The Changing Face of Volunteering

Volunteers are the lifeblood of communities across Australia – including ours.

Volunteers not only help make the lives of everyone around them happier – they too are happier as a result.

Whilst the social benefits of volunteering are significant, we know that many volunteers, community groups and organisations in our Shire are doing it tough.

Recognising that volunteering is changing, the Maryborough Volunteer Resource Centre initiated the formation of a Volunteer Stewarding Group with Council staff to try and tackle these challenges together.

The next step is to shape what comes next with the broader community through ‘The Changing Faces of Volunteering – Something for Everyone’ Forum on Thursday 30 May.

Why you need to go to the Forum:

  • Learn about the latest trends in volunteering and why you need to know this
  • Share and learn from other groups – what’s going well for them and what isn’t
  • Meet new people and make new connections
  • Discover new volunteering opportunities
  • Find out how you can get involved in the local community
  • Be celebrated, be valued!

Who is the forum targeted at?

Everyone! Whether you are a current volunteer or not we want you to come and share your ideas and shape volunteering locally.

We asked some of our local volunteering what motivated them to be volunteers in the Central Goldfields Shire community.

Here's what they had to say:

  • “Volunteering at the soccer club is really energising. As someone who is new to town, being involved in local sport has helped me to feel part of the community and it is nice to be able to make a contribution.” Garry George – President, Maryborough Soccer Club Committee
  • “Volunteering gives you a real sense of connection to your local community. It’s great to be able to make a difference.” Carlene Dowie – Carisbrook Football Netball Club and The Carisbrook Mercury
  • “For me, volunteering is about being community minded. I get much enjoyment out of giving back to the community and helping out local families.” Drew Garraway – Adelaide Lead Hall Committee and Talbot Town Hall Committee of Management

  • “Volunteering is the opportunity to support my community in a very real and selfless way. I love offering my community an open hand of friendship and support and appreciate seeing for myself the direct impact this support has on the lives of those I help.” Kath Ryan – Dunolly Recreation Reserves Committee of Management, Deledio Reserve Sports Committee and Dunolly Hospital Auxiliary

In July last year, we invited our community to participate in a survey to better understand what volunteers need.

Thank you to the 75 residents who took the time to share their thoughts.

You told us there was a need to:

  • Talk about volunteering in a new way
  • Make it easy for people of all backgrounds and ages to get involved
  • Help people who are at risk of social isolation to benefit from volunteering experiences
  • Focus on creating a great experience for volunteers
  • Provide support and guidance to groups to adapt to changing expectations of volunteers

In 2023, the Federal Government released the National Strategy for Volunteering. It identified:

  • 56.7% of Australians volunteer either formally or informally
  • 83% of volunteer involving organisations need more volunteers
  • The rate of volunteering has been gradually declining from 1/3 adults in 2010 to ¼ in 2022.
  • A significant mismatch exists between the volunteering opportunities being offered and what volunteers are interested in.

You can find out more and read the Strategy here.