Theme: Leaving No-One Behind: Building Communities in a Changing Environment
 Wednesday 22 May from 9:00 am registration and starting at 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Duration: 3-hours
Where: Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Room.
Cost: Members FREE Non Members $70

National Volunteer Week (NVW) is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers.

From 20–26 May 2019, thousands of events will be held across the country to say thank you to the 6 million Australians who volunteer their time.

National Volunteer Week (NVW) is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. Our annual member event to celebrate National Volunteer Week will be in partnership with City of Melbourne.



Keynote Speaker

Professor Paul Smyth









In this keynote address Professor Paul Smyth talks about the history of volunteer effort in Australia. He points out the critical role of civil society and volunteers in community building and active citizenship. He addresses how changes in social policy and changes in the role of government have affected civil society and how to harness volunteer effort in this changing environment.
By understanding how social policy shapes our communities, we hope to identify and explore some of the trends and challenges which may set the tone for how volunteering will be viewed in Australia now and beyond 2020.


Opening Address

Lizzie Blandthorn
Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers Parliamentary Secretary for Sport

One of the first priority areas for Ms Blandthorn is the Labour Party 2018 election commitment to develop and implement a Victorian Volunteer Strategy to support and enhance volunteerism in Victoria.

The new Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers will be opening this year’s National Volunteer Week Forum.

Panel Discussion

A facilitated panel discussion from state-based organisations will relate the effects of social policy on our collective efforts to grow volunteer engagement in our communities. We hope you will join with us to:

  • Explore how shifts in social policy have impacted on parts of the volunteering sector (e.g. VRCs, VIO, Councils etc.)
  • Reflect on the positives and negatives of such shifts in building active citizenship, and building support for the volunteering sector
  • Discuss the role of volunteer managers in building resilient communities
  • Discuss the advocacy role VIOs need to play to ensure social policy continues to develop in a way that is inclusive and facilitates strong volunteer involvement.

Speakers include:

  • Bernadette Northeast – Volunteer Program Coordinator - Warrnambool City Council
  • Penny Aquino – General Manager – Volunteer Resources. The Salvation Army
  • Nick Tschuck – Workforce Planning Implementation Lead – City of Melbourne
  • Andrew Coghlan – Board Member – Volunteering Victoria

Order of Proceedings

9:00 – 9:30 am Registrations
9:30 AM  Keynote Presentation
10:15 AM Morning Tea
11:00 AM Panel Discussion
12:30 PM Event Concludes


  • The official hashtag for National Volunteer Week is #NVW2019.
  • For promotional material, click here.
  • For the online shop, click here.
  • Read our media statement here.
  • Read a blog post from our Chief Executive here.

Previous NVW Events