931,544 of our fellow Victorians willingly give their time for the common good and without financial gain. That means about one in five Victorians (19.2%) volunteer formally, many more volunteer informally and even more volunteer without even considering it volunteering.
Volunteers are crucial to service delivery for many organisations. Many of the portfolios that the Victorian Government is responsible for are supported by the dedication and contribution of volunteers. For example in Victoria, 87% of community services organisations engage volunteers. At least 580,000 volunteers underpin community sport and active recreation. Victorian hospitals, community health, aged care and palliative care services would not be able to provide the services they do without the tens of thousands of volunteers. There are approximately 100,000 emergency management volunteers throughout the State across a wide range of agencies.
However effective volunteering does not happen all by itself. There are around 30 Volunteer Support Organisations which provide volunteer support services across Victoria, forming a critical part of the community networks and social infrastructure that supports volunteering at a local level. Volunteering Victoria and a range of volunteering networks and peak body organisations work together to improve and implement government policy to ensure effective volunteer management.
Regardless of which party forms the next Victorian Government, the volunteering sector aspires for all political parties and independents to recognise, support and invest in volunteering. Through these election priorities we aim work to promote and build a vibrant, prosperous and strong volunteering community that is inclusive, respected and sustainable.