The Voice of Volunteering October 2015: Professional development, Volunteer of the Year awards

The Voice of Volunteering

From the CEO

I was honoured to attend the 20 Regional Volunteer of the Year Award Ceremonies that were held over the past two months. At all of the ceremonies I was privileged to meet and hear the stories of hundreds of volunteers across the state from Sydney to Broken Hill, to Albury to Grafton and many places in between.
The Awards program reinforces how our communities could not function without volunteers, and also highlights the wonderful programs and organisations with whom volunteers work.
Thank you to the NSW Volunteer Centre Network for their support for the Awards and also our principal partners ClubsNSW, NSW Department of Family and Community Services and supporters Bupa Aged Care and Etchcraft.
I draw your attention to the State of Volunteering surveys seeking input from Volunteers, Volunteer Involving Organisations and Corporates. Please see links later in The Voice. Have your say by 27 November.
The Centre for Volunteering is pleased to be taking part in the Centenary Celebrations for the Woolloomooloo Wharf on the weekend 6-8 November. Come along on Sunday 8 November for the family festivities or join Paula Duncan at the Gala Ball on Saturday 7 November. See details here.
There will be a huge raffle with some exciting prizes on offer. Come along on the weekend to find out more.


National State of Volunteering Report

Volunteering Australia and PwC are developing the 2015/16 State of Volunteering in Australia report, which aims to provide a comprehensive review of the volunteering sector nationally. This important report is driven by our sector so please urge your contacts to take part in the surveys that will inform the report.

The national surveys for volunteers, volunteer involving organisations and corporate organisations are now open. Your feedback will help shape the future of volunteering.

The report will be released at the National Volunteering Conference in Canberra in April 2016.

Please click on the links below to complete the survey relevant to you:

The surveys will close at 5pm on 27 November 2015.

International Volunteer Managers Day – 5 November

How can you make sure your Volunteer Manager knows how important she/he is?  Give them a gift that keeps on giving: professional development. The Centre for Volunteering offers a range of workshops and events specifically developed for the volunteer sector. This November we have:

The Volunteer Director
When: Tuesday, 10 November 2015
An interactive, case-study based program to examine the key duties of directors and officers, financial matters and key exposures for directors, what governance means as your organisation grows, contemporary views on meeting practice and expected standard of skills and conduct. Register now to update your knowledge or prepare for a future role as a director.    
Managing and Resolving Conflict
When: Tuesday, 17 November 2015
A 1-day workshop that will give you the tools you need to have difficult conversations and lots of practice with conflict management skills. Presented by Steve Lancken, who just delivered a hugely successful Negotiating Skills Masterclass for the Centre. This workshop is your chance to learn how to deal with difficult moments. Acquiring these skills can have a huge impact on your effectiveness at work (and in life!). Places are limited so register today.      
Understanding NFP Finance and Reporting
When: Tuesday, 24 November 2015
A 1-day workshop that will cover the theory of financial statements and budget management, common to all types of not-for-profit businesses/charities. If you need to understand financial responsibility in your NFP, don’t miss this workshop. Register today.
November Networking Event - Innovation in Volunteer Programs and Delivery
When: Thursday, 19 November 2015 - 3.30pm-5.30pm,
A facilitated workshop led by leading strategic thinker and innovator, Martin Stewart-Weeks. It will stimulate participants to think differently, innovate and develop new opportunities. Register now - limited spots remaining!

The theme for International Volunteer Managers Day this year is “VOLUNTEER MANAGERS: the power behind Super hero volunteers” - make sure your Volunteer Manager is fully charged with the knowledge and leadership skills to support your volunteers. 
Volunteer of the Year Awards Update

The Centre for Volunteering is thrilled by the success of the 2015 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards program which was the most successful program to date.
The Awards recognise volunteers and volunteer teams within eight categories, which are:
  1. Student Volunteer of the Year
  2. Youth Volunteer of the Year
  3. Adult Volunteer of the Year
  4. Senior Volunteer of the Year
  5. Team Volunteer of the Year
  6. Corporate Volunteer of the Year
  7. Corporate Volunteer Team of the Year
  8. Excellence in Volunteer Management
This year The Centre for Volunteering received over 500 nominations across these eight categories, highlighting the efforts of some 7,000 volunteers across NSW. This is a fantastic result that promotes and recognises volunteers from an enormous number of not-for-profit organisations across a broad range of causes.
Twenty regional ceremonies were held across NSW, with an inaugural ceremony in the Far West region at Broken Hill. Attendance at these regional ceremonies far surpassed previous years and there was a wonderful show of support from local, state and federal government representatives.
The 2015 Awards program also brought increased media exposure, with a record number of interviews for television and radio, as well as print articles and social media posts.

On 5 November, The Centre will host the Corporate Volunteering and Excellence in Volunteer Management Awards ceremony to coincide with International Volunteer Manager’s Day.
Preparations are now in full swing as The Centre prepares for the 2015 NSW State Volunteer of the Year Awards Gala ceremony to be held on Friday 4 December just prior to United Nations International Volunteers Day. Winners of all categories will be announced at this Gala celebration to be held at 99 on York, along with the announcement of the 2015 NSW Volunteer of the Year.
Finally, The Centre would like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful sponsors of the Award program, the Department of Family and Community Services, ClubsNSW, the Awards principle Corporate Partner, Bupa Aged Care and Etchcraft. Without your unwavering support both financial and in kind the Awards simply would not be possible. Thank you!
Member Profile - FOCUS on Families

Focus on Families (FOCUS) has been helping new parents in the Macarthur region for two decades.  FOCUS supports families by linking them with a trained volunteer who visits the family home, usually once a week for two or three hours.
FOCUS works because the volunteers are also parents, and have often been on difficult life journeys of their own. They understand how hard it can be and work alongside parents to help them cope with the stresses of parenthood and help equip them with the skills, time and strength they need to nurture their children’s development.

Thanks to the determination and passion of those connected to it, FOCUS has gone from strength to strength. Though it can only fund three part time staff, approximately 200 families receive support from the service annually.

FOCUS provides training and supervision to its 60 volunteers who carry out their much needed work. FOCUS takes its approach to Volunteer Management seriously, using The National Standards for Volunteer Management as its framework and guide to best practice. It also offers a welcoming and supportive environment where lasting friendships are often developed between staff, volunteers, community partners and the families supported. 

Valuing and recognizing volunteers is a FOCUS priority. Volunteers are nominated for many different awards. While FOCUS volunteers will see themselves as quiet achievers, they were anything but when they were named as the NSW Volunteer Team of the Year for Macarthur last year!

The heart of this service is not measured in size, but by the depths of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others

Check out Sandra Templeton's (Manager, FOCUS on Families) top tips for running a successful Volunteer Program:
  1. Actively use The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement. Nurture your volunteers so they feel valuable and valued.
  2. Recognize and acknowledge your volunteers at every opportunity. This not only shows your volunteers that you appreciate them but gives your service publicity and a profile in the community.
  3. Make the volunteering experience enjoyable and rewarding. See the person in every volunteer, share a laugh together and create a bond within your volunteer group.
  4. Network! Get to know your local community newspapers, peak bodies, community partners and politicians.
Please contact The Centre for Volunteering for more ideas on Volunteer Management on 02 02961 3600 or
Volunteer Manager Spotlight - Colin Henson, Human Resources Manager, Adssi HomeLiving Australia

Colin Henson has more than 30 years’ experience leading and managing volunteers, with extensive qualifications in business, human resources, community sector management, occupational health and safety, and training. Colin has found that working with volunteers and organisations to realise their full potential is profoundly rewarding and satisfying.

Colin has been working with Adssi HomeLiving Australia for the last 9 years and is an active participant at The Centre of Volunteering's networking events. We appreciate Colin's perspective on volunteer management:

For almost 30 years, Adssi HomeLiving Australia (AHLA) has been providing support to people on the Central Coast, offering a wide range of services that promote choice, lifestyle and independence. For frail aged and people living with disability, this support can mean the difference between continuing to live in their own home and community versus having to move into residential care.
The move to a consumer-driven model of service in the disability and community aged care sectors has represented a significant cultural change for AHLA and is changing the way AHLA recruits, inducts and rosters volunteers.
While the changes have been challenging, AHLA has found that most of its volunteers have embraced new ways of working, and attributes this to communication and the continued commitment of all involved to AHLA’s vision, purpose and values.
AHLA is currently in the planning stage of building its volunteer program and seeks to increase its team of dedicated and active volunteers. AHLA anticipates that this will involve the recruitment of a volunteer coordinator.
In recruiting its volunteers, AHLA will consider a volunteer’s ability to engage with clients. AHLA volunteers are expected to be confident in using technology to connect with clients as well as the organisation.
AHLA will provide training to volunteers, including disability awareness training and dementia awareness training, to increase their knowledge of vulnerable client groups.
October Networking Event

A big thank you to Savi Manii, Not-for-Profit Law - Justice Connect for her talk on 'Legal issues in defining a volunteer and other unpaid work'. A very much in demand topic that booked out quickly and helped to clarify many legal issues regarding the definition for our members and clients.
Pictured (left to right): Gemma Rygate, CEO, The Centre for Volunteering, Savi Manii, Manager, Advice (NSW), Not-for-Profit Law - Justice Connect, Yvette Caroly, Member and Client Services Manager, The Centre for Volunteering, and Esther Singenstreu, Volunteer Support Manager, Anglicare
Have your say on Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) reporting requirements
The ACNC is currently consulting on the 2016 Annual Information Statement and is encouraging charities to participate.
According to the ACNC, proposed changes to the 2016 Annual Information Statement are intended to remove unnecessary questions, improve the way a charity’s information is displayed on the ACNC Charity Register, and to provide further clarity on the information collected by the ACNC for compliance purposes.
Feedback can be provided by completing an online survey or by submitting a written response to Click here for further information.
Don't Forget - Bridge to Volunteering is run every week and is a great introduction to volunteering for people of all backgrounds. Register Now!
The Centre for Volunteering is a not-for-profit organisation and we rely on external funding, partnerships, membership and donations to provide services to volunteers and the community. Your tax-deductible donation will help us provide awareness, recruitment, advocacy and capacity building projects to the volunteering sector and the community.
Donate Now!
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