History of Volunteering Australia

Volunteering Australia Inc. is an incorporated body under the Australian Capital Territory Associations Incorporation Act 1991. It was founded in 1997 under the National Secretariat Program and is the peak body for volunteering in Australia.

The Board of Directors is made up of seven foundation members consisting of the Presidents from each State/Territory volunteering peak body and up to four co-opted members, in accordance with its constitution.

Volunteering Australia, formerly known as the Australian Council for Volunteering (ACV), was formed as a result of the merger between two incorporated bodies: The Australian Association for Volunteering (AAV) and the National Association of Volunteer Referral Agencies (NAVRA).

The Australian Council for Volunteering was incorporated in 1993 and in 1997 received funding from the Commonwealth Government and became Volunteering Australia. At that time VA underwent a constitutional change restricting membership to the State/ Territory volunteer centres.

In 2003, the Board of Directors reversed that decision, opening membership to national organisations with a demonstrated interest in volunteering.

In 2012, Volunteering Australia moved from its original home in Melbourne, Victoria to Canberra, ACT where it is now firmly established.

History of the Red V

The history of the Red V dates back to 1985 when it was presented to Margaret Bell (Volunteering Australia’s patron) as a personal gift from Tony Lunn of Lunn Dyer and Associates (a famous Australian graphic designer responsible for iconic work such as the Qantas logo and livery, and the Westpac logo).

Margaret then gifted the logo to The Centre for Volunteering NSW who made it available to The International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) for use as the International symbol for volunteering, and to Volunteering Australia.

In 1997 Volunteering Australia, then the Australian Council for Volunteering, adopted the new name of ‘Volunteering Australia’ and announced its first funding arrangement. At this time each State/ Territory peak body also accepted the V as a common logo and began using the name Volunteering (…followed by the State/ Territory name).

This announcement took place at the 7th National Conference on Volunteering in Sydney. At a closing dinner held at a restaurant at the Quay, a barge was floated down the harbour bearing the new V logo. This celebration was accompanied by a fireworks display.

As early as 1998 some of the State/ Territory peak body network members, including Volunteering Australia discarded the red V as their logo.

IAVE has continued to use the logo since 1986 and in every country conducting the International Conference.

In 2013 Volunteering Australia resumed the use of the Red V as part of its logo.

Please note: The Red ‘V’ can be used by anyone in the world to represent volunteering, however three important conditions apply:

1. The correct PMS colour must be used when the symbol is reproduced. The PMS color is PMS 186.
2. The Red ‘V’ must be used as a stand alone symbol and must not be used to form part of any word, including “volunteering” or “volunteers”.
3. If ‘IAVE’ or ‘International Association for Volunteer Effort’ is used in conjunction with the Red ‘V’, permission from IAVE must be obtained first.

Please contact info@iave.org if you have any questions, or would like to use the IAVE logo in your print materials.