Volunteering Australia urges the Australian Government to include volunteering as a strategic part of achieving the outcomes included in the new National Disability Strategy (NDS) and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Volunteers play a vital role in helping people with disability access and live a more inclusive social, economic, sporting and cultural life in their own communities. Volunteering also empowers people with disability, offering a purpose, social engagement and a potential pathway to paid employment.
Volunteering is time freely given, but enabling volunteering is not free. Like paid workers, volunteers need to be recruited, inducted, trained and managed so they can effectively do their roles. Volunteers need to be considered strategically in workforce planning if disability services are to meet the needs and aspirations of people in our communities with disability. Volunteering Australia recommends that the National Disability Strategy:
- Develops and extends inclusive volunteering initiatives so that more people with disability gain the benefits of volunteering, and
- Invests in the volunteer workforce engaged in disability services.