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"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." ~William James

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Essential Event for Volunteer Management


I often talk about a significant event that happened in my life.

It was an event that changed my perspective on my career. It was the Australasian Retreat for Advanced Volunteer Management.

The first one was held in Canberra Australia in 2005. At the time I was at a career threshold. I was actually on the verge of changing jobs and leaving volunteer management.

Then came the Retreat. It blew me away. For the first time I met people who were serious about our profession. In fact it was the first time I heard the word profession mentioned. It was the first time I heard of a professional association. It was my first encounter with people who were engaging in critical thinking on Volunteer Management. It was the first time I encountered advanced thinking in our field. To be blunt – it was the first time I began to understand that we were in fact a legitimate field.

The event changed my perspective. In fact the event changed my life. How many life changing events have you attended? Had I not attended this retreat in 2005 I very much doubt that I would have a blog such as this. Had I not attended this retreat in 2005 I very much doubt that I would have made volunteer management not only my career but my vocation. Had I not attended this retreat in 2005 I very much doubt that I would have made the amazing connections and networks that I have.

I have been to every Australasian Retreat for Advanced Volunteer Management since and every time I have grown. I have been a guest faculty member twice. Such is the vision of the organizers to place people and emerging leaders in the field in the spotlight.

This year, sadly for me, I can’t make it. For various reasons. It will be the first time I miss it.

But what I would like to do, even at this late stage, is to encourage anyone who has the capacity to attend but who hasn’t decided to do so.
I know that there are some spots left. This amazes me.

If you are in New Zealand this is an opportunity to be inspired and challenged. If you lead volunteers in any way please let me encourage you to invest in this. Volunteer management has come on in leaps and bounds in NZ. Embrace this opportunity to go a step further.

If you are in Oz or the Australasian region or happen to be there in May and are involved in the management leadership and coordination of volunteers this is a must attend event. By not attending you are missing out on a great opportunity for advancing your thinking on what I believe to be one of the most inspiring and dynamic professions in the world.

Susan J Ellis. Andy Fryar. Martin J Cowling. All in the one place over a few days! Plus the emerging voices in leadership of volunteers in New Zealand - Claire Teal and Sue Kobar.

What are you waiting for?

The link to the VPM Retreat is here by clicking on the heading of this blog.

It changed my life and career.

It can do the same for you!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry you won't be here in Wellington this year DJ. I was at the first VPM retreat in 2005, and then again in Adelaide last year. Just the best experience in professional development ever - and I have been around most of the traps.

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