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The Voice of Volunteering, Issue no 2, March 2007
In This Issue
Government expands Student Volunteering Program
The Centre for Volunteering welcomes the NSW Government's plan for public high school students in NSW to be encouraged to volunteer their time to community service groups.
The NSW Government unveiled a $7.8 million program yesterday, with Premier Iemma saying that "Our Premier's Community Service Award program will encourage students to participate with school-based representative councils, cadets, community groups, aged care providers and other volunteer groups".
Lynne Dalton, CEO, The Centre for Volunteering, said that the plan will expand The Centre for Volunteering's Student Community Involvement Program (SCIP) which has been funded by the NSW Education Department since 1979. Read more
No workplace agreements for volunteers
The Centre for Volunteering has been fielding calls from members following The Sunday Telegraph's report (4/2/07) that "St Vincent de Paul has sacked a group of volunteers who refused to sign a workplace agreement despite their decades of service."
Volunteers will never be required to sign workplace agreements which are legal contracts between an employer and paid employees.
The Sunday Telegraph wrongly presented the facts. Read more
Volunteer Administrator Award of Excellence
Nominate your volunteer manager for the Australasian Association of Volunteer Administrators (AAVA) inaugural Volunteer Administrator Award of Excellence. This award will be given annually to a manager of volunteers for his/her outstanding contributions to the profession of volunteer administration and the promotion of volunteerism in the community. Any individual who manages volunteers in a public, corporate or non-profit organisation is eligible and can be nominated. Self-nominations are also accepted.
Nominations close on 1 July 2007. A selection committee will consider nominations against the criteria described above. The inaugural Volunteer Administrator Award for Excellence will be announced on 1 November 2007.
As one of their major assignments in 2007, final year students majoring in Public Relations: Contexts and Applications for the Bachelor of Arts in Communication at the University of Technology Sydney have offered to help members create a professional, well-researched, persuasive and winning sponsorship and fundraising strategy tailored specifically to members' needs (e.g. Health, Welfare, Education, Environment, Sport).
Does your organisation need a computer?
Wesley E-Recycling specialises in refurbishing computers for individuals, families and community organisations in need and has a range of low-cost refurbished computer packages starting from $50.
Wesley E-Recycling's computers are internet-ready and can be customised to suit your needs. Computer packages include monitor, new keyboard and mouse, sound card, speakers, modem, CD Rom, power cables and three months back-to- base warranty. Healthcare card holders and not-for-profit organisations will receive Windows 2000 software free.
March Networking Breakfast: What will we do about Christmas 2007?
Was your organisation inundated with offers of help from volunteers last Christmas? We were! And we had nowhere to send them! This month's Networking Breakfast will discuss:
Yes, it's still only March, but if you can bear to talk about this fascinating phenomenon of 'The Christmas Volunteer', please come along and share your thoughts. Our discussion will be facilitated by Alan Bates, the Director of Volunteering for Wesley Mission and board member for The Centre for Volunteering.
Numbers are limited. It is essential that you RSVP to attend and order breakfast in advance. Breakfast costs $5 and includes fruit salad, raisin toast and muffins. Tea and coffee are free.
Email Alison Keene or phone her on 02 9261 3600.
Free qualifications for your staff and volunteers
Australians can receive free job skills training under the Australian Government Skills Voucher Program. Any Australian aged 25 and over who does not have Year 12 or equivalent, or Certificate II qualifications will be eligible for free Work Skills Vouchers valued to $3,000.
This initiative will improve the basic skills of individuals currently in the workforce and upgrade the skills of individuals who have no formal qualifications and are looking for work.
Vocational qualifications are available for Certificate II in Business and Certificate II in Customer Contact through the School of Volunteer Management. Read more
Legally Speaking (2-day workshop)
Are you CrimTrak ready?
The recent Federal Legislation regarding Criminal Record Checks for Volunteers in the aged services industry has caused confusion with service providers. While there appears to be no requirement for HACC funded organisations to undertake these checks, it is unclear how they could be exempt if the organisation receives federal funding and does provide a service to older people. The Centre for Volunteering is lobbying the State Government to set up a facility to enable criminal record checking to take place in NSW and will keep members up-to-date with the latest developments. In the mean time, the Legally Speaking workshop will explore the steps organisations needed to be undertaken to be ready for the implementation of criminal record checks for volunteers.
This 2-day workshop alerts managers of volunteers, management committee members and members of policy taskforces to the legal and technical issues involved in working with volunteers. Legally Speaking is offered by the School of Volunteer Management and is facilitated by a legal practitioner experienced in the not-for-profit sector.
News from The Centre's Volunteer Referral Service
The Volunteer Referral Service (VRS) started the year delighted to hear that the volunteers it found for the Sydney Festival and various Australia Day events did a great job. Now, among the VRS's usual array of long-term voluntary job vacancies, it is preparing to find hundreds of volunteers for a major international conference on HIV/AIDS medicine to be held in Sydney in July. Register online to volunteer for this prestigious event.
Feedback from potential volunteers
The Centre's VRS advertises volunteer roles on behalf of its member organisations but sometimes the VRS receives feedback from potential volunteers about volunteer managers or other contacts in member organisations who do not return phone calls or emails about roles that volunteers have applied for. This means that volunteers tend to be disappointed that their offers to help have not been answered. When you use the VRS to advertise volunteer roles, please be polite and ensure that you contact all the volunteers the VRS refers to you. We know this takes time but please let them know if you have already filled the position and be prepared to give your reasons when volunteers have not been successful. In this way, it shows that your organisation appreciates people for offering to give their time and expertise to your organisation.
The Centre for Volunteering's much anticipated Members-Only website was launched in February 2007. The website features an online Resource library, a research and policy channel, detailed information about The Centre's current projects and members' services. You can also use the Members-Only website to access The Centre's Advice Hotline and to inform The Centre of any issues you or your organisation needs presented to government.
If you are a member of The Centre for Volunteering, you should have already received your password to access the Members-Only website. It was emailed to the email address you provided on your membership application form. If you did not receive your password, please email Jan Cosgrove.
If you would like to become a member of The Centre for Volunteering please download and complete an application form.
NSW Influenza Pandemic Taskforce
The NSW and Federal Governments have been working together towards the development of plans to minimise the impact of a Pandemic Influenza outbreak should it occur. A plan has been developed which will see the role of volunteers playing an important part in preparing and responding to the impact of a pandemic outbreak.
The Centre for Volunteering has been invited to participate in the Volunteer Issues Working Group whose terms of reference include:
Lynne Dalton, CEO, will represent The Centre on the working group which is scheduled to complete its work by July 2007.
The Centre for Volunteering supports Earth Hour
At 7.30pm on 31 March this year, the Sydney Morning Herald and WWF-Australia want you to turn off your lights for Earth Hour – just one hour to show the world that Sydney cares enough about global warming to take action.
The Centre for Volunteering is supporting Earth Hour and is helping make a difference by turning off lights every night and where possible during the day.
Did you know that turning off lights when you're not in the room and turning your appliances off instead of leaving them on standby will save up to 10% of Sydney's electricity consumption? It's that easy.
Join Earth Hour, switch off your lights in the evening on 31 March and help stop global warming before it's too late…
© The Centre
for Volunteering 2007 |
ABN 28 002 416 024
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