Volunteering ACT

Speech in the ACT Legislative Assembly

9 April 2014

I rise this evening to speak about the work of Volunteering ACT. Volunteering ACT is an organisation which advocates, supports and promotes volunteering opportunities in Canberra. The organisation also, importantly, provides a link between people interested in volunteering and the organisation’s membership base, which consists of over 200 not-for-profit organisations. This link helps facilitate volunteering opportunities for interested volunteers right throughout Canberra. Over the last 12 months, the organisation has impressively assisted over 7,336 people become a volunteer, referred 5,419 prospective volunteers to member organisations, provided 1,832 instances of support to volunteer-involving organisations and hosted 31 events to enhance and celebrate volunteering.

On top of this, the organisation provides training to volunteers and conducts research in order to improve the quality and quantity of volunteering in the territory. Through this research, the organisation has identified the need to engage young people in volunteering. This has led to further research being conducted on how best to engage school children in volunteering.

Volunteering ACT is run by the CEO in conjunction with the board of governance. The CEO is Maureen Cane, former Canberra Citizen of the Year, and a successful senior manager in the Australian public service. The board of governance consists of eight members, four office bearers and four regular members and is drawn from people from both member organisations and the general community.

Current office bearers of the board of governance are the president, Jane Haydon, who is the current CEO of Lifeline Australia; the vice-president, Jason Moffett; the treasurer, Cameron Lynch; and the secretary, Wendy Prowse. The four regular members of the board are Brendon Lynch, Dianne Carlos, John Lewis and Rhys Morrison. There are also two cooperative members of the board; they are Avi Rebera and Jason Cummins. Volunteering ACT is also proudly represented by Major-General the Hon Michael Jeffrey AC, AO, CVO, MC, who serves as its patron.

This time of year is busy for Volunteering ACT as it gears up to celebrate National Volunteering Week, which runs this year from 12 to 18 May. This year National Volunteering Week turns 25, and Volunteering ACT is hosting events to celebrate this milestone and the week in general.

I would encourage members to get involved in events if they are able to. Three in particular I would like to point out would be a sausage sizzle with Senator Seselja on Thursday, 8 May; the ACT Volunteer of the Year awards being held on Tuesday, 13 May at the National Museum; and a volunteering open day held on Thursday, 15 May in which volunteer organisations are encouraged to open their doors and allow potential volunteers to see what volunteering programs are available.

I commend all those in Volunteering ACT. For more information about the work of the group I recommend members visit its website at www.volunteeringact.org.au.