If you are a current volunteer seeking advice or would like to volunteer please contact the Volunteering Peak Body in your State or Territory.
The following information was updated on 31 March 2020.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization and the Australian Government is responding to this health crisis on a daily basis. For the most up to date information on COVID-19 please visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.
Volunteering and COVID-19
Volunteering Australia and the State and Territory volunteering peak bodies are monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation closely. We are actively providing guidance to the volunteering community during these very challenging times.
We have published two policy position papers, Volunteering and National Policy Settings; and Safeguarding Volunteers and Volunteer Involving Organisations; in order to clearly articulate our position around a number of issues regarding COVID-19 and the volunteering sector.
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause respiratory illness. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, shortness of breath.
If you are sick and think you might have COVID-19, check your symptoms using healthdirect’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker.
How to help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
Everyone should practise good hygiene to protect against infections. Measures to prevent the spread of the virus include:
- washing your hands often with soap and water or using a hand sanitiser when this is not available
- cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and wash your hands
- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- practising social distancing (stay more than 1.5 metres from people)
- follow the limits for public gatherings, limiting most indoor and outdoor non-essential gathering to 2 people
If you have a confirmed case, you need to isolate yourself to prevent it spreading to other people.
For more information check the Government Department of Health website.
What are Volunteering Australia doing to respond to COVID-19?
Volunteering Australia is committed to supporting Australia’s volunteers and the volunteering community during these challenging times. As we navigate the difficult days and months ahead we will endeavour to bring you the most accurate information and advice based on collaboration with State and Territory Volunteering Peak Bodies and official guidance from the Australian Government.
Providing information and guidance for volunteers and volunteer involving organisations
Volunteering Australia will continue to update this page with information for both volunteers and volunteer involving organisations. If you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed here please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org contact your relevant State and Territory Volunteering Peak Body.
We have published a policy position paper, Safeguarding Volunteers and Volunteer Involving Organisations; which sets out our shared views on how volunteers can be safeguarded during the COVID-19 emergency and how volunteers can best support the emergency response to COVID-19.
Advocating to Government to ensure volunteers and volunteer involving organisations are safe
Through advocacy we will raise awareness of the impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on volunteers and Volunteering Involving Organisations, and the risks of a reduced volunteer workforce to the wider community. Volunteers are critical to many essential services and volunteering will be a key part of the solution to many of the challenges that communities will face.
We have published a policy position paper, Volunteering and National Policy Settings, in order to clearly articulate our position around a number of issues regarding COVID-19 and the volunteering sector.
Collaborating with State and Territory Volunteering Peak Bodies and other partners
As we navigate through this difficult time, Volunteering Australia will continue to collaborate with our State and Territory Volunteering Peak Bodies and other sector partners to lead, advocate for and inform the volunteering sector in Australia.
National Volunteering Conference 2020
Following official advice from the Australian Government, the National Volunteering Conference 2020 was not held as planned on 18 – 20 March 2020. The Conference’s Governance Committee continue to meet to investigate further options for the Conference. All delegates who registered for the Conference will receive further correspondence in relation to this. For more information please visit www.volunteering2020.org.
National Volunteer Week 2020
Volunteering Australia is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation closely. At this uncertain time we feel that it is more important than ever to recognise and acknowledge Australia’s volunteers and therefore National Volunteer Week 2020 will be held as scheduled on Monday 18 May – Sunday 24″ May 2020, but with online activities and events, instead of in person ones.
We understand that the many events that are usually held during National Volunteer Week will be postponed or cancelled, however we encourage all organisations who wish to thank their volunteers to consider moving their events to an online format or acknowledge volunteers in different ways through social media or other digital formats.
Volunteering Australia will be working to provide ideas, inspiration and a platform to celebrate National Volunteer Week in 2020. We will continue to sell thank you gifts via our online shop, provide resources for the week and spread the message that volunteers around Australia really are Changing Communities. Changing Lives.
Volunteering Australia Office
Volunteering Australia has taken the decision to close its office from Wednesday 18 March 2020. Our staff members will be working remotely and will remain contactable via email. To contact us please use the following email details:
General Enquiries: email@example.com
Marketing, Merchandise and Sponsorship: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media and Communications: email@example.com
Policy, Advocacy and Research: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a temporary mobile number should you need to speak with someone from Volunteering Australia: 0480 258 723
Please note that as official COVID-19 guidance is updated, this information will be amended to reflect new information and advice.
This information is by way of general information and is designed for discretionary use. It does not replace the requirement for the reader to obtain specific operational, legal, insurance, or other advice. Volunteering Australia accepts no responsibility for any errors in the information provided, nor the effect of any such errors.