Celebrating National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering when we say thank you and recognise the important contribution of volunteers in our community. This year’s theme was The Change Makers.

Celebrated this year from the 15th to the 21st of May, VNQ hosted three events that brought together Change Makers from around the region.

The recipients of the annual VNQ Volunteer of the Year Awards were announced at a Civic Reception hosted by Mayor Jenny Hill on the 16th May. Emceed by Glenn ‘Minty’ Mintern, guests joined award finalists from Townsville, the Burdekin, Charters Towers and Mount Isa to hear guest speaker, Townsville local Allan Jefferson, winner of the Race Across America, speak on the personal benefits that come from being a volunteer and the real difference volunteers can make on people’ lives.

Volunteering sector leaders and volunteers turned out to two free training workshops facilitated by some of Townsville’s best local speakers and change makers.
The first workshop, held on the 16th May, was a Focus Group that brainstormed the barriers that are preventing people from volunteering. With an overall decline in formal volunteering participation in Australia, getting feedback on the barriers is key to the success of long term sustainability for Volunteering Involving Organisations (VIO’s) to retain and attract volunteers now and into the future.

VIO’s participating in The Change Makers workshop on the 20th May came away with tools to help them attract and retain volunteers through the power of social media and how to improve the volunteer experience through the recruitment and onboarding process. They were introduced to the idea of a Volunteer Pool that will train and engage with volunteers to ensure they have the best volunteering experience when they volunteer for events; and they collaborated in a learning exercise to gather information from Volunteer Managers and Volunteers to review skills, abilities and barriers to volunteering.

Short videos taken at all three National Volunteer Week events can be viewed on VNQ’s website on the Resources page.

To access free training across a whole range of subjects designed to strengthen the community, sign up to become a Member of VNQ. Membership is free and includes VNQ’s E-News that provides information about training and events, volunteering sector news, grants and more.

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