The Voice of Volunteering

From the CEO

The release of the new definition of volunteering in Australia is a great step forward for volunteers and our sector.
The Centre was part of a national committee that reviewed the 1996 definition, in an initiative led by Volunteering Australia. Thanks to everyone who shared their views during the consultation process – your views were pivotal in helping determine the new definition.
The 2015 definition of volunteering is: Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.
More information on the definition is available from Volunteering Australia
In a first for The Centre, we hosted two webinars to give our members an immediate outline of the new definition.
The webinars were extremely popular, with more than 250 people registering, so we’ll definitely hold more of them this year on different topics.
If you have any questions about the new definition, please email them to Volunteering Australia will respond to all enquiries to ensure there is a consistent interpretation of the definition.

I can’t sign off without saying: Happy National Student Volunteer Week!



Brendan Lonergan, CEO Beehive Industries front left (kneeling)
Our Volunteer Referral Service is always a hive of activity so it was fitting that one of our VRS volunteers visited a new member, Beehive Industries, to help them fill volunteer roles.
Judy Schneider from the VRS team accepted an invitation from Beehive Industries’ CEO Brendan Lonergan to see what the organisation did first-hand.
“I’ve known about The Centre for years and joined this year to get help filtering volunteers for vacant positions,” Brendan said
“I recently advertised for a volunteer production person on my own and got 150 applications in four days. I had to read every one of them which took me away from running the business.
“I figured it would make the VRS’s job easier if they saw what we do and how we do it first-hand.”
The Centre’s Judy Schneider was impressed with Beehive’s set-up and volunteer management.
“The organisation is a warehouse which provides mailing, packaging and warehouse services to clients,” Judy said.
“The organisation’s primary purpose, though, is to support the elderly, disabled and others by providing opportunities for them to take part in social activities and volunteering.
Judy said that so far she has successfully referred volunteers for two volunteer roles at Beehive Industries – for an administration role and an IT role.
“The IT volunteer is particularly fantastic,” Brendan said. “He’s a uni student who wants to improve his English and he works so fast. All our volunteers do such a great job.”
Judy’s next job is to help Beehive Industries recruit a Volunteer Event Co-ordinator. Keep up the great work Judy!
Update: 2015 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards
Nominations for the 2015 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards have now closed and are busily being collated by the Awards Team. We've had a fantastic response this year, and can't wait to share the stories of these volunteers from across NSW. Nominees and their Nominators will be receiving an invitation to attend their regional Awards ceremony so please keep an eye on your email. Find an Awards Ceremony in your area
Don't Forget - Bridge to Volunteering is run every week and is a great introduction to volunteering for people of all backgrounds. Register Now!
August Networking Event - Don't Run the Risk: Best practice in risk management for volunteer programs
Does your organisation manage volunteer programs?  Are you confident that you have identified all potential risks and that you have effectively assessed those risks? Is your organisation doing everything that can be reasonably done to respond to and manage risk so that it can fulfill its mission without fear of legal action or causing harm?
This facilitated networking workshop will provide you with an opportunity to learn from other participants in the sector. Together we will explore key challenges and effective approaches to assessing and managing risk including through the use of case studies.  The workshop will also cover key guiding principles relating to risk management and risk assessment with a focus on tools and resources that will assist your organisation to ensure best practice in risk management.
Register NOW
Last Places!
The Volunteer Director

Spaces are still available for The Volunteer Director, a one-day workshop being held on Saturday 8 August for current or aspiring board directors.
This interactive, case-study based program will examine:
  • the key duties of a director and officer in a volunteer capacity
  • financial matters and the key exposures for directors
  • what ‘governance’ means as your organisation grows
  • contemporary views on meeting practice
  • the standard of skill and conduct expected of directors and officers.
Networking Events
Our July Networking Event: "Reward, Recognition & Retention of volunteers" was a packed event with Rebecca Barry from the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, Lynda Kings from Anglican Retirement Villages and our own Avril Samuels talking about their programs.  The interactive event saw the speakers and audience sharing their ideas.   
The event was such a success that we are looking for other venues that can fit more than up to 100 people into a room. If you have a venue that might be suitable to host a networking event, please contact
An interesting piece in the media recently about the outsourcing of the work-for-the-dole program to overseas contractors.

Recruit and Retain Volunteers
Tuesday 8 September

Trainer: Penny York
1-day course
Members: $165
Non-Member $198

Do you have a 5-star approach to attracting and keeping volunteers?

Just like major companies strive to be an employer of choice, so too should volunteer-involving organisations.

That’s because effective recruitment and retention of staff and volunteers makes people and organisations more productive, stable, and happier. It also helps reduce workforce conflict, staff/volunteer turnover, and keeps costs down.

Regular evaluation of your organisation’s volunteer strategy and practices – including benchmarking them against similar organisations – is an essential part of effective volunteer management.

Refresh and review your recruitment practices and  explore the concepts of engagement.

Register to attend now

Farewell Jacinthe
After nearly 10 years, Jacinthe Brosseau, our Manager: Youth, Community Engagement and Research is leaving The Centre. Jacinthe has been instrumental in raising the profile of volunteering to youth and for youth, and has forged strong connections to the school and university sector. Her warmth and vibrant personality and dedication to enabling volunteering for young people will be missed by all here at The Centre and in the wider volunteering community. Jacinthe and her family will be heading back to Canada in the new year.
Broken Hill's Volunteer Strategy takes shape - Broken Hill Unite

Broken Hill Council has developed a Volunteer plan as part of it's operational strategy designed to support, promote and celebrate volunteering in Council and the community. These include
  • Facilitate and participate in a volunteer working group to encourage increased participation in volunteering,
  • recognise the contribution of volunteers through an annual event
  • encourage the community to nominate someone for a volunteer award.
  • In collaboration with volunteers, maintain archive records for the benefit of the City
  • develop strategies designed to increase volunteering at Council-owned facilities and on 355 Committees and Working Groups.
The Volunteer Working Group is the custodian of providing advice and recommendations to the General Manager for progressing and driving the sustainability of volunteering in the City of Broken Hill.
Part of the Strategy includes providing a discount card exclusively for volunteers which provides access for groups to use the logo that identifies them with the Broken Hill volunteer workforce,  specific landing pages on their website, a volunteer directory.
Broken Hill City Council's commitment to volunteers and volunteering in their community displays a recognition of the financial and social value of volunteering to their community, and provides an excellent model for developing a stratgegy for volunteering in other communities. To find out more contact Anne Andrews at Broken Hill City Council
Copyright © 2015 The Centre for Volunteering, All rights reserved.

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