Guest blog by Mark Pearce, Chief Executive Officer Volunteering Australia
Volunteers Are Change Makers
Millions of volunteers across Australia are giving their time and energy to make change in our communities. This National Volunteer Week we are celebrating the power of volunteers to drive social change and make our world a better place for everyone.
This year’s National Volunteer Week theme is ‘The Change Makers’, highlighting the powerful impact volunteers make supporting individuals, communities and the nation.
The National Strategy for Volunteering 2023-2033, launched in February, presents a collective vision for a future where volunteering is at the heart of Australian communities. Together, we imagined a powerful future for volunteering. Now we need to work together as Change Makers to make that future a reality.
In the lead up to National Volunteer Week, this means celebrating the role volunteering plays in creating thriving communities and recognising the contribution of the often-invisible workforce that supports the nation every day.
For over 60,000 years on this continent, community participation has endured through periods of significant social change. National Volunteer Week provides a platform for the volunteering ecosystem to celebrate volunteering as being part of Australia’s cultural and social fabric while ensuring volunteering is not taken for granted.
Volunteers Are Happy and Healthy
Volunteering has the power to change the lives of both volunteers and those they help. It offers opportunities for social, economic, and cultural inclusion, and improves our health and wellbeing.
Evidence continues to demonstrate the mental health and wellbeing benefits of volunteering including combating social isolation and loneliness. Volunteering promotes wellbeing through offering a sense of purpose and opportunities for social connection. Volunteering can promote physical and mental health and support an individual’s connection to place.
Volunteers Are Neighbourly
This National Volunteer Week, ‘The Change Makers’ theme will explore the breadth, diversity and richness of volunteering activity in our communities.
As a Very Neighbourly Organisation, we understand the importance of being neighbourly. Volunteering is a great way to get to know your community and make a network of your own whilst helping others at the same time.
Volunteering can generate a collective passion for a better world where we are all united for the greater good. Whether you volunteer in your local community or for a large organisation, putting your hand up to help is really important.
National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering and will be held from 15 to 21 May. This special event recognises the vital support volunteers provide to our nation and encourages people to consider volunteering.
I invite everyone to become a Change Maker by helping to increase awareness of the vital role volunteers play in our lives this National Volunteer Week. I hope we inspire new volunteers to join us on our journey to a future where volunteering is at the heart of Australian communities. Will you be a Change Maker?
Volunteering Australia is the national peak body for volunteering, working to advance volunteering in the Australian community.