Board Report May 2015.pdf

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MAY 2015


New National

Standards Revealed

Significant changes to national
volunteering standards have been
introduced to coincide with National
Volunteer Week, and include a strong
focus on reporting and measuring
volunteer involvement.
The new volunteering standards have
been introduced “to reflect best practice in
volunteer management in Australia’s current
work environment,” according to Volunteering
Volunteering Australia’s new National
Standards for Volunteer Involvement were
launched to mark the start of National
Volunteer Week 2015 and include a focus on
monitoring and reporting on an organisation’s
performance with volunteer involvement to
the governing body, employees, volunteers and
Volunteering Australia CEO Brett Williamson
said that the new standards had been designed
to adapt to different types of organisations
and the many different forms of volunteering
reflected in the sector’s growing diversity.
“The benchmarks contained in the Standards
will help organisations attract, manage,
recognise and retain volunteers, as well as
to manage risk and safety with respect to
volunteers,” Williamson said.
“A 2009 review and a more recent
consultation identified the need for revising
the standards along the following lines of
simpler and clearer language, an ability to
apply them to different organisation types
and forms of volunteering, especially taking
into account the more recent developments
in corporate volunteering, and incorporating
good examples from international
volunteering standards.
“The new Standards provide an
exceptionally sound framework for supporting
the volunteer sector as it is today and in the
“Importantly, the Standards will lead to
an improved volunteer experience, which is
critical given the vast number of Australians
who volunteer – approximately six million.
“The value of their efforts to the Australian
economy was most recently estimated at $290
billion (O’Dwyer, 2014). It makes sense then,
to ensure volunteers are happy and fulfilled in
their roles.”
Williamson said the CEOs of Volunteering
SA & NT, Volunteering Tasmania and

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Volunteering WA had worked for many years
to review and develop the Standards on behalf
of Volunteering Australia, with Breaking New
Ground as the project’s principal consultants.
Under the new Standards there are eight
areas addressing key volunteer involvement.
“The review of the National Standards for
Volunteer Involvement has been a critical
project. The original standards were written
in 2001 and since then, the Australian work
environment has changed considerably,
including changes to the Work Health and
Safety Act covering volunteers,” CEO of
Volunteering SA & NT, Evelyn O’Loughlin said.
“Volunteers’ expectations and attitudes have
also changed over time. They have stronger
views on how they expect to engage with an
organisation, and how they expect to be treated
by an organisation to which they commit their
time and skills. Significantly, the volunteer
sector has also changed in that time, having
adopted a professional approach towards
volunteer management.”
Volunteering Australia said guidance on
applying the Standards will be provided via
comprehensive implementation resources.
Additionally, Volunteering Australia
said it will be working with Breaking New

Ground to develop a flexible, tiered voluntary
certification, or ‘Quality Mark’ system, to enable
organisations to check how they are tracking in
implementing the Standards.

Volunteering Tasmania Gets Peak Body Status
Volunteering Tasmania has been
officially recognised as a Peak Body
by the State Government after 22
years of operation, resulting in over a
quarter of a million dollars in annual
funding in perpetuity.
The announcement came during celebrations
for National Volunteer Week.
Premier Will Hodgman announced that the
Government will be providing $260,000 funding
per year in perpetuity to Volunteering Tasmania.
Volunteering Tasmania said a component of the
funding will be core funding, with the rest being
project funding.
“This is a significant achievement for
Volunteering Tasmania. Staff and boardmembers,
past and present, have worked really hard for
this recognition,” Volunteering Tasmania CEO
Adrienne Picone said.
She said that since 2009 the organisation has


been operating on project funding, which they
have had to reapply for every three years.
It’s believed that Volunteering Tasmania was
the only state volunteer body without peak body
“The decision means we can really plan more
efficiently and more strategically for the future,”
Picone said.
“We are so pleased that the Government
acknowledges the value in volunteering, as well as
the value we provide as a supporter of effective
volunteering in the State.
“This announcement shows the Government’s
commitment to volunteering and the positive
impact it has on Tasmanian communities.”
According to the State of Volunteering Report:
Tasmania 2014, four out of every five Tasmanians
“For every one dollar invested in volunteering,
at least four dollars in benefits arereturned to
the Tasmanian community. Investing makes great
business sense,” Picone said.