resource Centre in Northern Tasmania, Ella was the Regional Manager of the Community Development Division (Department of Premier and Cabinet). Ella has also worked in local government, the private sector and within community-based organisations. She has assisted many small sporting clubs, state-wide bodies, and community groups in strategic planning and governance issues.  Ella has also been a Board member of several committees and been on the receiving end of advice from management, making her aware of the responsibilities of decision makers and the level of information they seek.


Volunteering Tasmania would like to acknowledge and thank the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science – Building Better Regions Fund.  For more information, visit www.business.gov.au

Governance Workshops set to roll out across regional Tasmania 2018-11-07T15:22:56+00:00

Invitation to Have Your Say

What is working well in the volunteering sector? Can it be improved?

Volunteering Tasmania is the Peak body for volunteering, and we are here to make a positive impact on volunteerism by advocating and delivering support for the sector.

We encourage you to have your say at our upcoming consultations.  This forum is your opportunity to identify critical areas for development.

Join us as we look at priorities and discuss possible approaches to the issues.

Volunteering Tasmania will consolidate the agreed themes and deliver a submission to the State government through the Budget Priority process.

This is an opportunity to HAVE YOUR SAY.  




27 September 2018, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Burnie Arts & Function Centre

77-79 Wilmot Street, Burnie



28 September 2018, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Volunteering Tasmania State Office

75 Federal Street, North Hobart


RSVP to Kate Birch on 6231 5550, or email kateb@volunteeringtas.org.au by 21 September 2018 latest for catering purposes.


Invitation to Have Your Say 2018-09-17T11:46:08+00:00