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Aussie Life

Volunteers – hats off to you!

This week in Australia it has been National Volunteer Week; a time to stop and recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make to the Australian community. Just under 4 million – that’s 19.0% of the population aged 15 years and over (2016 census) volunteer their time, skills, friendship, and experience to make a difference to the Australian community. Be it lending a hand in times of natural disaster, offering companionship in an aged care facility or providing customer service in a charity shop.

Some people don’t even realise that they volunteer themselves. They’re the first  to berate volunteering as just something Christian ‘do-gooders’ do, when in fact they are volunteers themselves, not considering that  lending a hand at their child’s school fete or coaching the school soccer team is in fact volunteering.

I am continually surprised by people who tell me that they are “just a volunteer'”as if that makes them less worthy; Or the paid staff and managers – I mean managers for goodness sake – who think volunteers have webbed feet or two heads making them some kind of freaks who aren’t worthy of the same due care and attention you’d be giving to paid staff (it’s only a volunteer, you don’t want to be spending that much money on them surely!) There is still a heap of educating to do out there in the NFP sector workplace!

Just consider this – if all the volunteers in the country or the world, come to think of it, went on strike, what would happen to our communities? Wouldn’t the world come to a grinding halt? YES it would – for sure!

Image result for volunteer memes dr seuss

The theme of this year’s National Volunteer Week was Give a Little. Change a Lot which represents the millions of volunteers and the impact they make to their communities by giving a little of their very precious time, and in our time poor lives, this is a true gift. So, whether you volunteer one hour a week by providing online support or risk your life in our country fire services – hats off to you and thank you – with you here, the world is a better place.

 

4 replies on “Volunteers – hats off to you!”

Well done Lucy, you know exactly what being a volunteer means to me! Good luck with the “educate the managers” campaign.

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G’day Lucy, if I remember rightly, you were a volunteer at the Adelaide Show in the wine pavilion. Volunteering does have its benefits. Our local U3A provides lots of volunteering opportunities too with over 40 courses run by unpaid volunteer tutors.

I got on the band wagon myself and have a class of 15 photography students. I’m learning as much as my students and it is really satisfying. I recommend volunteering to everyone I meet.

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Brilliant! Well done you – 15 students is quite a big group! You nearly had it right; I managed the event volunteers for the Royal Adelaide Show. The Wine Show is actually a competitive section of the Adelaide Show but because wine is such big business in SA, it has its own show. I was heavily involved in that too but not in a volunteering capacity. My volunteering has been at schools, committees, boards and tin rattling. I’m hoping to be engaging in something more rewarding in the community very soon!

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