Friday 30 October 2020

Neighbourhood Houses Victoria CEO Nicole Battle has been appointed to the Victorian Government’s Volunteer Strategy Taskforce.

The taskforce, made up of representatives across relevant sectors and industries, will assist the Victorian Government in producing its Victorian Volunteer Strategy which will aim to support and enhance volunteering in Victoria.

According to Volunteering Victoria, 2.3 million (or 42.1 per cent of) Victorians over 15 years of age volunteer, producing a value of $58.1 billion dollars in 2019.[1]

“Victoria has such a strong, committed and dynamic volunteering force who enrich our state every single day. They deliver millions of hours of their time to support communities in so many ways – from protecting our environment, to running cultural activities and events, to assisting people experiencing disadvantage,” Nicole said.

“From the perspective of neighbourhood houses, so many programs and activities simply wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for the generosity of local volunteers. Their community spirit is what keeps our sector thriving. We owe a great deal of gratitude to them, but I know they get just as much out of it as they put in. That’s the great thing about volunteering – there’s a transactional benefit.

“Volunteering provides people with meaningful purpose and a chance to invest their time and energy into things they are truly passionate about. It’s also an opportunity to meet new people and develop long lasting ties to the community.”

“I am really motivated to bring a neighbourhood house perspective to the table while on this taskforce, as well as my own personal experiences of volunteering over the years.”

In 2019 neighbourhood houses received a boost with 1,389,600 hours of volunteering. The number of active volunteers each week increased from 6,580 in 2018 to 6,940, and the average number of weekly volunteer hours contributed also increased from 63 in 2018 to 68 hours per neighbourhood house per week. Their contribution was valued at over $57 million in a single year.

If you would like to contribute your thoughts and experiences to the Victorian Volunteer Strategy, online consultation is open until 31 December 2020. Community members, volunteers, managers of volunteers, and organisations are encouraged to take part to help ensure the strategy is informed by a wide variety of views.

[1] Volunteering Victoria, State of Volunteering in Victoria 2020