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Federal Employee Volunteers Reprieved

14 December 2011 | The Centre for Volunteering

The Centre for Volunteering welcomes today's reversal of the requirement for Federal Government employees to seek authorisation to participate in volunteer activities in their own time.

Lynne Dalton, CEO, The Centre for Volunteering, says "whilst this is a sensible decision, it does highlight the issue of volunteers needing to be confident that organisations they volunteer for are appropriate. The current lack of investment by the Federal Government remains a concern not only for volunteers themselves but also for Volunteer Referral Services attempting to assist volunteers into suitable opportunities."

The recent Federal Government's Volunteering Strategy indicated that five million dollars would be invested annually in volunteer referral agencies throughout the country. This investment is entirely inadequate to ensure people who wish to volunteer are volunteering for organisations that do not place the volunteer, their family or their communities at risk.

The benefit of finding a volunteer opportunity through an organisation which is assessed as appropriate, safe and authentic in terms of its purpose and activity is what makes Volunteer Referral Services a vital part of the process.

If Government invested more in such referral agencies throughout Australia, they would not have even needed to contemplate assessing the worthiness of organisations that their staff wish to volunteer for.

The Centre for Volunteering calls on the Federal Government to review its level of commitment to the resourcing of Volunteer Referral Agencies in order to overcome its concerns about the activity of its staff and also the concerns of the general community about which organisations they should offer their time, skills and knowledge to as a volunteer.

More Information and Interviews
Lynne Dalton
CEO, The Centre for Volunteering
T 02 9261 3600

Read the Sydney Morning Herald's story announcing the policy change, 10 December:
Public servants told to seek approval to volunteer.

About The Centre for Volunteering
The Centre for Volunteering is the peak body in NSW, promoting and supporting volunteering and community participation. The Centre is a not-for-profit organisation and includes Volunteering NSW, its service delivery arm, and the School of Volunteer Management (SVM), a registered training organisation. The Centre for Volunteering connects people and organisations in order to enrich its community, through referral, training, resource development, information and education services to help people get involved in their communities, and enhance the capacity and skills of not-for-profit organisations, corporations and government to become involved in the community.
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