04 August 2006
Next week's Australian census will for the first time feature a question on volunteering.
Question 51 on the National Census will build the growing picture of Australians’ volunteering habits over the last 12 months and highlight the importance of this crucial individual and community activity.
Volunteering Australia's CEO, Sha Cordingley, a member of the 2006 Census Working Group, encourages everyone who freely chose to volunteer in the past year to answer 'yes' to Question 51: including corporate or employee volunteers, young people, supporting parents and people receiving pensions or government benefits.
“This is the first time that a question on volunteering has been included in the census and the results will help improve conditions and increase opportunities for our millions of dedicated volunteers,” Cordingley said.
“It's a significant move towards governments and communities understanding the impact volunteering has in this country,” she concluded.
Recent research commissioned by the Commonwealth Government found that 6.3 million Australians volunteered 836 million hours in 2005; or that one in every three Australians is spending an average of 132 hours a year volunteering.
Volunteering happens in or through not-for-profits in all sectors including; community, welfare & health, sports and recreation, arts and culture, environment, youth and aged services, and emergency management.
Volunteering Australia, the national peak body working to advance volunteering in the Australian community, runs the largest, national, free online volunteer recruitment service – GoVolunteer. - available at www.volunteeringaustralia.org.