Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) replace and build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and incorporate the UN’s wider sustainable development agenda. The agenda was established following extensive consultation with both developed and developing nations, with the SDGs 2030 Agenda placing a greater responsibility on developed nations to assist vulnerable countries to achieve the targets of the SDGs. Central to the SDG commitment is that no one should be left behind.

Volunteers are indispensable to achieving the goals of the SDGs. The 2030 Agenda recognises that volunteers are stakeholders to achieving the 17 SDGs. Volunteers effectively facilitate all Sustainable Development Goals by raising awareness, inspiring or engaging in grassroots efforts.

To achieve the SDGs, it is essential to engage a range of different people. In this vein, volunteers are crucial to achieving the goals of the SDGs. The 2030 Agenda recognises that volunteers are ‘stakeholders’ to achieving the 17 SDGs. Volunteers effectively facilitate all Sustainable Development Goals by raising awareness, inspiring or engaging in grassroots efforts to bring about change.

Volunteerism is a powerful way of encouraging more people to engage in civic and development activities, engaging people at a local and national level for planning and action. It also enhances people’s capacity, builds community participation and social cohesion. Volunteering creates a ripple effect that inspires others, and advances the transformation that is requires for the SDGs to take root in communities.

“Volunteerism strengthens civic engagement, safeguards social inclusion, deepens solidarity and solidifies ownership of development results.”[1]

[1] UN Volunteers, Volunteerism and the Global Goals,

Recommended Resources

Volunteering Australia and the SDGs

SDG Forum on VNR

The Australian Government will be submitting its first Voluntary National Report (VNR) on the SDGs next year. The VNR showcases challenges, opportunities and achievements so far. The Government is not able to enact the goals on its own, and we were pleased to take part in the SDG forum recently facilitated by PM&C.

Forum on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Volunteering Australia was pleased to attend a cross-sector Forum on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, facilitated by DFAT. The Forum provided opportunities for contributing feedback to Australia’s first Voluntary National Report (VNR). This first VNR will focus on issues challenges, opportunities and achievements so far, and provide a baseline for development.

Case studies for Australia’s VNR

To achieve the SDGs, governments, businesses, civil society organisations and individuals will all need to be involved.

Case studies will be used throughout the Review to highlight various approaches and initiatives, with a particular emphasis on efforts that cross goals, involve multiple stakeholders and demonstrate the commitment of “leaving no one behind”.

Volunteering Australia is collecting case studies from the volunteering sector to provide to DFAT. These case studies will be used by Government in 2030 Agenda discussions, and may be drawn upon for future consultation processes, for online materials, speeches and other public outreach on the 2030 Agenda and potentially for the Review itself.

  • Should you wish to contribute, we would recommend keeping your submissions brief, and to cover the following:
    How are Australian volunteers contributing to the achievement of one or more of the SDGs? Brief case studies (up to 300 words, plus any pictures or accompanying graphics) would be welcome. Case studies which highlight work across sectors (such as with business, government, civil society, communities) are particularly encouraged, as are case studies that address the central theme of “leave no one behind” in addressing challenges facing marginalised or disadvantaged people and communities.
  • Where does Australia and Australian expertise have potential to make the greatest difference? What are the biggest challenges? What are the biggest opportunities?

All case studies should be sent to with the subject line: 2030 Agenda Case Study by COB Monday 29 January NOW EXTENDED TILL COB Monday 12 February. If you have any questions, please call 02 6251 4060.

AusSDG Summit in Melbourne

Volunteering Australia CEO Adrienne Picone was pleased to attend the #AusSDGs Summit in Melbourne to advance community engagement to achieve the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. It was good to speak about opportunities presented by the goals, Australia’s VNR and volunteering.








National Volunteer Week

Volunteering Australia was pleased to host a National Volunteer Week event at Parliament House yesterday. The event was an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of Australia’s volunteers, and to highlight the link our volunteers make to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the local and global level. #NVW2018

Volunteering and the SDGs Workshop

We were pleased to attend a workshop on Volunteering and the SDGs, hosted by Volunteering and Contact ACT, and run by Dr Peter Devereux, Adjunct Research Fellow at Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute. It was good to explore how different organisations are contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.









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