Thursday, May 31, 2012

Big news for Volunteering Sector in Australia!

From Voluntering Australias Website

Volunteering Australia Board Communique - May 2012
Staff changes at Volunteering Australia.
The Board of Volunteering Australia met in Melbourne last week to plan the transition arrangements following the recent decision to re-locate the administrative headquarters for the organisation from Melbourne to Canberra, ACT.
The transition to Canberra will allow to VA to work more closely with the Australian Government as we jointly introduce initiatives to support the recently released National Volunteering Strategy. The strategy has re-affirmed the importance of having a strong national body to represent the interests of volunteers and volunteer involving organisations at a time of significant change in the sector.
The transition will commence with the closure of the Melbourne office on Friday 29th June. Unfortunately this also means that all current staff and volunteers of Volunteering Australia will be leaving the organisation at the end of June. The commitment of this group of individuals will be missed at VA and it is with regret that I advise of their departure. The board would like to formally acknowledge the contribution of Cary and his team to the advancement of volunteering issues and volunteering infrastructure with some team members having over 10 years experience.
Volunteering Australia has received and accepted an offer of accommodation on very generous terms from one of our Foundation Members in Volunteering ACT and we will commence transition to these new premises during July and August. For this we thank Volunteering ACT. Recruitment of a new Executive Officer and administrative staff in Canberra will commence within the next month with a view to being fully operational by the end of August.
VA is continuing discussions with its Foundation Members to ensure continuity of services during the transitional period.
This move comes at a time when Volunteering Australia is undertaking a major review of its governance and institutional arrangements to ensure that it can best represent the volunteering sector in the decades to come. The move will enable Volunteering Australia to establish closer connections with key stakeholders within government.
VA will also have some exciting new initiatives to announce over the next 4/6 weeks so keep an eye on the website.

Paul Lynch

Volunteering Australia
May 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012


My blog passed 80,000 reads in the last 12 hours. This after 2 years amazes me. For a site that is non commercial and doesn’t advertise itself! Time to say thanks to everyone who follows the site. Thanks to everyone who checks back here now and then to read posts.

I am thankful that I work with such amazing and truly inspiring people. I am thankful that I have inspiring colleagues around the globe!

Volunteer management is such an awesome profession! Volunteerism is such an awesome movement!

Thank you for sharing part of my journey!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The usual platitudes on Volunteering

A keen follower of volunteering I’ve been watching how the media. Government and society in general have been reacting to National Volunteer week 2012 in Australia.
I worry a little about the message. If the sectors greatest claim to fame is the fact that we contribute x amount of millions in unpaid labor then I think that we lose the message and   the philosophy of volunteering.
I’ve seen a few speeches on volunteering this week. A few speeches from Politicians. Now folks, whether you like it or not politicians matter! And they have been referring a bit about “unpaid labor’! Now, I know I may stir some debate here but I for one do not equate volunteering to “unpaid labor” For if we do this then we devalue the concept of volunteerism to a method of getting stuff done without a cost hourly value! I put it in those terms even though I believe that effective volunteering does come with a cost. That is to say money for resourcing volunteer programs due to staffing, effective volunteer management, training, orientation, etc etc.
It annoys me that Government can say we save x amount of billions because of volunteers and don’t go on to show us how a few million can be spent resourcing effective volunteer management!
This is just my little “say” during National Volunteer week. The only way I can have this say is because I have my own blog and can say these things. A national organisation on volunteering should have a forum on encouraging feedback. I personally don’t believe we have that in Australia. If National Volunteer Week can gift us something it should be a forum where volunteers, managers of volunteers, resource centers, consultants and the peak body get together and talk about what volunteering means in 2012!
Perhaps we can aim for this in 2013!

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