For Politicians

Volunteering continues to play a role central to our identity as a nation

Volunteering lies at the heart of the contribution made by Australians to the public good, with 5.8 million Australians or 31 per cent of the population volunteering, making an estimated annual contribution of $290 billion to our economic and social good.

Volunteering touches every section of Australian society including, but not limited to education, emergency services, sport and recreation, arts and heritage as well as the social services. The far-reaching contribution volunteering makes builds strong and resilient Australian communities.

The redesign of the Strong and Resilient Communities grants to take effect from 1 January 2018 does not include a volunteer management stream of funding specifically allocated to Volunteering Support Services meaning volunteering will be forced to compete alongside other worthwhile projects from across the community services for broader pools of funding that respond to themes of disadvantage.

These proposed changes to funding have the potential to rip the heart out of place based Volunteering Support Services. This year, the Strong and Resilient Communities grants are delivering $5.7 million in funding to on-the-ground programs as part of the volunteer management stream of funding. To lose this would be an enormous blow to communities who rely on the volunteering programs that this funding delivers.

As the Federal Budget 2017-18 approaches, we will continue to work alongside Volunteering Support Services across Australia to advocate to retain designated funding for Volunteering Support Services including a petition to the Senate.

In our petition we are asking the Senate to:

  1. Recognise the important role that Volunteering Support Services have in building strong and resilient communities;
  2. Retain funding for volunteer management and Volunteering Support Services at the current level of $5.7 million in the 2017/18 budget

If you would like to know more we would be delighted to have the opportunity to speak with you further about our campaign, either over the phone or in person. We invite your office to correspond with Ms Rebecca Rowland, Administration Officer at Volunteering Australia at admin@volunteeringaustralia.org or (02) 6251 4060 to make an appointment.

*Volunteering Support Services (also known as Volunteer Resource Centres or Volunteering Support Organisations) provide place-based volunteering support services to volunteers and volunteer involving organisations in their locality.

Submissions

Response to the Proposed SARC Redesign

Volunteering Australia made a submission to the Department of Social Services in response to Strong and Resilient Communities (SARC): A paper on the redesign of the Strengthening Communities grants program.

Proposed SARC Redesign Submission

2017-18 Federal Pre-Budget Submission

Volunteering Australia made a 2017-18 Federal Pre-Budget Submission including a series of recommendations to further strengthen the Government’s commitment to volunteering, whilst also greatly strengthening the work of the sector to build strong and resilient communities. The Volunteering Australia submission outlines 13 proposed budget measures and is endorsed by the seven State and Territory volunteering peak bodies.

2017-18 Federal Pre-Budget Submission

Letters to Politicians

Re: Volunteering Australia’s Campaign to Save Volunteer Support Services

Re: Changes to the DSS Strengthening Communties Grants program, and an Invitation

Media Coverage

Mercury: Talking Point: The more they take the less we’ll give

ProBono News: Govt Urged to ‘Share the Love’ on Volunteer Funding

ProBono News: Dismantling Volunteer Funding

ProBono News: Message to Government: ‘Volunteering Doesn’t Just Happen By Itself’


Campaign Highlights

Senator Louise Pratt address to Senate on volunteering and Volunteering Support Services

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Volunteering Australia was pleased to visit Parliament House in Canberra yesterday, where we had the opportunity to witness Labor Senator for Western Australia Louise Pratt address the Senate on the importance of volunteering. The Senator also acknowledged the vital role that Volunteering Support Services play… Read More


Rebekha Sharkie MP addresses the House on Volunteering Support Services

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Last night Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie MP addressed the House discussing the valuable contribution volunteers make to the community in South Australia. She also discussed the impact of the redesign of the Strengthening Communities grants program… Read More


Julian Hill MP talks about the value of Volunteering Support Services

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Federal Member for Bruce Julian Hill MP addressed the House today, discussing the value of Volunteering Support Services and the immense contributions volunteers make to the community. He also referenced Volunteering Australia’s budget statement, and that volunteering has been overlooked… Read More


Volunteer support services discussed at Senate Estimates

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Late last night Senator Louise Pratt asked questions at Senate Estimates in relation to volunteer support services and the redesign of the Strengthening Communities grants program into the new Strong and Resilient Communities (SARC) grants program. We thank Louise Pratt… Read More


Motion passes in Senate about volunteer management services

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Volunteering Australia is delighted that a motion from Senator Louise Pratt today passed in the Senate. The motion calls on the government to recognise the importance of funding volunteer management services and Volunteering Australia’s campaign to retain funding for volunteer management… Read More


VA kicks off advocacy campaign

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Today, on Valentine’s Day, Volunteering Australia and our State and Territory Peak partners hosted the ‘Share the Love’ for Volunteer Support Services event at Australian Parliament House to kick off a national volunteering advocacy campaign. Minister for Social Services Christian… Read More


DSS Funding Changes show Volunteer Support Services continue to be undervalued by the Federal Government

An announcement today from the Department of Social Services that volunteer support services will no longer be eligible for their own pool of grants funding has disappointed Volunteering Australia, who say that the move demonstrates the Federal Government’s continued undervaluing… Read More


Volunteer Support Services: Building strong and resilient communities

Volunteering Australia has made a 2017-18 Federal Pre-Budget Submission including a series of recommendations to further strengthen the Government’s commitment to volunteering, whilst also greatly strengthening the work of the sector to build strong and resilient communities. Volunteering continues to… Read More


‘Share the Love’ for Volunteer Support Services

On Valentine’s Day, Volunteering Australia and our State and Territory Peak partners hosted the ‘Share the Love’ for Volunteer Support Services event at Australian Parliament House to kick off a national volunteering advocacy campaign. Minister for Social Services Christian Porter MP and Shadow Assistant Minister for Families and Social Services Louise Pratt spoke at the event, attended by politicians and representatives of volunteer support services from around the country.

The event was an opportunity for the volunteering sector to raise our concerns directly with politicians, about the new Strong and Resilient Communities grants program and the value that volunteering support services offer.

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