Campaign to help get volunteer numbers back on track

The Albanese Labor Government is announcing a $3 million national advertising campaign to help boost participation in volunteering.

Research shows that since 2016 there has been a substantial decline in volunteering with the COVID-19 pandemic a significant contributor.

The funding boost comes at the end of National Volunteering week which saw thousands of events held around the country to celebrate the contributions volunteers make to our communities and environment.

The advertising campaign is expected to run across radio, television and social media and will include targeted toolkits and materials for people with disability, First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

It will be designed with the aim of reshaping the public narrative about volunteering to show the breadth of diversity in volunteering roles and organisations.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said volunteers play a vital role in our communities and it was important for all Australians that the numbers of those who volunteered was built back up.

“We know that volunteers provide essential services in many different ways, whether it be helping out in times of disaster or crisis, supporting the most vulnerable people in our community, or assisting with community events,” Minister Rishworth said.

“Volunteering is good for mental health, it’s a great way for new immigrants to connect with their new communities and it can even be a good pathway to paid employment.

“We need to act to turnaround the decline in volunteering rates across Australia.”

The campaign will help Australians understand the benefits of volunteering, and highlight the various ways that Australians can access, participate, and contribute to volunteering.

Today’s announcement comes only days after another commitment by Government in the volunteering sector, with a funding boost designed to connect 5000 young people with volunteering organisations across Australia.

Minister Rishworth said that both announcements ultimately seek the same thing – to remove barriers to Australians getting involved with volunteering.

“According to the last Census, nearly three million Australians did unpaid work for an organisation or group. This is a great number by itself, but it’s also nearly 20 per cent less than the previous Census,” Minister Rishworth said.

“We know that some groups of people currently experience barriers to entering volunteer work, including a lack of awareness of volunteering or resources or access, cultural differences, or concerns about being accepted or having their needs met.”

The campaign will ensure that all Australians regardless of their background, are well-informed about how they can contribute their time and skills to volunteering, do meaningful work and enhance others’ lives.

More information on volunteering is available on the Volunteering Australia website.