A few months ago I wrote to the Australian Prime Minister as a Volunteer Manager informing her about International Volunteer Managers Day (IVMD). It was lovely to get a reply recently from Andrew Coogan, a senior advisor for our Prime Minister Julia Gillard who was asked to reply on the Prime Ministers behalf.
Here is an edited version of that reply. I dedicate it to all Volunteer Managers on this IVMD. In a way it is written to you.
“Thank you for your letter to the Prime Minister regarding recognising Volunteer Managers. I have been asked to reply on the Prime Minister’s behalf.
The Australia Government recognizes that volunteering is an essential part of a socially inclusive society and helps all Australians to feel valued and have the opportunity to participate in community life. Your contribution as a Volunteer Manager, promoting volunteering within your community and assisting individuals to volunteer, is acknowledged and appreciated.’
The letter goes on to mention the 2012 members of parliament National Volunteer Awards which can recognise people who support and strengthen their community. It points out that two in particular can be used to recognise Volunteer Managers"innovation in volunteering and Long-term commitment to Community service.”
So as another IVMD comes around here are a few comments I’d like to make.
• I wrote to the Australian Prime Minister about Volunteer Management and got a reply. Ok, the letter was written by a senior advisor but...on the Prime Ministers behalf.
• I wrote a similar letter to senior political figures nationally and internationally and this was the only reply I got to date!
• Now imagine if your President or Prime Minister received 200 Letters about Volunteer Management and IVMD! - Government responds to stuff like this!
• If we are to be serious about IVMD we need to be activists for IVMD. Getting together for lunch is good. But we need to get proactive about the day. We are doing this better. More Volunteer Managers are blogging, tweeting and Face booking about the day.
Final thoughts on IVMD 2012
A big shout out to the IVMD committee – you know who you are. Thanks for your volunteering work in raising the profile of the day and spreading the word. From this Volunteer Manager – a big thank you!
To the leader of volunteers who works hard at their job without any recognition what so ever, who will not have IVMD mentioned in their work place, who will read this blog and wonder what it’s all about…..Today this fellow Volunteer Manager salutes you and your work.
And next year on IVMD pick up a pen and let someone know about the great work that Volunteer Managers do around the globe!
“To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” - Elbert Hubbard