Volunteering Australia: This is our Strawberries and Cream Moment!

I know, from the stats I record on this blog that readers come from all over the world. Indeed the US is the most popular base of readership. Thus I try to keep most blogs relevant to an international audience. And I do believe the issues and debates we have in volunteer management are most usually common international concerns. Through my networking and tweeting I have discovered that we share much. Which is great because we can share solutions and innovation as well.

I say all of this because when I speak of Volunteering Australia I don’t think readers of other nations should shut down and read another blog. Because what we say about our own industry bodies should be resonating across the globe.

Volunteering Australia had gone through major changes over the last few months.

I’ve had reason to Criticize VA in the past. Why?

• The lack of support for International Volunteer Managers Day

• My perceived view that they weren’t engaging with the Volunteer Management Sector

Also, as President of AAVA (Now AAMoV) I felt through my interactions that we simply were not taken seriously, were not consulted or were not simply understood.

For those that say that peak bodies on volunteering should only be concerned with volunteers I say and have said to VA that you are missing the point.

And it is this.

Volunteer Managers are at the coalface of volunteering. We are seeing the trends in volunteering emerge before you write about them! We have a depth of knowledge and experience that you have yet to tap in to! We are an amazing avenue of education.

Some state bodies are (slowly) getting this.

Most Volunteer Managers in the networks I am involved with are unclear about where Volunteering Australia is at. My own info was that they were reduced significantly in size and have a few people working in Canberra. Some people may say that I don’t have the inside info or the most up to date info. Well, I reflect a lot of Volunteer managers. We simply don’t know what is going on. Maybe we never did.

A national body on volunteering needs to reach out to all stakeholders. And this is our chance for the Volunteer Management sector. I notice VA is advertising its next conference in 2013. I am encouraged that it is being hosted by volunteering SA and NT, a group that in my view has done great work for volunteerism and Volunteer Management in their respective states over the years. But it remains to be seen what they do with a National conference.

There is change happening. And it is a great chance for Volunteer Management to finally have the say that it deserves in the volunteerism sector.

At the next conference there must be a strong and coherent voice from the Volunteer Management sector. This has not happened before. In a time of great change it must happen now.

I can’t believe that I am still calling for this to happen after all these years. It’s akin to me shouting “people! – Please add cream to strawberries! It works! Trust me!”


Popular posts from this blog

Thank you speech to Volunteers 2 - Guest Post

A thank you speech for volunteers