International Volunteer Day is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the contributions of the millions of volunteers across NSW in our sports fields, at the foodbank, patrolling the beaches, or deploying to an emergency – Minister with responsibility for Volunteering, Jodie Harrison

UNV coordinates International Volunteer Day on 5 December every year to recognise and promote the tireless work, not just of UN Volunteers, but of volunteers across the globe. The Centre for Volunteering supports International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December 2023, as it is an opportunity to raise awareness of the important service that volunteers give to their communities.

International Volunteer Day commonly known as IVD is celebrated on 5 December every year. It started as an international observance mandated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985. It’s a day where volunteers are acknowledged and the spirit of volunteerism is promoted at the local, national and international levels. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme joins IVD celebrations with UN Volunteers and all volunteers around the world – amplifying the importance of people-led solutions to our common challenges. You can read more about the history of this day here.


2023 Theme

This year’s theme – “If Everyone Did…” focuses on everyone helping and working towards Sustainable Development Goals. There is a sense of urgency to respond to global challenges ranging from climate action to natural disasters, reducing inequalities, hunger to health, and rising poverty to endangered natural resources. There is no better call to action than asking everyone to do something to make positive change. When it comes to volunteering, imagine #IfEveryoneDid.

Our 2023 State of Volunteering Report highlights the undeniable resilience and value of volunteering. Despite recent challenges, volunteering in New South Wales thrives, evidenced by 4.3 million recorded volunteers. The State of Volunteering Report presents a detailed examination of the characteristics of volunteers and volunteer management in NSW. It highlights the strength of the volunteering sector, and the immense benefits volunteering contributes to the state.


Meet Your Local Legends

This year, we released the Local Legends podcast, bringing you feel-good stories of volunteers, whose unwavering community spirit are an inspiration. For International Volunteer Day, we’re spotlighting just a few of the incredible stories you can listen to today:


Joy Rappo

Joy Rappo

In need of support, to giving support to those in need.

After the loss of her son, Joy Rappo found comfort in The Compassionate Friends. Now, as one of their volunteers, she helps support bereaved parents like herself. Her commitment earned her

The 2022 NSW Senior Volunteer of the Year shares her story in a heartfelt discussion on Grief, Guidance and Giving Back episode.


Dr Saba Nabi OAM

Dr Saba Nabi OAMVolunteering is for everyone, and Dr Saba Nabi OAM is more than proof.

Travelling from Delhi to Wagga Wagga, she decided to volunteer with organisations like the Multicultural Council to learn the local culture, helping herself and others in similar positions feel like they belonged and were included in their new community.

Earning multiple awards for her volunteering, Dr Saba speaks to her experiences in Respect, Belonging and Inculsion episode.


Kylie Elliott

Kylie ElliottA doyenne in the volunteering sector, Kylie raised a record-breaking $19 million for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.

In a special episode with Director of Sector Development and Engagement, Clint Bertenshaw, Kylie shares her insights on how they implemented the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement, what it takes to be a great volunteer leader, and how to get more for less out of your volunteer program. Listen now.


International Volunteer Day Resources

For your convenience, we have developed an Asset Style Guide with resources that you can use to promote 2023 International Volunteer Day.