National Volunteer Week (NVW) is the annual celebration to acknowledge the enormous and generous contribution of Australia’s volunteers.
By Volunteering Australia’s definition, ‘volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.’
It’s been estimated approx. 6 million Australians volunteer their time every year.
Young, elderly, male, female – volunteers know no prejudice. They help fight fires, they protect swimmers at the beach and save lives. They coach sport, assist with event management, care for animals, serve and deliver meals to those less fortunate, the list goes on and on. Volunteers are truly selfless and provide significant benefits to Australian communities all year round.
This year’s theme ‘Changing Communities. Changing Lives’ is more relevant than ever.
Think back to the end of 2019 and the start of 2020. The bush fires and the floods. The volunteers who selflessly donated their time to help those in need, often at the expense of their own family and bank balance.
So why do people volunteer?
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare suggests volunteering is an indicator of wellbeing.
Not only does volunteering have links to the economic and health status of a nation, it also benefits the health and wellbeing of the volunteer by providing a personal sense of satisfaction, making them happier (AIHW 2017).
Brisbane strata resident, Joanne E, volunteered her time
at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
For 2020 National Volunteer Week we are encouraged to put our hands up and thank all the volunteers all around the country by waving a special smile of appreciation from our homes.
Upload your wave photo to social media and share using the hashtags #NVW2020 and #waveforvolunteers, and tag Volunteering Australia.
From the Smarter Communities family to all Australian volunteers, we say thank you.