Volunteering Victoria announced the winners of the 2nd Volunteering Victoria State Awards at Queen’s Hall, Parliament House on Thursday 17 November.
‘We know volunteering is critical to the delivery of many of our community, health, sporting, cultural, emergency, environmental, educational and other services and activities. We know volunteering builds community resilience and social cohesion and connectedness. But volunteering doesn’t just happen!’, said Sue Noble, CEO of Volunteering Victoria.
‘The Volunteering Victoria State Awards showcase the significant and enduring impact Victoria’s managers of volunteers, volunteering programs and volunteer involving organisations have on building sustainable and resilient volunteering in our State. These Awards complement the many community-based volunteer recognition events across the State, and the Victorian Premier’s Volunteer Champions Awards.’
‘The Award nominations were of a very high calibre. They represent the diversity and breadth of volunteering across Victoria, and highlight some really remarkable programs and managers of
volunteers. We are proud to share and celebrate the outstanding achievements of all the Award nominees, and we congratulate all the winners of our State Awards.’
The Awards cover six categories: Excellence, Impact, Inclusion, Innovation, Thought Leadership, and Employee Volunteering. A panel of judges drawn from the volunteering sector considered nominations and shortlisted the finalists. Seven Awards were presented at the ceremony, the Thought Leadership category was split into two sub-categories of Practitioner and Researcher/Academic for the first time this year.
- Winner: Ardoch – Education Volunteers Program
The Ardoch Education Volunteers program provides purposeful, empowering and valuable volunteer opportunities for local community members to have a positive impact on the education of children in their local area.Ardoch works with approximately 250 volunteers each year who are recruited, screened, trained and placed in classrooms of over 60 disadvantaged schools (ICSEA under 1000) each year in some of the most disadvantaged postcodes in Victoria including Corio/Norlane (Geelong), North Frankston, Sunshine, City of Hume and Dandenong. Volunteers commit to working a 2 hour shift at the same time each week, with the same students, for a minimum of six months. Volunteers attend one full day of training and have access to a professional development program of 16 sessions in four locations across Victoria, delivered by experts in the fields of child behavioural management, literacy, numeracy, mindfulness in the classroom and an array of other topics requested by volunteers.
- Winner: Foodbank
When statistics like ‘one in six people have struggled to afford food in the past year’ or ‘one in seven children go to school without breakfast’ make headlines, it is shocking to learn that the reference is not to a third world country but Australia.Research shows that this trend is rising. Foodbank is Victoria’s oldest and largest food relief organisation sourcing and supplying healthy, nutritious food to 108,000 Victorians every month. With the help of 1,795 volunteers last year, 9.4 million kgs of food was distributed across the state via a vast network of 451 community agencies and charities.
- Winner: ANZ
ANZ’s volunteer policy provides at least one day of volunteer leave per year for their 53,000 employees globally. In 2015 ANZ contributed over 108,142 hours to community organisations. This represents more than 13,500 days and more than $4 million in value to the community according to the LBG methodology.A particularly good example is ANZ’s partnership with Attitude Foundation (a disability and accessibility advocate group). As part of this relationship, ANZ offers rotating six-month volunteer secondeeships (three to-date) to help the Attitude Foundation manage operations, help to build public awareness and drive fundraising efforts. This is worth $200,000 per annum in time equivalent.
- Winner: Country Fire Authority, CFA Pride
FACT: The majority of CFA volunteers are predominately middle aged, white, anglo saxon men.FACT: Changing culture and diversifying membership in CFA that is rich in history and traditions can be a challengeFACT: The enthusiasm of one volunteer can start a state-wide movement to celebrate the benefits of a more diverse organization.CFA Pride is a grassroots, volunteer driven network that has been established to recognise and support existing LGBTIQ members and encourage and recruit new LGBTIQ volunteers. CFA’s participation in the 2015 Midsumma Pride March was a landmark moment that demonstrated how the resilience and enthusiasm of one can change an organisation.
- Winner: Ardoch, Literacy and Numeracy Buddies
Ardoch’s Literacy and Numeracy Buddies program offers 1200 business employees from 25 businesses a six to nine month volunteering opportunity in schools building ongoing relationships with students through creative use of time and programming.This is a successfully scaled program model which engages volunteers from businesses and makes a significant contribution to the volunteer sector and to the education experience of 6,000 children in disadvantaged school communities around Victoria.The program delivers positive outcomes to a diverse range of stakeholders including: principals, teachers, primary and secondary school students and business employees as volunteers. The program is a leader in the field of corporate volunteering in terms of scale, longevity of a Workplace Volunteer Program, its context of student educational engagement in school hours and school environment and processes (volunteer training and child protection processes).
Thought Leadership – Researcher/Academic
- Winner: Leonie Lockstone Binney & Kirsten Holmes
This study explores volunteer stress and burnout from the perspective of volunteer involving organisations. In what is the first attempt in the extant literature to adopt the organisational perspective, the main causes of volunteer stress and burnout were identified, together with effective ways for organisations to support their volunteers.First presented at a National Volunteering Conference, the study has since been published in a leading volunteering journal, with the findings further disseminated at a Volunteering Victoria Research Roundtable and reported internationally in practitioner publications in New Zealand and the US.
Thought Leadership – Practitioner
- Winner: Sharon Walsh
Sharon Walsh started the LOHVE (Leadership of Health Volunteer Engagement) Network in 2011 to provide support for new and existing managers of volunteers in the health sector.This network now supports almost 100 individuals. Frustrated by no research to support their work, the network commenced benchmarking to gain insight into volunteer management within the health sector.Sharon has coordinated/analysed/developed and reported this benchmark over four consecutive years. Sharon is committed to this research, and its impact on the ongoing development and sustainability of health volunteer programs.