01 November 2006
Wellington, New Zealand:
Volunteer managers in New Zealand and Australia will be eligible for a new award announced yesterday to mark International Volunteer Managers Appreciation Day, 1 November.
The award has been initiated by the Australasian Association of Volunteer Administrators (AAVA) and will be awarded annually to a manager of volunteers for his or her outstanding contributions to the profession of volunteer administration and the promotion of volunteerism in the community. Nominations for the award are being called for now and the inaugural award will be announced in July 2007.
“This award is an excellent way to acknowledge the contribution made by volunteer managers and to mark their special day”, said Alison Marshall, Chairperson of Volunteering New Zealand.
“People recognise the valuable contributions of volunteers throughout the world and volunteers are involved in just about every aspect of service delivery in all walks of life. However the role that trained volunteer managers play in directing those efforts is very often overlooked.”
The recognition of the role of volunteers in services such as hospices and the importance of the work undertaken by volunteer firefighters provided examples of volunteers being highly valued by New Zealanders. In both examples good leadership was a vital ingredient.
“It has been clearly demonstrated that where volunteers are well led that their efforts are enhanced and even more effective,” said Ms Marshall.
One of the aims of the recognition day was to highlight a set of four core values for volunteer management:
- Volunteer managers have the skills and knowledge to help people be part of the solution in meeting community needs.
- Volunteer managers change lives - the lives of volunteers themselves and of those served by well-led volunteers. It is a life-changing profession. Volunteer managers provide the leadership and direction that allows people to build a good and just society and to mend the social fabric. Without professional leadership, people's time, talents and efforts could be wasted.
- A well-run volunteer program shows the community, including potential donors, that the organization is not afraid of public scrutiny and involvement and endeavours to make the most efficient use of monetary assets.
- Well-led volunteers become an advocacy and public relations force for an agency or programme — a force no amount of money could buy.
“These are values which will be considered by those reviewing the nominations for the Volunteer Administrator Award of Excellence”, said Ms Marshall.