National Volunteer Week (NVW) is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteers. From Monday 17th to Sunday 23rd May 2021, NVW will celebrate the significant contribution of Australia’s almost six million volunteers. Each year these volunteers dedicate over 600 million hours to help others.
The theme for NVW 2021 is Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine. which acknowledges that it is time to:
- RECOGNISE, celebrate and thank volunteers for the vital role they play in our lives.
Never has this been more evident than after a year where Australia has dealt with drought, devastating bushfires, floods and then a global pandemic. Amidst the pandemic, while many of us stayed home, volunteers continued to deliver essential services, organise food packages and offer care, comfort and more to support the well-being of Australians. Volunteers make our communities stronger, especially during times of need, crisis or isolation.
- RECONNECT to what is important by giving our time to help others and ourselves.
In a year when many of us have experienced increased loneliness or isolation, mental health or financial stress, volunteering can help. Evidence shows that volunteering connects us to others in our local communities, to better mental well-being or to potential pathways to employment. When we help others in our community or give our time to a cause we value, we also give back to ourselves. Explore volunteer opportunities by visiting www.GoVolunteer.com.au.
- REIMAGINE how we better support volunteers and communities they help.
Since 2014, Australia has seen a 20 per cent decline in the number of hours volunteers give. During COVID-19, two-thirds of volunteers stopped working and a recent study highlights that social purpose organisations continue to lose one in four volunteers due to illness or caring responsibilities. In the current changing environment, where Australians are time-poor and experiencing higher degrees of uncertainty and stress, we need to reimagine how we do things. We need to collaborate more and adapt our volunteering practices and programs so we can better support and engage volunteers to continue the necessary work that they do
Thank you to everyone who completed the National Volunteer Week survey. This theme is based on your feedback and we look forward to being able to Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine. with you all in 2021.
National Volunteer Week is supported again in 2021 by Aon Australia. For more information about National Volunteer Week 2021, please email Volunteering Australia.
National Volunteer Week 2020
National Volunteer Week 2020 was held Monday 18 May – Sunday 24 May 2020 with the theme “Changing Communities. Changing Lives”.
Thank you for putting your hands up and waving your appreciation for volunteers during National Volunteer Week 2020.
Many events that would usually have been held during National Volunteer Week were postponed or cancelled. Volunteering Australia encouraged all organisations to thank their volunteers in different ways through social media or other digital formats.
We provided ideas, inspiration and tips to celebrate a virtual National Volunteer Week in 2020. We continued to sell thank you gifts via our online shop, provided resources for the week and spread the message that volunteers around Australia really are Changing Communities. Changing Lives.
We had a fantastic response to our Wave Your Appreciation campaign to recognise the great work volunteers do each and every day. While National Volunteer Week is over for another year, keep on waving to show your appreciation for volunteers.