The Victorian Government has committed to develop and implement a Volunteer Strategy to support and enhance volunteerism in Victoria.
This is our chance to put in place the best arrangements in Victoria that allow volunteering communities to thrive over the coming years.
The Victorian Volunteer Strategy was released on 19 May 2022.
Volunteering Victoria welcomes the launch of the long-awaited Victorian Volunteer Strategy 2022-2027 and is fully supportive of its vision of harnessing the power of volunteering to “build strong, resilient and inclusive communities and better lives for all Victorians”.
The Victorian Government is uniquely positioned to set a positive direction for volunteerism across our state over the next five years and address the challenges inherent to a constantly evolving landscape.
We are grateful that the Government has committed to draw on its resources, influence and ability to extensively coordinate the wide-scale efforts required for a meaningful and sustained re-engagement drive across our volunteering community, especially in the context of unprecedented decline in participation as a legacy of the pandemic.
“Volunteering was significantly disrupted by the pandemic, so we must now be deliberate in our collective efforts to successfully address the exodus of volunteers as we reopen Victoria and reconnect with one another” stresses Scott Miller, Chief Executive.
The strategy aims to maximise meaningful participation by embracing greater creativity and flexibility in the way people volunteer.
“The pandemic has hastened the shift to new forms of volunteerisms and the Government’s support is vital to help volunteer involving organisations and volunteers make the most of the virtual collaborations and online training tools to recruit, train, motivate and co-ordinate volunteering” adds Miller.
Strategy at a glance
The Victorian Government recognises that volunteering “provides empowering, flexible, accessible, inclusive, connecting, valued and collaborative experiences.” Over the next five years, the strategy seeks to achieve five overarching goals:
- Making volunteering inclusive and accessible;
- Making volunteering flexible and easier;
- Supporting volunteers to be resilient, supported and empowered;
- Creating volunteering connections and pathways;
- Ensuring volunteering is recognised and celebrated.
In order to support a large-scale re-engagement drive this year, the Victorian Government is investing $1.3 million to promote the recruitment of new volunteers and encourage the return of former volunteers. Applications for grants of up to $80,000 will open in June to fund local partnerships and innovative approaches to re-engage volunteers, widen participation and strengthen volunteering in communities. We encourage you to register your interest today by clicking on the following link: www.volunteer.vic.gov.au/grants.
An opportunity to drive real and positive change
“Models of volunteerism have changed and this strategy represents a real opportunity to drive positive change over the next five years.
As we seek to emerge stronger together with a renewed commitment to respect, fairness and equality of opportunity, we must find ways to build a volunteering ecosystem that is welcoming for one and all and remove the long-standing barriers that continue to hinder participation” concludes Miller.
The success of the strategy will greatly depend on its capacity to strengthen partnerships and collaborations throughout the volunteering community. This strategy is a positive step from the Victorian Government and it is now time for all of us to get to work to ensure we harness the potential of volunteering to be better together.