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Queensland Ready Reading Program – Townsville

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Queensland Ready Reading Program – Townsville

Parents and community members are invited to register their interest in making a difference in their local community by volunteering in schools to support children’s reading.

Reading is a powerful tool to help children grow their vocabulary, language skills and imagination. It helps them to develop life-long skills that will support their future growth and learning.

The Department of Education and Volunteering Queensland are working together to help improve literacy for children in Queensland by training up to 3000 volunteers to share their knowledge and time to foster a love of reading.

Standard checks

In order to be a take part in the Ready Reading program, volunteers will be required to participate in an interview and undergo standard checks including:

  • ID verification
  • Reference checks
  • Working with Children Check (blue card) and Exemption Cards

Training

Ready Reading volunteers will undergo training to learn about the components of reading, how to support a child with reading and strategies to develop independent reading skills. Experienced staff from the Department of Education’s Reading Centre will deliver the training to ensure volunteers are supported to help students become confident readers. Volunteers are also required to undertake online training delivered by Volunteering Queensland.

The next training session with the Department of Education is scheduled for:

Tuesday 27th August, 9:00am-1:00pm at Heatley

Wednesday 28th August, 9:30am-1:30pm at Bluewater

Thursday 29th August, 9:00am-1:00pm at Gulliver

Volunteers are only required to attend one half day session.

Volunteering in schools

Following completion of checks and training, volunteers will be connected to schools in their area that are participating in the program. Schools will then assume responsibility for engaging these volunteers in their reading programs.

Once placed in a school, volunteers will work under the direction of the principal and may work with individual teachers or across classes.

Registering your interest

For further information and to register your interest in becoming a Ready Reading volunteer, visit: www.volunteeringqld.org.au/ready-reading

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Membership, Services, Fees and Sustainability

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Membership, Services, Fees and Sustainability

Membership

Membership renews annually on the 31st of July and is a partnership with Volunteering NQ’s vision to see a community rich in volunteers and volunteering.  During the 2018-19 year we:

  1. Successfully placed more than 1 volunteer every day and,
  2. Provide training and networking opportunities to 300+ participants

Membership is available to individuals and NFP organisations here.

Volunteer Referral Services

Our Volunteer Referral Services help to attract volunteers from new audience groups and reduce the administrative workload in listing new positions and follow up expressions of interest.  This service is a 12-month subscription renewing on the date of application and includes:

  1. Unlimited volunteer positions listed by Volunteering NQ staff into a national database accessible by potential volunteers at vnq.org.au, SEEK Volunteer and GoVolunteer.
  2. Proofing and creative feedback by Volunteering NQ staff on all volunteer positions descriptions.
  3. Volunteering NQ staff follow-up of all expressions of interest on your behalf immediately, and at 24-hour, 48-hour and 5 business day intervals via multiple methods of communication to maximise engagement of the potential volunteer and reduce the number of uncontactable volunteers.
  4. Volunteering NQ staff check the volunteer’s suitability based on the requirements of the position including background checks, licences and availability to reduce unsuitable referrals.

Our commitment to financial sustainability.

Volunteering NQ receives financial support from various funding bodies and is further supported through the contributions of our volunteer team.  Together, these significantly subsidise the costs of service.  Financial sustainability is important and multiple strategies, including membership fees, service fees and corporate partnerships are being developed to ensure Volunteering NQ continues well into the future. 

A 3-year plan commenced in 2018-19 with the introduction of a standalone Membership fee and tiered fee structure for Volunteer Referral Services.  Rolling service fee increases will follow up to 2020-21 to move our fees to a comparable level within the volunteer resource sector and reflect the continual improvements being made.

 

Corporate and Group Referral Services (New)

An organisational profile can be listed in Volunteering NQ’s exclusive Corporate & Group volunteering platform to both attract and request volunteers and services from Corporates and Groups.  Username and password access can be requested here to list your organisation and request referrals.

Premium Listings (Coming Soon)

Premium listings provide greater exposure and include 4 weeks of:

  1. A highlighted position with a limit of 4 concurrent premium listings
  2. Special mention at any Expo’s and Presentation’s attended during the premium listing
  3. Position card prominently displayed on search pages www.vnq.org.au/search
  4. One social media post on each of the following platforms: Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter and Instagram

Events Package (Under Development)     

A pro-rata 3-month subscription tailored for events looking to attract volunteers for one-off opportunities is under development to provide Volunteer Referral Services, access the Corporate and Group Volunteering platform and event volunteer database.  

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Join Our Team – Event Manager

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Event Manager

Applications close 5:00 pm, Thursday the 29th of August 2019

Event Manager Selection Criteria
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1Personal Details
2Primary Duties and Responsibilities
3Qualifications and Experience
4Personal Qualities
5Skills and Abilities
6Referees
7Submit
Please upload your resume here. PDF files only.

Volunteer Conference for North Queensland Announced

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Volunteer Conference for North Queensland Announced

The recent announcement of a $50,000 State Government grant to help hold a North Queensland Volunteering Conference in Townsville next year has been received with excitement at Volunteering North Queensland (VNQ). As North Queensland’s leading Volunteer Referral and Community Training Centre, VNQ will coordinate the conference in conjunction with a committee of volunteers. In the main, it will be volunteers organising a volunteer conference for volunteers!

Shane Harris, Manager at Volunteering North Queensland, said “This conference has been a long-term goal of VNQ that has come to fruition largely through the persistent and dedicated volunteer efforts of our President, Margie Ryder.”

“Following the mammoth contribution of volunteers to their communities during this year’s unprecedented flooding events in Townsville and North West Queensland, we believe this conference is an important part of building resilience and avoiding volunteer burnout.  We are thankful the grant will enable us to bring together the grassroots volunteers from all over North and North West Queensland to connect, train, and rejuvenate their motivation to continue their vital volunteering support, without which our communities would suffer,” Shane said.

The conference will be held in Townsville over three days in May or June 2020 providing motivation, tools and support through inspiring speakers, training sessions and practical workshops.

Shane said “While it’s early days yet, we encourage everyone interested, whether they are currently volunteering or not, to sign up to receive updates as the program develops and guest speakers are announced at www.vnq.org.au/volunteer-conference.”

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Managing Volunteer Burnout and Stress

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Managing Volunteer Burnout and Stress

Volunteer burnout is something that both volunteers and volunteer managers dread.  For volunteers, it can be a feeling of overwhelming stress that causes resentment about volunteering. For managers, it can turn the most productive volunteer into an irritable and ineffective member of the team. It is important for the volunteer and organisations to understand, identify and help volunteers cope with the stress to prevent volunteer burnout.

Volunteering can be a stressful activity, with 35% of people in Australia’s not for profit sector experiencing stress (1). What makes volunteering stressful is not just the work itself, such as witnessing trauma or experiencing intense workloads, but how the workload adds to the day to day stresses of life. In rural Western Australia, two-thirds of people volunteering additionally have a business to run, farms to work or young families (2). Burnout can happen to anyone, so it is important for volunteers and managers to know the signs and what to do.

Burnout can be defined as a state of chronic stress. Stress is a natural response to the challenges we face (3). When stressed, our alertness, energy and productivity increases along with our heart rate, metabolism and breathing rate (3). Stress is helpful during short-term challenges however when experienced long term, it can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, detachment and feelings of ineffectiveness.

These symptoms can easily be confused with depression. From a psychological perspective there is no clear definition of what burnout is and psychologists are likely to diagnose sufferers with something else such as depression or anxiety (5). This makes it difficult to collect data on the prevalence of burnout in society (5).

Although burnout is still an area of dispute in psychology, the fact that volunteers are vulnerable to it is not. Volunteers in rural communities where the social fabrics’ of community are made of the volunteer groups can be particularly susceptible to burnout (2). They are essential to the communities’ social, education, sporting, cultural and environmental groups and activities (2).  They can also be critical to the running of essential services. In small towns like Ongerup in Western Australia, the only health service is a volunteer run local ambulance (6). Without the volunteer ambulance service in the town, it would take an hour for an ambulance from the nearest town to come (6). Being the only health service in a town is a huge responsibility, especially for a volunteer.  

Being in a stressful volunteer role can be just one source of stress for volunteers but others could include poor management, conflict with other volunteers, competing demands such as work and family as well as role overload and even pressure from friends and family to volunteer (7). Role overload can also result from poor communication, unrealistic expectations of volunteers, failure to match volunteers’ skills to positions, ineffective role definitions and lack of boundaries. (7).

Role overload is one of the most quoted sources of stress. Role overload can be taking on too much responsibility or too many hours (7).  It can be caused as said above, by poor management, but also by volunteers deliberately going beyond the role description or volunteers not telling management they cannot meet the role’s demands (7). Role ambiguity can further lead to role overload as volunteers are unclear what their role is.

Competing demands can also be a significant cause of stress.  This stress is similar to role overload however the source of the increased work and stress comes external to the role (7). An example would be family illness, financial stress, or work commitments affect a person’s ability and availability to volunteer.

There are many ways to combat burnout and some of the best methods are organisational factors that volunteer managers can implement (7). One of the best ways to prevent burnout is early recognition and intervention (7). It is important that volunteer managers have time, as well as policy and procedures in place to monitor their volunteers and implement changes (7). Monitoring volunteers can include having a time sheet so it is known how many hours they contribute; this information can be used to observe volunteering milestones that they can be thanked for (8). Letting volunteers vary their hours, take time off or have ‘annual leave’ is also a great way to help volunteers’ recharge and cope with stress (8).

A prevention strategy that volunteer managers can utilise is providing adequate volunteer training and providing mentors for newer volunteers to reduce the stress experienced as a new volunteer (7). This strategy additionally ensures good succussion planning and can relieve excess workload in the role.  It is not just essential that volunteer managers are able to see the early signs of burnout, take action but also fosters the organisational culture of open communication with volunteers to talk about stress in and outside of the role (7). 

Knowing how to implement the theory of how to manage and prevent burnout can be a steep learning curve for volunteer managers but volunteer managers’ have great capacity to manage burnout when they have knowledge and strategies. Networking with other Volunteer Managers provides a great opportunity to both learn and share with others in similar situations. Check out https://www.vnq.org.au/training/ where you can find details of networking and training events for volunteer managers.

 

Sources:

1: https://thirdsector.com.au/how-to-manage-stress-and-burnout-in-the-nfp-sector/

2: https://theconversation.com/why-rural-australia-is-facing-a-volunteer-crisis-95937

3: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/stress

4: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/high-octane-women/201311/the-tell-tale-signs-burnout-do-you-have-them

5: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279286/

6: https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-12-07/regional-job-shortage-harming-peoples-health-education/9228762

7: Holmes, Kirsten, and Leonie Lockstone-Binney. “An exploratory study of volunteer stress management: the organisational story.” Third Sector Review, vol. 20, no. 1, 2014, p. 7+. Academic OneFile, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A382085823/AONE?u=james_cook&sid=AONE&xid=5536ca14. Accessed 1 July 2019.

8: https://money.howstuffworks.com/economics/volunteer/information/volunteer-burnout.htm/printable

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Volunteer Stories

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Volunteer Stories

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Congratulations 2019 NQ Volunteer of the Year Award Recipients!

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Congratulations 2019 NQ Volunteer of the Year Award Recipients!

Volunteers throughout our community were acknowledged at the National Volunteer Week celebrations on 20th May with these four exemplary individuals being honoured as recipients of the individual 2019 NQ Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Heart of Volunteering – Lori Langford, Northern Townsville Community Hub
Lori volunteers at NOTCH 5 days a week and has quickly become an integral part of the team. Her commitment to the centre and the community knows no limits as she can be relied upon to contribute extra hours in response to the demand on the NOTCH services wearing many hats such as cleaner, flood recovery worker, child minder, events coordinator and social media advocate all whilst providing much needed emotional support. With her dedication and commitment NOTCH has been able to add regular monthly events to their calendar, many of which are coordinated by Lori. 

Youth Volunteering Award – Lachlan Dent, St Vincent De Paul Society
Lachlan’s passion for creating quality experiences for disadvantaged children has been an integral contribution to the Buddies Day and Kids Camp Programs.  His compassion, leadership and enthusiasm for providing an inclusive environment where children have the opportunity to enjoy sports, days out and other quality activities enables participants to have fun, build self-esteem and make friends. He is a true role model not only to the children whose lives he helps shape but also to the other volunteers who he regularly encourages and empowers to follow their own leadership journey.

Volunteer Impact Award – Rhiannon Hall, Happy Feat
Rhi fosters an inclusive environment and strives to keep ‘Happy Featers’ engaged through her fun and fresh choreography.  Rhi’s ability and focus on tailoring her teaching for varying levels of mobility and concentration as well as her unwavering commitment contributes significantly to participant’s self-esteem and providing them with rich social engagement.

Volunteer Achievement Award – Allen Bishop, Ozcare Villa Vincent
Allen’s extraordinary commitment to volunteering suits him down to the ground as he’s kept busy and that’s the way he likes it!  From avian husbandry and assisting the diversional therapist to creating a warm and welcoming environment to the residents, Allen’s innovative and detail oriented approach contributes greatly to the Villa Vincent family.

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Making a world of difference – 6 million reasons to celebrate NVW!

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Making a world of difference – 6 million reasons to celebrate NVW!

6 million amazing Australians volunteer their time!  Volunteers contribute an estimated $290 billion to the national economy annually, yielding a 450% return for every dollar invested. Worldwide, it is estimated there are 1 billion volunteers, the equivalent of 109 million full-time employees.

Imagine the world of difference these 6 million volunteers make in the lives of individuals, organisations and communities across all areas of Australian society, from the arts, education, emergency services, sports and environment to health, community welfare, aged care and disability services.

Could the staggering figures above suggest that volunteering is a positive experience to have so many volunteers giving so generously of their time? Definitely, according to Volunteering Australia’s State of Volunteering in Australia report that found 93% of volunteers reported positive outcomes as a direct result of their voluntary participation. The benefits of helping others are numerous. To name just a few, volunteering provides purpose, a sense of self-worth, social connection, increased health and well-being, as well as development of skills that can provide a pathway to employment.

From 20–26 May 2019, thousands of events will be held across the country to say thank you to the volunteers making a world of difference.

On the 20th of May 2019, we will acknowledge the many volunteers in North Queensland.  The celebration includes ‘shout outs’ to some amazing volunteer teams throughout an evening of entertainment concluding with announcements and presentations of the 2019 North Queensland Volunteer of the Year award recipients.

Will there be Lego again at this year? Absolutely! What will your team make?

Find out more about the North Queensland NVW celebrations at https://www.vnq.org.au

#NVW2019 #VNQ

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4 North Queensland Awards – Nominations Open Now!

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4 North Queensland Awards – Nominations Open Now!

The North Queensland Volunteer of the Year Awards will be presented at the North Queensland National Volunteer Week Celebrations on the 20th of May event, where the efforts of the many volunteers bringing about positive change in our community will be recognised. 
We encourage volunteer managers and fellow volunteers to nominate a volunteer from your organisation that you believe is deserving of recognition for their volunteering contribution. 
 
The second year of the NQ Volunteer of Award will see the introduction of 4 new awards to be presented, acknowledging the contributions volunteers make throughout our community through their generosity, compassion and commitment to making a difference.
1.      Heart of Volunteering Award
The heart of volunteering award acknowledges a volunteer that passionately lives and breathes the very definition of volunteering, ‘…time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.’  Nominations for volunteers whose attitude and actions are exemplary and an inspiration to others are welcomed.
2.      Youth Volunteering Award
The Youth Volunteering award acknowledges a volunteer under 25 years of age that passionately lives and breathes the very definition of volunteering, ‘…time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.’  Nominations for volunteers whose attitude and actions are exemplary and an inspiration to others are welcomed.
3.      Volunteer Impact Award
The Volunteer Impact award acknowledges a volunteer whose contribution has made a significant difference to an individual, group or community over a short or long period of time. Nominations for volunteers who have made a significant difference in the lives of those they serve are welcomed.
4.      Volunteer Achievement Award
The Volunteer Achievement award acknowledges a volunteer for whom the very act of volunteering is an achievement.  Nominations are welcomed for volunteers that give their time in the face of challenging circumstances either personally or the activities undertaken. 
 
We encourage previously nominated volunteers to be renominated again.
 
The closing date for entries is Monday the 13th May, 2018 and nominees will be shortlisted before being announced at the National Volunteer Week Celebrations.
 
Nominations can be made online at www.vnq.org.au/nvw
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