Volunteering Tasmania - Characteristics of Volunteering
From the Volunteering Tasmania website:
Volunteering Tasmania (VT) today challenged Australia’s long held assumptions of what constitutes a volunteering act for the first time in Australian history, through the release of a set of principles that redefine what it means to be a volunteer in Tasmania.
VT CEO Adrienne Picone said the number of Tasmanians that identify as volunteers was likely to jump dramatically from the current 155,600 volunteers who already give around 49,000 hours on any given day, following the release of the new principals.
“Emerging trends that challenged the current definition of volunteering in Australia, such as roles organised through Job Service Agencies that are tied to income support, prompted our move to revisit the definition,” Ms Picone said.
“In a controversial move we have included activities where there is a financial benefiter to the volunteering act, such as reimbursement of expenses incurred, a tangible reward such as a movie ticket or an enabling amount of money such as a living allowance.
“The Characteristics of Volunteering statement challenges Volunteering Australia’s Definition and Principles of Volunteering statement and will translate to many more people who had not previously identified as volunteers, now identifying as volunteers.
“The new principles focus on the outcomes of the act of volunteering rather than an individual’s motivation or intentions.
“Volunteering can now also happen in a formal or informal setting and does not have to be defined by organisational settings. This may include a weekly visit to an elderly neighbour to provide companionship and food.”
Ms Picone said volunteers were vital to the success of Tasmania’s local communities, with Professor David Adams pointing to $540 million in costs saved in Tasmania each year alone.
“Volunteers help make Tasmania the great place it is to live and the difference they make to our society is immeasurable. As such it is important that we acknowledge the ever growing wide range of roles which make up the volunteer sector and the important role they play in all of our lives.”
The VT Characteristics of Volunteering statement was developed through consultation with the Tasmanian volunteering sector, the VT Social Policy Advisory and VT staff members.
To view the Characteristics of Volunteering statement please visit the Volunteering Tasmania website.