Volunteering can generate a collective passion for a better world where we are all united for the greater good. Australians value volunteering and the benefits it brings to individuals, communities and the nation.
In the lead up to the October Federal Budget, Volunteering Australia is advocating for the inclusion of volunteering in the wellbeing indicators. Volunteering is a uniquely good indicator for community wellbeing as it captures social connections, physical and mental health, sense of purpose and connection to place.
We support the Treasurer’s aspirations for wellbeing indicators and a Wellbeing Budget that can better reflect what people value. Wellbeing Budgets measure progress on a broader range of measures than the more traditional fiscal and economic considerations. Volunteering can help build social cohesion and community resilience which will be much needed in the coming years.
Volunteering and wellbeing interrelate on a range of levels
- For individuals: volunteering promotes individual wellbeing through offering a sense of purpose and opportunities for social connection.
- For community: volunteering promotes community wellbeing through building social capital (networks and relationships between people) and connection to place.
- For the nation: volunteering contributes to progress on many national priorities, including tackling mental health and addressing climate change.
Volunteering needs to be included in the wellbeing framework that will guide future Federal Budgets. We ask the Treasurer to recognise the value of volunteering to the economic and social wellbeing of Australia by including volunteering in the wellbeing indicators in the October Federal Budget. A thriving volunteering ecosystem means a better future for Australia.